Preserving the Harvest: Blanching and Freezing Green Beans


  We have discovered it is fun to not only learn to cook, but to also learn where foods come from and how to preserve them for later. We have dehydrated apricots, made jam and froze apricots for a crisp. We were given some fresh green beans from Grandpa’s garden. Of course we had some for dinner last night, but we still had A LOT left. I thought it would be great to teach my Little Chefs how to blanch and freeze green beans. Because of the boiling water involved adult supervision/help is an absolute necessity.
  Each bean needs to be washed and the top snapped off. Just bend the top and it will break off. I have found if it does not want to snap off it will not taste very good because it is a little old and should just be discarded. Fill a large bowl with ice and very cold water, set aside.
  The next step will require adult supervision. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil. The easiest way to blanch is to use a wire basket. Have your Little Chef put the snapped beans into the basket. When the water is at a full boil carefully lower the basket into the water and put on the lid. Set your timer for 3 minutes. When time is up carefully take out the basket which magically removes all the beans at once and submerge them in your ice water for 6 minutes to stop the cooking process. The beans should have a vibrant green color.
  After 6 minutes remove the beans and place on a clean towel. I thought it was easier for the towel to absorb the water to help with the clean up later. When the beans are dry place them in a zip top freezer bag and save for later.
  We will be enjoying these beans in the months to come!

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