I don't even freeze mine on a tray first; I just ease them into a pint Ziploc bag, put them in the freezer, et voilà. A friend mentioned that she didn't blanch hers, so I tried it, and truly I couldn't tell the difference. Then I got a book on saving time whilst preparing food for storage, and she mentioned that beans didn't need blanching, too.
Yes, you can. I always trim them neatly to fit into the bag and then pack 'em in there. Older beans are good sautéed for a longer time with olive oil and garlic, or drippings from pork, and perhaps an onion. I sometimes let my Fortex beans get away from me, but they're still nice that way. In fact I'd love to find more recipes for them because I overstocked last summer and still have some from last year that I have to use up.
The other night I sauteed some frozen green beans with garlic and onion. At the end added a few splashes of balsamic vinegar. Continued cooking a bit and served. They were very tasty. I usually can all of my beans, but these were late and too few to bother so I froze them. This year I will freeze more because they were way better than I thought they would be. I hate store bought frozen green beans. Just goes to show you...
Now you say I don't even have to blanch them. Now, That's for me. Love simple.
I found the experimental bags of beans I prepared last year - I vacuum sealed two batches of green beans on July 22, 2011. One was blanched and the other just cut. I think the texture of the blanched beans was a bit better but really not a big difference. It just doesn't seem right that it'd be unnecessary but this experiment seems to prove its not. Unless you are really fussy.
Well it is green bean season in FL and I've been gifted a bushel. I've been debating blanching (which Mom always did) over the "just washing then freezing. Since I like the simple route, that is what I plan on doing. I have 1 of nifty zip sealer gizmos so may as well use it.
I got over 40 c. in the freezer. Took me 3 hrs to trim the ends & cut them into pieces. The bagging & sealing was the easy part. I left some out to cook but have been tossing them raw into salads!!! YUM!!!!
I'll admit; if it weren't for my feeding someone with an autoimmune disorder, I wouldn't bother but I blanch mine. You never know what has splashed up from the soil during watering or rain, or carried in by bugs, bees, and butterflies. It's really about contamination, not flavor or texture.
I always cook my beans before I serve them anyway, so I'm not concerned about that. And of course anything that makes saving the harvest easier is good in my book!
Frozen green beans don't lend themselves to the kind of al dente treatment that fresh ones do, so I always sauté them for a while in olive oil or barbecue drippings, often with garlic and onions, and they're great like that.
My frozen beans are never in a state to be sautéed lightly with butter and almonds or to be given the other sorts of treatments I'd use for small fresh ones. I usually cook mine a fairly long time with olive oil and garlic, or with bits of green pepper and onions, or using fat and juices from a pork roast or spare ribs. I caramelize them a little and they're delicious that way.
I agree with GG, I don't let anything with plastic and heat touch my food. What is labeled "safe" and what is proven safe down the line are two different things. There are plastics that were once deemed food safe that have since been removed from the market. "Microwave safe" or "boiling safe" attests to the product's ability to hold up to heat. The bottom line is we are not really sure what the long range effects of heating food in plastic are. We think it might be okay according to what we know, and it very well may be the case, but we are not positive. There is evidence that there might be problems and there is evidence that refutes that. I think it'sjust as easy to use a sheet of waxed paper in the microwave or cook in the pot. I have switched from non-stick teflon to ceramic.
Laurel - so good to hear from you. I usually dump them into the steamer but decided trying the bag in the water.
My philosophy is that "something is gonna get you no matter what you do". Chemicals in some of the water probably just as bad as what may be in the plastic.
Good to see you too. Something is for sure going to get us someday. :) It's nice to have a little control over the variables. The jury is still out on plastics. There's no avoiding them even if you wanted to. They are everywhere.
I bought a few different types - Emerite pole beans & what PineTree Seeds calls "Stringless Green Pod Bean" that's apparently an heirloom.
I'm always amazed at what is a legal food additive (yes, many plastics are on the FDA approved list of food additives). I try to avoid plastics as much as possible. I do use plastic to freeze in (always loading w/cool food) but store in glass & cook in stainless steel or enamel coated cast iron whenever possible. And of course so much of our supermarket produce & meats are packaged with a tight wrap of plastic. I love my garden & farmers market but I do also buy from the grocery store.
I do not like Kentucky wonder for green beans, they always get stringy. I do like Kentucky blue, the blue lake Kentucky wonder cross. There are many that do not have strings. The purple pole beans and the Italian Santa Anna both are very stringless, with the purple staying tender at large size .