Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Easy, Breezy Freezing

Dedicated to Jean-Marc.

First, cut the stem end off each bean if it hasn't broken off.  If there is a string, you can usually pull it off as you pull off the tip of the bean.  I just leave the other (pointy) end on.

Put the steamer in the large pot with an inch of water in the bottom.  Cover pot and bring water to a boil.

While the water is boiling, weigh the beans you are about to freeze (in a plastic bag or using the metal bowl on the scale).  Label a plastic bag with a Sharpie, for example, "Beans 9-11, 8 oz.").

Check blanching time in the Stocking Up cookbook on the counter.

Set the timer on the microwave for 4 minutes, but do not start it yet.

To blanch the beans, place them in the steamer and cover the pot.  Start the timer.

(Note:  The beans in these photos are over-sized beans that I cut small for soup.  Normally I freeze the beans whole.)

When the timer goes off, lift the beans from the steamer.

Let the beans drain for a few seconds over a towel on the counter.

Dump the beans onto the towel.

Blot the beans with the towel to remove excess water that would form crystals in the freezer.

 Place beans (or in this photo, raw green peppers) in the plastic bag and sip 3/4 shut.

Using the unsealed 1/4 of the bag, suck out the air.

The bag should look like this with the air removed.  This helps the frozen food keep its quality better.

 Finish sealing the bag.

Spread the vegetables out flat in the bag and place it in the freezer.

(Normally, you would need to ice the blanched beans to cool them and prevent further cooking, but when freezing a small amount, you can get the beans into the freezer and in contact with frozen surfaces so quickly that you can skip the messy ice water stage.)

Your beans are frozen and you're almost done.  There's just one more thing to do.  Remove the steamer from the pot of boiling water.  Dump in any overly-mature beans, pepper cores, or other vegetable trimmings.  Cook for 5 minutes, then cool and save for the pigs.  They prefer their vegetables cooked!


  1. I like to use a straw to suck out all of the extra air when I put up green beans :) Hopefully I will get a chance to grow some veggies this winter! :)

  2. What a great idea, Sarah! Thanks! So much more sanitary--and also more attractive in photos. :D


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