Monday, July 21, 2014

Freeze String Beans Without Blanching


fresh string beans

Can you freeze string beans without blanching them first? You bet you can, and I'll tell you how. 
I picked 4 quarts of string beans from my CSA the other day. It was Thursday, and I realized that we had a full weekend of eating out planned, so I wasn't going to be able to cook all of those beautiful organic beans that I spent 1/2 hour picking in the hot July sun.

I considered cooking them up with a tomato sauce recipe that we like and then freezing them, but I really didn't have the time. I just wanted to freeze them quickly and worry about cooking them on another day. It was already late and I was tired, so I wondered if I could just freeze them without blanching the large bunch and then have to put them in ice water. Well, after a quick Internet search, I found my answer on a blog called An Oregon Cottage .

It turns out that I was not the only who wanted to skip steps. I was glad to know that Jami ( of An Oregon Cottage) actually tried the quicker method and she said it works great! According to Jami, skipping the blanching doesn't make a difference. Jami and her family like the taste results just as well without blanching the string beans as they do with blanching them. 

In fact, Jami said she sees no difference in taste. Jami experimented and told about it in her post.  I'm trusting Jami and  I'm simply washing, drying, snipping off the ends and freezing in zip lock baggies.

Jami had another clever trick on her site as well. She uses a straw to vacuum seal the baggies. I didn't have a straw, so I couldn't try it ( I know it's hard to believe I didn't have a straw) . But according to Jami it works great . I'm now following Jami's blog. She has lots of helpful ideas !

I'll let you know how the freezing works out. I left my beans whole, although I could have chopped them into bit size pieces. The uncut string bean works fine for us. If you have smaller children, most likely you would want to cut the beans into smaller pieces prior to freezing. 

fresh string beans
I washed them and dried them well to avoid any ice crystals forming when I freeze them
I still have a few zucchinis to use up too from my CSA this week, so I'm going to make Nona's crust-less zucchini quiches and freeze them. They will be perfect for my next party! They take about me about 5 minutes prep and 40 minutes to bake. I'll bake them before freezing them since they have eggs in them. 

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10 comments:

  1. I will have to pass this tip on to my dad. While I garden, I don't have enough space to grow enough to save. We eat as I harvest. My dad, however, has a huge garden for just two people. He goes through the blanching step...and he'd probably be happy to know he doesn't have to!

    Growing up, I watched my mom use a straw to vacuum seal many things she put in the freezer. For some reason, it always made me laugh!

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    1. I was glad to know I didn't have to. I cooked some of the beans the other day and they were perfect

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  2. Thanks for the tip and thanks for sharing with Foodie Friends Friday.

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  3. Pinned this, great information. So glad you are part of foodie friday.

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  4. My late MIL taught me to freeze without blanching. It always worked for me and I think green beans were the veggies I froze most often. When my in-laws had a huge garden, I frozen so much each year and really enjoyed the vacuum seal gadget I purchased. Now I'm not freezing nearly as much and just use a Ziploc bag most of the time. Btw, you might have had a straw you didn't think of, Judee ... if you have any type of personal water bottle, most of those come with built in straws. ;-)

    Thanks for sharing!
    Shirley

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  5. Oh my, I had the exact opposite experience. I froze a bunch of beans without blanching and they were the toughest and least flavorful beans I ever ate. We had to cook them 3 times as long and smother them with sauces to make them edible. I've blanched ever since. I hope you have better luck than me.

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  6. flyboy here -- I've frozen green beans without blanching before. you are correct in that it does not affect the flavour to skip blanching. it does, however, mean that once thawed, they cannot be cooked to full softness, like my elderly client preferred. they stay kinda chewy no matter how long you cook them for. doesn't bother me, but my lady wouldna eat them. so that's the effect of skipping blanching. works fine for me, picky eaters will definitely complain.

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  7. Growing up with my dad's large backyard garden, I spent a lot of time blanching and freezing fresh produce. I always love time and effort-saving tips so I look forward to trying this method. Thank you for sharing these tips with us at the Plant-Based Potluck Party Blog Hop! I'm pinning and tweeting this!

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  8. I too have skipped the blanching step and found no difference. I just let them sit in ACV for a few minutes to clean them up, snip off the ends, let them dry, toss them in a ziplock and freeze. I also do this the rest of my garden veggies and herbs with no problem.

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  9. Very nice tip thanks sharing with Hearth and Soul Blog hop. Pinning it.

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