July 25, 2012

The green beans look beautiful this year. So do the purple beans. And the yellow ones. I can’t seem to leave the market without several pounds. But that’s okay.

the Saturday haul from the farmer’s market

I love dilly beans and that is the best way to put beans in jars, as far as I’m concerned.

But I also adore crisp, fresh green beans, blanched quickly, then sauteed in olive oil and shallots. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll add some toasted almonds and lemon zest.

To enjoy this treat all year ’round, I freeze beans at the height of the season. It takes just a few minutes each week to put a some portioned packages into the freezer. After a handful of work days like that, you’ll be set for all those cold months ahead.

Freezing green beans
10 8-oz packages

5# green beans or haricot verts, trimmed
Kosher salt

Get a big pot of water boiling.

Salt it well – a good handful – then add the beans.

When the water comes back to a boil, the beans are done.

Lift the beans from the pot and immediately submerge them in a big bowl of ice water.

When the beans are fully chilled, drain the water away and place the beans on a large cotton kitchen towel placed over a rack. You want to dry the beans as much as possible.

Use your scale and portion out eight ounce packages. Place in ziplock bags, squeezing out all the air, or vacuum seal, if you are lucky enough to have one of those. (Hello, Santa? Are you listening?)

Label with contents and date. Really – you’ll forget.

Freeze for up to a year.

15 Responses to “putting green beans up for winter”

    • Shah

      Naw, I always add the salt berofe I cook them. You probably can taste more salt if you waited until the end, because it doesn’t really have time to dissolve or cook in, but I like to add mine after I put the water in.

  1. Mary Anne Medlock

    Looking forward to trying this! Around here, freezing green beans is frowned upon. But I don’t have a pressure canner. Thanks to my sister who does, she always gives me a dozen or so jars of green beans a year. I only use them for special occasions. This would at least give me a alternative for fresh green beans in the winter!

  2. Katie C.

    This sounds really good…it’s just that 8 ounces is not enough for me and my guy. We REALLY like green beans. Was there a reason that you specified 8 ounces? When you take them out to use, how should you handle them? Like the frozen green beans at the store?


  3. Dawn

    This is the first year I’ve grown beans that the wildlife hasn’t eaten all of them. (They’re in containers on our deck this year.) I’ve not canned any at all as, unfortunately, I only get a handful at a time that are ready to pick. I started blanching and freezing in super small batches to 1) eventually have enough for a meal and 2) not have those first picked wither away waiting for more to do a larger batch.

    • Katie C.

      Well, at least you still have your bean plants. A tree top (literally) fell on ours in the storms that blew through DC/Northern VA at the end of June. We figured out that we had a lightning strike on the tree that fell. What a mess!

      Now we just have to figure out what we can plant in that raised bed in mid-season that won’t die in the heat. Anyone have any suggestions?

  4. Courtney carlson


    i have a vacuum sealer I haven’t used in ages. I’d love for you to have it because I know you’d make good use of it.

    Courtney Carlson
    (a.k.a. Santa?)

    • Cathy

      Haha! Courtney, you’re so nice. I’d have to trade you something — jam? pickles? something useful?

  5. Lori F.

    Do the frozen green beans turn out mushy when you unfreeze them for use? I had a disaster when trying to can my green beans…they went bad in a week. I found out that I wasn’t using the right kind of salt. Redid a half bushel, same result when I used canning/pickeling salt…the next thing I found out is that my water is treated from the faucet….with water softening salt. I need a different method like freezing because it is not cost effective to go out an buy gallons of “plain” water.

  6. Diana Del Grosso

    Hi–Is canning a good possibility for green beans? If so, do I need to add salt? I grew up with canned green beans (and yes, I currently am using my mom’s old canner), but I have to say that I am kind of scared of the whole botulism scare now. I freeze alot of produce using the Vacuum Sealer system-a great system. However, I want to can some produce as well. Also having Pepco and constantly loosing power is a fear I have regarding freezing alot of food!


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