Have you ever tried blanching your vegetables? This is a method of heating and then freezing the vegetables that traps in their nutrients keeps them from degrading. It is very useful for anyone who is trying to freeze veggies and who wants them to stay fresh while in the freezer and while being stored over the long term.
There is a bit of a skill to blanching, and not everyone is able to do it perfectly right away. If you don’t blanch the veggies properly, then you could start to cook them or you could kill nutrients, which you definitely don’t want to happen. So, if you have a vegetable like green beans, you should know how long to blanch green beans for.
The blanching process is very particular, and you don’t want to mess it up. Otherwise, your vegetables could lack flavor, freshness, or nutrients. So, I will show you how long to blanch green beans for freezing or for other uses. This will help you to learn how to trap in the freshness and the nutrients so that they are still available when you are ready to use the green beans.
Prepare the Green Beans for Blanching
Before we get into how long to blanch green beans before freezing, let’s talk about how to prep the green beans. It is important that you cut and clean the green beans first before blanching them.
You want to get rid of the unimportant part- the parts you don’t want to eat- and make sure all debris is off the beans. They should be nice and clean before you attempt to blanch them.
You can use fresh or frozen green beans for blanching. Just make sure you’re getting quality green beans that are still fresh and tasty and rich in nutrients. To trim the green beans, just slice off the ends.
You only need to remove the end of the stems and can leave the tails behind, if you want. When you’re trimming the green beans, you can also cut them lengthwise if you don’t want to store them whole. That’s up to you, though.
Don’t wash your green beans too far ahead of time. If you wash them too early, they make grow mold. I would advise only washing your green beans right before you’re about to use them or blanch them.
The Blanching Process
OK, now let’s talk about blanching the green beans. You know how to cut them, and you know how to clean them, and the next step is to blanch them. before we start blanching, we need everything in place for both parts of the blanching process. So, that is a bowl of ice and a pot of water.
When’s your ice is set out, you can heat up the water in the pot for blanching. Once the water starts to boil, it is ready for the green beans to go in. How long does it take to blanch green beans? It should take about 5 minutes to cook the green beans in the boiling water.
Remember to only put them in once the water is boiling. If you put them in before that time, they will cook too much and will not freeze properly, losing some of their freshness over time.
How do you know if you have cooked them long enough? They should be bright green and crispy too.
Next is the ice bath for green beans. As soon as the beans have cooked long enough in the hot water, you can place them into the ice bath. You have to drain them first, of course. You can dump the green beans into a colander and from there dump them into the ice bath.
How long to blanch green beans to freeze in the ice bath? There is not a specific amount of time that they need to stay in the ice other than that they need to cool down all the way. After the ice bath, they will be going into the freezer, and you do not want to store warm green beans in the freezer.
It is not a good idea to store any kind of hot food in the freezer, and it should be left to cool down and reach room temperature before freezing.
That’s because the heat they give off can radiate throughout the container or bag they are placed in. Once inside the freezer, the difference in heat between the inside and the outside of the container will be so much that the food will start sweating. Condensation will form and this can damage the food you are trying to preserve. In other words, you will end up doing the opposite what do you want.
So, you want to wait until the green beans cool down all the way and reach at least room temperature before taking them out of the ice bath and putting them into a freezer safe container.
Storing Your Blanched Green Beans
You can store the green beans in an airtight freezer safe plastic container or in a resealable plastic freezer bag. The important thing is that no matter which container you use, it needs to be freezer safe.
This will ensure that the container or bag protects your vegetables from freezer burn and is airtight. There will be less chance of any leakage into or out of the container. Freezer safe containers will preserve your green beans over the long term.
We’ve talked about how long to blanch fresh green beans, and now you know how to store them. But how long are they good for? Once you store your blanched green beans in the freezer, they will have a limited shelf life to them.
Blanched green beans will last in the freezer in that freezer safe container for up to nine months. Before you use them, however, be sure to let them thaw out. The best way to allow your green beans to thaw properly is to transfer them from the freezer to the fridge and allow them to naturally thaw overnight.
You can also let them rest on the counter at room temperature for an hour or so to thaw out faster.
How Long to Blanch Green Beans before Sauté?
Not all blanching is done to freeze food and to store over the long term. Sometimes, you plant food like green beans in order to prep it for sautéing or some other cooking method. Blanching the green beans ensures that they get the right texture for the sauté.
So, blanching them before cooking them up in a frying
The good news is that you can blanch the beans the same way for sautéing as you did for freezing. Just cook them in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, but if you have a small batch of green beans to put in there, then 3 minutes may be enough.
Remember, they should be bright green and slightly crispy before you take them out of the hot water and place them into the ice bath. Once again, allow the green beans to cool down all the way to room temperature or colder before placing them in a container for storage.
If you are going to sauté the green beans right away, you can transfer them from the ice bath to the frying pan. If it will be more than half an hour before you start to sautéed green beans, then you should probably place them into the fridge minus the ice. You can leave them in the fridge until you’re ready to cook with them.