Runner beans are vibrant and long green pods and are one of the most popular garden veggies.
Their strong flavor and coarse texture, as well as the impressive length and the attractive purple beans inside, make them a staple in cuisines worldwide.
If you love them as much as we do and you’re faced with a large batch that you’re unsure how to store, we have you covered.
Runner beans are freezer-friendly veggies and this is an excellent way to preserve their freshness and taste.
Blanching the runner beans before freezing is highly recommendable.
This short cooking preserves their texture, color, and taste. It will also eliminate unwanted dirt and bacteria and prevent the loss of vitamins.
Keep reading to learn all about freezing runner beans!
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As with plenty of other veggies, runner beans benefit from being blanched before freezing. This maintains their optimal color and taste.
To blanch runner beans, you need to cut them into chunks or ribbons first. You can use a bean slicer for easier lengthwise cutting of the beans. Then, eliminate any rough or stringy ends.
Boil water and submerge the beans shortly (two to three minutes) before you submerge them into another pot of cold water. Leave them until they cool entirely. Strain them and then open-freeze them.
This method prevents the beans from sticking to each other in the bag. Spread parchment paper on a baking tray and lay the runner beans, spreading them out enough so that they don’t touch. Freeze them in the freezer for several hours.
Once they’re frozen, take them out and set them into freezer-safe bags.
Don’t overfill them and squeeze as much air out as possible. The beans will stay safe and tastiest for consumption for up to six months.
If you want to, you can skip the blanching method and freeze the runner beans without it. Although this is completely safe, it’s not the best option.
Blanching is done for a very smart reason: it helps different types of veggies, fruits, and plants to preserve their nutrients, flavors, colors, and taste optimal when frozen.
Also, runner beans that have been blanched before freezing will have a better texture after they thaw. The ones which you don’t blanch tend to be mushier.
The blanching prolongs their shelf life too.
To freeze the runner beans, spread them on parchment paper and freeze them for several hours before packing them in bags or containers.
This is a great method to avert the beans from sticking to each other during the freezing process.
You can also prevent this with another trick. If you’re packing them in freezer-safe bags, once you close the bag, shake the beans well so that they spread around.
Runner beans remain bright green and tasty when used within three to six months if you blanch them beforehand. I
f you don’t, they will freeze well for up to a month.
If you need to preserve them longer, don’t worry: they stay safe for consumption for up to a year, although they won’t have the best texture and taste.
Don’t forget that you need to cook the raw beans after thawing (longer if they haven’t been blanched) which will result in a slight change in texture. They’re excellent in stir-fries, casseroles, etc.
If you have leftover cooked runner beans, don’t worry, you can save them for later in two ways. The first one or the fridge is ideal if you plan to eat them within a couple of days.
For this, you just need to transfer them to a plastic or glass container and close it well. Once you need them for a dish, reheat them and you’re good to go.
However, if you don’t plan to eat them anytime soon, the freezer is a much better solution. Before storing the cooked beans, make sure they’ve cooled entirely and choose a freezer-safe bag or a container.
In this way, you can preserve the runner bean dish for up to six months. But, remember, once you thaw the green beans, the texture will be more watery and softer.
When freezing runner beans, follow these tips for optimal results:
- Freeze the runner beans when they’re the freshest
- When you prepare and freeze the runner beans properly, they’ll maintain their vibrancy and texture better after you defrost them
- Runner beans can be stored for more than six months and used afterward, but you need to know that they may lose the optimal texture and flavor
- If you plan to cook the runner beans, there’s no need of thawing them beforehand (add them to a pot of boiling water and cook them for three to five minutes)
- Another option is to add the beans right from the freezer into the recipe. But for this, it’s better for the beans to have been blanched before freezing to reduce the cooking time
- If you want to defrost the beans first, transfer them into a colander and run them under cold water for several minutes and shake them. Use them after defrosting as you wish
- Frozen runner beans add a unique splash of color and nutrients to a variety of dishes, including salads, pasta, risotto, curries, etc.
Runner beans are a beloved summer crop and a lot of gardens have plenty of it. This veggie is easy to grow and rewards you with its versatility, deliciousness, and nutrients.
When you have a big batch of runner beans, it’s good to know that they’re freezer-friendly.
Freezing them helps prolong their lifespan and preserves their optimal taste. Raw runner beans can be frozen blanched or not, although blanching is the recommendable option because it prolongs their quality.
Cooked leftovers of runner beans can be kept in the fridge if you eat them within several days. If you want to keep them for longer, the freezer is a better option.
Freezing runner beans is a simple and enjoyable process and allows you to store your precious batches without worrying about food waste!