Monday, June 25, 2012

Green Bean Fest

I had seriously thought about buying a pressure canner this year.  But I've got access to lots of freezer space so I thought I'd try freezing the beans this year instead. 




If I'm buying veggies at the store, it's either fresh or frozen, never canned.  And I'm not really inclined to spend the money on a canner this year either.  (Those things ain't cheap).

And I'm lazy. 

Maybe it's just because I'm "newish" to canning, but freezing just seems easier.  (*I'm still planning on water bath canning the tomatoes and applesauce though.)

I've been picking beans for 5 days now.  During the work week I don't have time to "put up" food, so everything goes in those Green Bags and gets tossed into the fridge until the weekend when I have time to process them.


Rinse, chop and prep station.


Two stock pots.  One with boiling water, the other empty.  3 minutes to boil and then I drain everything through a strainer into the empty stock pot.  The stock pot that just got filled goes back on the burner and brought up to a boil for the next batch.  It seems that 3 handfuls of beans is just about the right amount so I don't "break the boil".


The beans are tossed into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.  (Note:  I forgot to freeze up "ice blocks" so I put those Blue Ice packs into a water filled Ziplock bag, sealed it and tossed it into the water.  It did the trick.)


I drained the beans and tossed them onto a clean towel to dry.  Then on to cookie sheets to freeze up, and then into the freezer bags.


Even though I'm freezing these it still takes a few hours to process them, start to finish.  I ended up with 3 gallons of beans for the freezer so far.  That's not counting what we're fresh eating either. 

I'm really pleased with the quality of the beans too.  Hardly a blemish on them and the Royalty Purple really do turn green once you cook them.  SM thought they'd taste different.  Nope.  And tender!  I told SM that these freezer beans just need heating up, they don't need additional cooking.

As a new gardener (3 yrs) I'm always excited to have these successes.  Year after year you try to figure out what works for your garden.  Last year the beans were split into raised beds and the double dig beds.  The raised beds failed, a total loss.  This year I sowed everything in the double dig area.  One bed is better than the other (who knows why) and I planted a TON of beans besides.  Everything clicked this year for the beans.  Yeah me!

Now what the freak is up with the peppers this year?


11 comments:

  1. Love freezing beans.....they taste just as fresh and delicious mid winter as the day they were picked. Lucky you getting beans in already!

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  2. Your beans look really nice! I am hoping for a good green bean harvest this year.

    Have a great day.

    :)Vicki

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  3. YUM! Can't wait for my beans to get big enough to pick :)

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  4. Welcome Vicki! Nice blog BTW...

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  5. We too have spent our time recently with picking and preserving beans. Three different kind for use. Some get dried and the others go in the freezer. It is just too hot right now to do the canning thing.
    Blessings
    Diane

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  6. Them is some great looking beans! I will have to try some next year. What is up with your peppers. Mine are getting their butts kicked for the first time ever and I think we are probably not too far away from each other.

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  7. Great beans!! Those will be wonderful later on in the year when the garden isn't producing and it's cold out. Gardens are crazy. Some years some things do really great and the next year they poop out. I'm happy to be able to get anything out of the garden.

    @ 3Beeze Homestead

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  8. Gorgeous! Love that you mixed them, so pretty. I've never tried freezing beans. Of course, I don't have the freezer space....

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  9. Nothing like fresh beans but if there are too many..yes freeze them. But, here's my tip. Only if you have time.

    Let them defrost on the counter..not in the microwave or cook from frozen to flash in the pan. Honest...let them sit..defrost, pour off the water...pat dry..then, stir fry or heat for a minute in micro. Much fresher tasting.

    Take them out in the morning before going to work...drain and do as you wish when home for supper.

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  10. Thanks for the tip GB...I'll keep that in mind!

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