Saturday, July 16, 2011
Preserving the Harvest: Freezing Beans
We could can green beans, but we like the texture and flavor of freezing them a lot more. We do our best to can and dry much of the harvest so we use as little energy as possible (none) to store it. There are some things though, like beans, that just taste better frozen.
Wash your beans. De-stem and snap, if desired. If it has been a muddy harvest, wash again.
Set a large pot of water to boil. When you are happy with the cleanliness of your green beans, submerge them into the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes (depending on the size of the beans).
Remove beans to a towel and allow to cool completely.
Divide into amounts you will need for a meal and place in heavy freezer bags (we've not been able to come up with a more ecological solution for this). Squeeze out as much air as you can and zip closed.
Label and freeze.
Another vegetable that is surprisingly good this way is beets. Wash and roast beets in a 350-degree oven or a grill. Peel, de-stem/root, and cut into the size you would like. Cool completely and freeze in heavy freezer bags. When you want these in the middle of winter, remove from freezer bag and place in 350-degree oven. They will taste like you just roasted them in about 20 minutes!
Corn is usually best frozen, as are cole crops - broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts. I steam all sorts of greens, from spinach and chard, to beet greens and dandelions, and be sure to press all of the water out and freeze in small batches.