Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How to Preserve Green Beans Without Canning


We've been blessed with huge crops of green beans
this year! 

The children aren't so sure it's a blessing as
they are my cheap labor!

I do like to can (pressure can) green beans but my husband
prefers the fresh taste of frozen.  Freezing is a very easy
process and you don't need any special equipment.  As long as
you have freezer space and a big stock pot, you can freeze
veggies for storage.  You'll only need to purchase freezer
bags or other airtight storage containers. You could even
use butter tubs!

Another method of food preservation that I like to utilize is
dehydration.  The preparation method for freezing and dehydrating
are really the same. 

1) Clean your green beans!  If you don't use pesticides, you
will only need water. 
 If you use pesticides or have purchased from the store
wash in a mild soapy solution.
I dump my produce in the left side of my sink
and fill with cold water. 
Then I fill up the right side to use as a final rinse. 
I place a large bowl or dishpan to contain
the beans ready to blanch.

2) With your hands or a paring knife, remove the stem end,

strings and any bug bites or damaged spots. 
Swish around in your rinse 
water and put in your "ready to blanch" container.   

3) Bring a large stockpot of water to a rolling boil.  Add
prepared green beans and let simmer for approximately 2 to 3
minutes.  You'll know when the beans have been in long enough
because their color will change to bright green.  This process is
referred to as "blanching".  It kills the enzymes that cause decay.
The blanching process actually preserves vitamin content.
Don't skip this step or your beans will get a freezer burnt taste and
get tough.   But remember to not leave in too long or you'll just
have cooked green beans and lose valuable nutrition.

4) Quickly remove your blanched beans from the boiling
water.  I like to place a colander inside of a larger
bowl and place the beans in it using a slotted spoon to remove
from the boiling water.  This way, I can reuse the same water
instead of dumping it.

5) Cool your beans in cold water immediately to stop the
cooking process.  If necessary, you can use ice as well.

6) Drain your chilled beans, place in ziplock bags or other
storage containers, remove air if possible and freeze!
You're done!

If you would like to dehydrate your beans, simply place
on your dehydrating trays and follow manufacturer
instructions.  I will post an article soon on dehydrating in
your oven. 

My favorite dehydrator (I have several)

is the  Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator FD-75A. It's not too expensive and it does the job well.
My beans are usually dehydrated to a crisp texture in about
12 hours.

Dehydrated beans ~ They are excellent for using in soups and
stews as they absorb the flavors of the broth. 

Another perk of dehydrating is the small storage
space required.  You only need an airtight container
to keep your dehydrated beans.


  1. Very nice post. I wish I was going to have that many beans this year.

    1. Thank you Becky! We've been really fortunate so far this season and I'm very grateful. Of course, I'm really busy with the garden and have neglected my blog! I'm trying to remember to photograph what I'm doing so I can put together tutorials to help beginners for next season!

      I hope the rest of your garden is going well! Have a great day!

  2. So you are saying that the key to fitness is planting an abundance of Green Beans? :D

    1. Absolutely! Just use the 5 gallon bucket full of green beans to do bicep curls, etc.! Lol! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I like the idea of dehydrating! I dehydrate as much as I can or know how :O). What are green beans like when you re hydrate?

    1. Hi Texan! Used as a plain ol' side dish, I wouldn't say the green beans are as good as fresh but with a little seasoning they are quite tasty! We really use the dehydrated veggies in soups and stews primarily. In this manner, they are fantastic as they rehydrate with all the flavors of the broth they are simmered in! Better than fresh or frozen, in my opinion!

  4. Replies
    1. You are quite welcome, Linda! Thanks for stopping in!

  5. What a great bounty of beans! I have yet to harvest enough to can or freeze, we just eat 'em as they mature. Maybe next year. There's always next year, right?

    1. Absolutely, Carolyn Renee! There is always next year! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. How wonderful! I can't believe I have thought of dehydrating whole beans before! Thanks for the spark of inspiration!

    1. My pleasure, Bee Girl! Thanks so much for stopping by!


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