Preserving Green Beans
There are lots of ways to preserve the goodness of fresh green-yellow-purple beans. Here are some hints and recipes.
Freezing Green - Yellow - Purple Beans
(from the University of Illinois Extension)
Green beans can be frozen, dried or canned. Immature beans retain more color and undergo less texture and flavor loss during freezing. All vegetables must be blanched before freezing. Unblanched vegetables quickly become tough and suffer huge nutrient and color loss. Vegetables naturally contain an active enzyme that causes deterioration of plant cells, even during freezing. Blanching before freezing retards the enzyme activity.
- In a blanching pot or large pot with a tight fitting lid, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil.
- Meanwhile, wash beans, trim stem ends and cut into1-inch pieces or leave whole.
- Blanch no more than one pound at a time. Add beans to boiling water and immediately cover with a tight fitting lid.
- Start timing immediately and blanch for four minutes.
- Prepare an ice water bath in a large 5-quart container or the sink.
- Remove beans from water with slotted a spoon or blanching basket.
- Immerse in the ice water bath for five minutes or until cooled. If you do not have ice, use several changes of cold water or running cold water. Remove and drain.
- Pack cold beans in zip-closure freezer bags or freezer containers. Squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing bags.
- Label and date each container or bag. Immediately place in the freezer, allowing an inch of space around each container until it is frozen. Freeze for up to one year at 0 degrees F. or below.
- Blanching water can be used over and over again. Add more water if necessary. Remember to always bring water back to a rolling boil before blanching more vegetables.
Lacto-Fermented Green Beans - what a delicious and healthy way to preserve green beans!
Canning Raw Green Beans
You must have a Pressure Cooker to safely can raw green beans. A water bath is not adequate. Please follow this link for the National Center for Home Food Preservation for more information.
Canning Dilly or Pickled Beans
You can safely can pickled or dilly beans using a simple water bath. There are so many different and wonderful recipes - including this one that doesn't even have to be canned and this one that uses a natural fermentation. Here is a spicy dilly bean recipe you might enjoy and another that is a classic Vermont recipe.
Check out what Martha Stewart suggests HERE.
Mother Earth News has some tips HERE.