Green beans are a great inclusion in everyone’s diet. This legume is able to grow all year long, regardless of season, and it also provides some amazing nutrients for your body while also being low-calorie. Some of the nutrients worthy of mention are vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, folate, and silicon. Moreover, it has an uncanny ability to use nitrogen from the air and fix it on the soil, improving its productivity. Add to this the fact that it’s easy to grow and you can’t really go wrong with green beans! But what if you have just too many green beans to use in a short period and you fear losing some of them? These questions start popping up in your mind. Can you freeze fresh green beans? How long do green beans last in the fridge?
I really meant it when I said you can’t go wrong with green beans! Yes, fresh green beans can be frozen and they freeze superbly well. It’s also a pretty straightforward process.
The first thing you should do is wash the fresh green beans gently in cool tap water. Then you can choose whether to blanch them. Next, you have the option of leaving them whole in their pod, trimming them, or removing the beans. After you’ve decided what to do with the beans, place them in freezer bags or airtight containers, making sure that there is not much space left between the seal or lid and the content, and squeezing out as much air as possible before sealing. Finally, open the freezer and store them accordingly.
Although you can choose to freeze green beans without blanching first, it is advisable to go through the steps of blanching. This is because blanching inhibits the enzymes contained in a lot of these green vegetables and legumes which are responsible for their gradual loss of color, flavor, and texture. To blanch, you need to alternate between boiling and ice water in a matter of minutes to halt the cooking process of the green beans, then drain the excess liquid in a strainer with the help of a cloth or paper towel.
Although they work better in cooked recipes, you shouldn’t notice a significant change in taste or texture between fresh green beans and frozen green beans. Just make sure that you don’t forget about them, as with time they will start to lose quality.
Presupposing that they are thawed in the fridge, it’s relatively safe to refreeze them. Just keep in mind that, each time you freeze and thaw them, they are prone to suffer degradation due to the changes in temperature and the subsequent formation of ice crystals, so it should be done in moderation.
Green beans should be safe to eat within a week of fridge time at 40º F or lower. After a week, expect them to go bad, in which case they need to be thrown out.
In the freezer, they are very resistant, able to survive up to 8 months at a temperature of 0º F or lower. They can remain safe to eat beyond that time, but their consistency will start to take critical hits.
In case you need to thaw them (for example, if you want to remove the beans from the pod or you wish to trim them) just withdraw the container from the freezer and leave it on the fridge to defrost slowly overnight.
Nevertheless, green beans are very versatile in this regard. You can use the microwave’s defrost function or even empty the frozen beans into a saucepan and defrost them on low heat. When you thaw them this way, it’s not advisable to refreeze them and you should use them or eat them straight away, as it’s guaranteed that bacteria will start to grow quickly on them.
It’s never recommended to thaw over the countertop at room temperature, as they tend to get soggy this way.
Green beans are almost meant to be cooked frozen, whether in air fryer, oven, microwave or on stove. In fact, green beans are some of the most common legumes found in the frozen food section of most supermarkets or grocery stores, and they’re mostly meant to be used straight from the freezer. You can stir-fry them, steam them, sautee them, add them to soups, etc.
Some recipes do require that at least you thaw them in order to drain excess moisture, but you can normally thaw them using the same kitchen appliance you’ll employ for cooking them (for example, in the oven or stove).