Can You Freeze Fresh String Beans?

String beans are a popular and nutritious veggie used in a variety of dishes, from soups and casseroles to stir-fries and salads.

But, as we’re not always able to use a whole batch at once, especially if we have plenty of them in the garden, it’s great to know they love the freezer!

Blanching them before freezing is a great method to preserve their vibrant green color, taste, and crunchy texture.

Economical, practical, and easy, freezing string beans is a great practice for safe food storage and the prevention of food waste. In this article, we’ll share tips about freezing fresh string beans optimally, as well as some other must-know tips!

How Should You Freeze Fresh String Beans?

Fresh string beans are easily frozen. They will maintain their freshness and taste even after months spent in the freezer. You can enjoy their unique flavor and taste during the months after the harvest.

They’re a convenient and tasty addition to a long list of dishes, including stir-fries, soups, stews, casseroles, etc. They can stay in the freezer for up to 12 months. But, it’s always recommendable to check them from time to time.

To ensure the string beans preserve their optimal texture, taste, and flavor of fresh string beans in the freezer, it’s essential to blanch them. Blanching is recommendable for plenty of veggies before you freeze them.

This process doesn’t just clean the veggie from debris and dirt, but it also helps maintain their minerals and vitamins. If you don’t blanch them and freeze them just like that, there’s a higher risk of the beans going mushy and losing their flavor and color.

How to Prepare String Beans for the Freezer?

Before putting string beans in the freezer, apply these step-by-step instructions:

  • Rinse the beans under running water and strain them
  • Cut off the ends using a knife (on both sides is necessary)
  • Cut the beans into the wanted size or leave them as they are (personal preference)
  • To blanch the beans, fill a pot with water. It’s recommended to use a gallon of water per gallon of veggies for blanching
  • Once it reaches a boiling point, fill one bowl with water and ice
  • Using a big spoon or a strainer, put the beans into the hot water and cook them for two to three minutes
  • Remove them from the water and put them directly into the cold water
  • Spread them on a clean towel and dry them
  • To cool down the beans entirely before they go into the freezer, layer the beans out on a baking tray and set them in the freezer for an hour (this step averts freezer burn)
  • Then, set them into the freezer bags
  • Fill the bags a ¾ so that you can flatten the beans a bit in order to stack the bags one on top of the other
  • The beans will remain safe for consumption for up to 12 months

Can You Freeze Fresh String Beans after Cooking Them?

If you have leftover cooked string beans, you can freeze them for later. But you have to be aware that their texture will be watery and softer once they thaw and you reheat them.

With leftover cooked string beans, it’s essential to transfer them into a freezer-safe bag or a container. Below, check out the best tips in order to optimize the freezing of cooked string beans:

  • If you plan to eat them within several days, string beans can be kept in the fridge. Use shallow and airtight containers or wrap them with aluminum foil or plastic wrap (lightly)
  • When you store them in the fridge properly, they will stay safe for consumption for three to five days
  • If you want to prolong their safety and taste for a longer period of time, store them in the freezer. You can use freezer-safe containers, freezer bags, or aluminum foil
  • The cooked string beans that have been properly packed and stored in the freezer remain safe for an indefinite period of time at a temperature of 0 degrees F
  • Don’t leave cooked string beans at room temperature between 40 degrees F and 140 degrees F for more than two hours. This increases the risk of bacteria
  • If you notice a foul smell and look of string beans, it’s best to discard them right away, without tasting them!

Can You Freeze Fresh String Beans without Cooking Them?

Fresh string beans can be frozen raw and skip the blanching or cooking; however, this method doesn’t guarantee that they’ll maintain their optimal quality, taste, and texture.

And, there’s a higher risk of the beans being mushy and less tasty when you thaw them to use in a recipe.

If you don’t mind this part, you can skip the blanching and freeze the raw string beans.

Choose only the freshest beans, without any skin blemishes or damage. Make sure you trim them before putting them in a bag or a foil to shorten the preparation and cooking time.

Still, though, it’s always recommendable to blanch the string beans before the freezer. This step will help you preserve the food’s optimal qualities.

Blanching destroys the enzymes causing changes in the taste, color, and texture of frozen veggies. Moreover, it also eliminates debris and dirt from the veggie and decreases the loss of nutrients.

What Are the Most Important Tips before Freezing String Beans?

When freezing fresh string beans, you should take into consideration the following tips and optimize their storage:

  • Freeze them in their peak season which is in the summer
  • Freeze the smaller-sized ones, they’re easier to clean and are more practical for recipes
  • Choose only vibrant green string beans, throw away the ones with blemishes and other damage
  • Quick freezing the beans before packing them into bags or containers will help avert the beans from sticking to each other and forming clumps

Final Thoughts

String beans are tasty, nutritious, and easy to include in a variety of recipes. But, we can’t use them all at once, especially with large batches.

If you had a large harvest or if you couldn’t resist buying more at the farmer’s market, don’t worry. Frozen string beans are also great to use in recipes.

In fact, string beans freeze well. You can freeze them cooked or raw, blanched or not-whichever method is adequate at the given moment.

The freezer is a great long-term storage method that helps you decrease food waste and you can use them to prepare a tasty and healthy recipe whenever you want.

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