how to preserve green bush & yellow wax bush beans ....?

vieja_gw(z7NM)July 12, 2010

I have a long row of green bush beans & another of yellow wax beans. Just picked the first 3 gal. bucket of them but now wonder how I can preserve them? In the past what beans I haven't used fresh x the garden I have given away but this year I'd like to freeze some of the surplus ( I don't want to get into canning again). I boil them for a meal but wonder how to freeze the rest? Cut them up & dunk them in boiling water for a spell & then freeze in bags? Hate to admit it but I really prefer the taste of the canned beans x the store... isn't that strange?! These two varieties also seem to be stringless.... yeah! I gave some of the string beans to a friend once (City gal) & asked later how she liked them? She said they were rather 'stringy'!! I said that was why they were called 'string beans' & the strings had to be removed first ! I also once showed her some of the wild dill that grows all over the garden .. she smelled it & said 'it smelled like pickles!' Yep, I told her- that is why they called them DILL pickles! Country people get a different education x City folks at times!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Well its really a question for the Harvest forum - it is the canning, freezing, and dehydrating forum here - so you might want to post over there too. It's linked at the top of this forum page.

But meanwhile here is a link to the Freezing instructions for all string bean varieties. Just blanch and freeze.

Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - How to freeze beans

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 8:27PM
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nancyjane_gardener(Zone 8ish North of San Francisco in the "real" wine country)

Vieja- My BIL brought her cityslicker GF up to our country place one time. She wrinkled up her nose and declared that it "smelled like cow poop!" LOL
Uh YEA! There are cows right on the other side of the fence!!!!!! LOLOL

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:09PM
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wordwiz

vieja,

Blanching is easy and from my experience, maintains almost all the flavor that canning does. I saved 21 quarts (lousy harvest) last year and blanched them all. They do need to cook for a few hours with a couple of pieces of bacon or a nice piece of pork fat but they taste great.

Mike

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 9:41PM
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greenbean08_gw(PNW)

I blanch them for a few minutes (follow the recommendation on that one, I just don't remember off the top of my head). When I cook them, I steam them for 6-8 minutes or so, from frozen.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 2:33AM
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ruthieg__tx(z8 TX)

cook for a few hours......no I don't think so....Blanch then in boiling water, strain/drain them and let them dry on a towel..put them in a bag and freeze. They do taste differently from canned beans but they to me just taste different..not better, not worse, I love to saute a piece of garlic and a little onion even fry a piece of bacon and then just stir fry the beans that I have frozen. They are not as good as fresh, but close enough to warrant putting them up. Some people cool them quickly in ice water after blanching but I don't bother.I just run mine under cold water and lay them out on a towel to dry.

If you want to just boil them, just put them in a pan and boil them but no way do they take a couple of hours to cook..

Green beans are so easy and rewarding to grow and I feel the same way about preserving them...easy and so worth while.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 9:08AM
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susan2010(6 Massachusetts)

Dilly beans? If you have refrigerator room, they make a nice refrigerator pickle.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 11:50AM
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vieja_gw(z7NM)

nancyjane: well, at least she knew it smelled like COW poop- that City gal!!ha Now pig & chicken poop smell entirely different but 'poop' never- the- less! The manure x the dairies around here smells awful ... those cows do not belong in a dirt enclosure & fed heaven- knows- what from bins... they belong in a green pasture to eat normal 'cow food'-grass! The cow manure x a pasture smells different & when dry & dug in the garden actually smells good & makes me homesick for the 'country'which cracks my husband (city slicker) up!

Thanks for all the help everyone!! : I put the cut beans in boiling water for about 2 minutes, drained them & fill the kettle with cold water and ice cubes. I then drained the cooled beans & filled gallon zip-loc bags half full, squeezed the air out & froze them. I did not dry them first so wonder what that will do to the texture when I thaw them? Yes, I like to add onion, garlic & crumbled bacon in them & for me I add some vinegar like the Germans back home did but hubby wants none of that vinegar! It has been a long time since I grew beans so I had forgotten how to freeze them correctly as earlier I later just boiled the beans I froze with out blanching them first before freezing & they were TOUGH when thawed & cooked! I had forgotten how many beans a 10 ft. single row would keep producing! The yellow bush wax beans are not quite ready yet & I do like the too!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 5:39PM
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ceb5342

vieja I am not a food scientist nor has this been recomended by one. This is what I do. Wash beans in clean water. String if needed/snap or cut. Put beans in qt. bags full but not packed. close leaving about an inch at the end, which I hold open with finger. Hold under water faucet untill full,letting all air out, seal. Place in freezer so they are not mashed before freezing. Never had one bust,occasional small leak. Beans are almost as good as fresh, with no freezer burn, after well over a year. Takes longer to thaw. I cook in the water they were froze in. I also do same with other vegtables that are suitable. ceb

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 7:09PM
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vieja_gw(z7NM)

ceb5342: Gee, that method sounds interesting & think I will try it with some of the next pickings! So no blanching ... just freeze in bag of water with the air drained out & cook in the same water?

Does blanching stop some process in the veggies to retain the flavor & texture? I'm a novice at freezing produce & really appreciate all the suggestions!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 7:24PM
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mary_rockland(USDA4 Ottawa)

Hi,

I love yellow wax beans, but blanching them always leaves me with soggy beans when they are cooked from frozen. I've even tried steaming the frozen beans, but they still turn out soggy. I'm considering just sticking them in bags raw and dry. Has anyone tried that?

Now, a few issues I have with blanching are that I usually don't wait till the beans are full size to pick them so they need less blanching time, but even less time doesn't help. Any suggestions as to a good amount of blanching time. Also, Is the blanching time from the moment you drop them into the boiling water, or from the time the water comes back up to boiling?

My kids would love me to benefit from your experience :-)

Mary

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 2:09PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

It would be from the time they hit the water, work in smaller batches if necessary to maintain a more uniform temperature.

Just out of curiosity, you are dumping them straight into an ice bath after the blanching right? The ice bath is important as it stops the cooking process, without the ice bath they will continue to cook even after you remove them from the water.

Alton Brown has an episode that features how to freeze different foods and preserve their taste and texture at the same time, could try Youtubing it and see if he mentions green beans specifically, I remember he covers peas, but I don't remember what all else was covered.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 2:40PM
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mary_rockland(USDA4 Ottawa)

Yes, I am plunging them into a huge cold water bath, but I don't use ice as I didn't think it would make that much difference if there was enough from the bottom of the well cold water. I'll look up that link you suggest. I'll be sure to start counting from when they hit the boiling water from now on. Do you think it would hurt if I only cooked them for 1 - 2 minutes?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 3:00PM
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IAmSupernova(SE Texas 9A)

1 minute is probably all you need, especially if you're picking them when they're smaller and more tender. Maybe 2 minutes if they're larger. You're not getting the desired result now, so it can't really hurt to try. The goal isn't really to cook the the food before freezing, you're just trying to kill off the live enzymes.

How you freeze them effects the end result as well. It's better to lay them in a single layer on a cookie sheet or something and into the freezer, let them freeze, then bag, rather than shove them all in a giant bag and seal it up and then freeze them. The faster they freeze, the better.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 3:16PM
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ltilton

My idea of blanching is to pour boiling water over the beans in a colander.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 6:01PM
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