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Blanch beans before freezing?

Posted by abbey 
Blanch beans before freezing?
December 16, 2008 02:03AM
Hello again all,

I am picking fresh beans from the garden, do I need to blanch them before freezing them?

Or can I (as I'm hoping) just slice them and freeze them without blanching?

I'm picking a few a day as they become ready, so ideally would just slice and keep adding to the freezer bag.

Many thanks in advance,

Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
December 16, 2008 05:04AM
Hello Abbey,
My answer would be yes. That's the way I do them, but then I've never tried them sliced and frozen without blanching,and I don't know of anyone who does them that way.

You can always blanch what you've picked and spread them out on a baking sheet in the freezer to freeze freeflow style, then just add them to the last lot.

Here is a link to Weekend Gardener about blanching and freezing with times for various vegetables [] this might take a couple of minutes to download - a lovely picture of vegetables, but at the bottom is the information to read!
Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
December 16, 2008 05:24AM
For broad Beans, I just free flow the podded beans onto a tray , snap freeze and bag them loose when frozen. Always lovely, its easy and very handy. No blanching needed. They dont have a terribly long life tho. CAn go a bit "woody" looking after a few months

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/17/2008 06:38AM by Maryloo.
Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
December 16, 2008 05:09PM
I don't want to put you off, because maybe I'm just doing things wrong or maybe supermarket frozen green beans have made my expectations too high, but I've virtually given up freezing vegetables because, really, they are so horrible compared to the supermarket ones. I've followed all the correct freezing instructions rigorously for years, on and off, depending on what we've got in the garden and the result is just not worth it. Beans (runner, butter, green) come out soggy, limp, tasteless, colour-poor and probably devoid of any nutritional point in eating them. Ditto for just about everything else.

Carrots and parsnips keep for months and months in plastic bags (kept tightly closed) in the fridge. Onions, potatoes, pumpkin, kumara all keep happily in their storage places and we no longer grow cabbage, broccoli or cauliflower because the bugs just don't make it worth the bother and they are so hideous when frozen.
Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
December 16, 2008 10:21PM
I do mine in a glass casserole in microwave.Just a few minutes then cool.Freeflow and pack into container or bags.
the trick is to M/W minimum time to get them slightly steamy.

You can also do them in a M/W safe plastic bag then drop into iced water to cool,dry bag and bung in freezer.

In the Cooks Garden book they taught me that putting any veg that may have bugs/aphids responds to a quick 30sec or so M/W.(The wee critters die and just need rinsing off)
Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
December 17, 2008 12:59AM
I have to agree with Jennifer. I think frozen beans are revolting, blanched or not, including the bought ones. During bean season I eat and eat and eat until they're coming out of my ears 'cos I love them fresh, we have beans until Easter at least then I don't need them any more until the following late spring when I welcome them back.
Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
December 18, 2008 05:38AM
I loathe commercial frozen beans of any sort and haven't bought them in eons. However, I do freeze my own scarlet runners and love the end result. My method is to slice them into largish diagonal chunks, bring a pot of water to the boil, drop them in and almost immediately drain them into a colander which I then dunk into a sink full of cold water. Once they're cold I dran them well, spread them out onto a baking tray or in a roasting dish, and either pat them dryish with a tea towel or let them air dry. I then spread them out on a tray of some sort and free flow freeze them before bagging them up. I cook them from frozen for a minimum amount of time in the microwave, no water added - never, ever boil them in water - and they're just like fresh.

Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
December 18, 2008 03:53PM
I agree with you Lynne - Scarlet runners are nice and fat and thick with good substance to them for freezing purposes and the secret of freezing is as you do - remove as much moisture after blanching as possible as it is freezing them with excess moisture which spoils the quality of the frozen bean when you finally cook it. When I cook them I often mix frozen peas with them for a bit of variety.

Abbey - don't be put off - there's nothing nicer than growing your own veges, preserving them and eating and enjoying them when they are far out of season!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2008 03:56PM by Dawn.
Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
December 18, 2008 09:42PM
Thanks all.

Yes, I really want to have them available out of season.

Might try both methods, or just eat them!!

Thanks again,

Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
December 22, 2008 06:11AM
I'm a newby on here - just finding my way around. i only top and tail my beans now -no blanching as i did for years and the grandkids just love them. they are not as good as fresh ones but i throw them in casseroles and stews as i do with the frozen tomatoes. i try to let the tomatoes thaw and pour off the excess moisture if i can but not always possable. I feel we are still getting the nutrition if not the looks!!
Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
August 25, 2009 05:08PM
My friend has never ever blanced her beans before freezing. she just picks, and freezes. Her beans are absolutely tasty. it tastes like they just came out of the garden.

I always thought you had to blanch first for safety reasons, my frozen beans are not that great. i usually can my beans but after trying my friends beans, i will freeze without blanching every year from now on!
Re: Blanch beans before freezing?
August 26, 2009 05:12PM
Blanching is supposed to stop the enzyme action that occurs naturally and that is responsible for deterioration of vegetables. I think it's as much a myth as the one that says microwaving cooks food from the inside. What a load of bull....... have you ever cooked a cake in the microwave? Or roasted a lump of meat? Have you ever taken either out too soon, or cooked either for a bit too long and seen the results? Cooked from the middle my a_ _e!
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