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Freezing String Beans

August 3, 2011

One of my favorite vegetables to put up is string beans.  They are simple, easy and they taste yummy when you finally serve them.  This year I am planning on at least freeze 52 quarts, but to be honest probably more like 70-80 quarts worth.  I would like to have enough for 1-2 quarts a week.  So far I have put up 33 -35 quarts.  I am half way there.  My goal is to finish this weekend, since the local string bean season will be coming to an end soon.

My process for string beans are simple.  Grow/Buy them, snap them, blanch them and freeze them.  I also usually do this in small batches to make sure I have time to accomplish this without letting everything else around the house go.  I usually only purchase a half bushel at a time.  So far this has given me about 10-12 quarts each half bushel.  This weekend I will buy 1 bushel and see how many bags I get.

First and foremost, if you have kids have them help snap them.  Snapping beans are easy but time consuming.  I find it best to seek help from kids and then turn the TV on and enjoy a show or movie while snapping.

Next is you need to blanch the beans.  This process is pretty simple.  You need one pot for heating and one for cooling.  The pot for heating you need to bring to a rolling boil.  Then you can put in a decent amount of beans into the pot.  Set the timer for 3 minutes.  Prepare your other pot with cold water.  You need this pot to stop the cooking instantly, so adding ice to your water might be good.  Once the timer goes off move the beans from the hot water to the cold water.

Now when they are cold you can remove them from the cold water to the drying area.  I found putting them on a raised cooling rack with paper towels help a lot.  I let them sit for a while, usually until the next round is ready for the drying stage.  (above is two batches, I have two cooling racks there)

After they seem dry enough all that is left is bagging them and freezing them.

Told you it was simple.  It does take some time, but if you do your process like I do and only do small batches you can fit it in your schedule, trust me!


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