Every Time I Pull a Bag Of Veggies That I Prepared Myself Out Of The Freezer
This feeling rushes over me. I feel so good. I made this, I know exactly what is in this. No Preservatives, no harmful chemicals to hurt my family. All Natural, home frozen.
Fresh Frozen Beans are just as delicious as the day they were picked. Whether you froze them last week or 9 mos ago, it still tastes fresh.
Let’s look at the different varieties we can freeze and the easy ways to have this delicious fresh garden picked tasty vegetable all year long.
I have also added ways to freeze bean soups. I personally have frozen Great Northern Bean soup. It froze wonderfully. A lot of people didn’t realize that they can freeze leftover soup, but they can be frozen and reheated with great success. I like freezing the bean soup with the soup included, but some beans like pinto and garbanzo can also be frozen after they are cooked all by themselves. I prefer them with the sauce they naturally make while cooking, but whatever your favorite recipe calls for is how you should freeze them.
Depending on the amount you plan to freeze. If you are doing bushels, or just beans from your garden, large or small.
Bushels yield approx. 32-36 quart bags frozen beans
Half Bushels yield approx. 18-20 bags frozen beans. Half bushels are the size of 5-gallon bucket.
Preparation And Tools Needed
Quart Freezer bags
For labeling bags.
If you’re planning to do a lot more than a bushel, use a roasting pan for a bowl. It works great. Use it in the bagging stage. Put all your drained, blanched beans in this pot.
Bag or Bags of Ice
Measuring Cups, Sharp Knife
Clean Your Bowls And Utensils Thoroughly Before Starting
It is important to keep bacteria from getting into your frozen foods,
Prepare Beans For Freezing
Rinse beans in a colander to remove any dirt. Inspect beans for bruises and cut blemishes off of beans. Cut ends off beans, discard ends, then cut into desired size pieces. Slice long way for french cut or use a frenching tool. Place in a bowl of beans ready for blanching.
Blanching is important. It is necessary to kill the enzymes that cause decaying. If you freeze vegetables without blanching first, your food will continue the decaying process even while frozen. Frozen temps do not kill these enzymes, though it will slow it down. So, blanching is important. Do not skip this step, even if you found articles on the web that say you can freeze without blanching. It simply, is safer, and better for you, as it also releases the nutrients of the bean.
In a large pot, fill with water about 2/3 full, When pot starts to boil, put as many beans that can be covered in water. Bring back to a boil, Start timer when water comes back to a full boil.
Have a large bowl filled with ice water to plunge beans in when ready. The ice water stops the cooking process fast so that the beans do not continue to cook internally.
Scoop beans by slotted ladle fulls into a strainer and dump immediately into the ice water.
Remove beans from ice water and place on paper towels or dish towels. Dry off the surface so no ice crystals form in the bag. Place in bagging bowl waiting for the final step.
Repeat steps as needed for how many beans you have. Leave the same water in a boiling pot. Replace water enough to keep pot 2/3 full.
Add more ice to ice water as needed.
Scoop beans into a quart size freezer bag until 2/3 full. Lay on side and get as much air out as possible. You can use a straw to pull out air as you close the bag. That works well. Or if you have a sealer, get as much air out as you can. Lay bags flat for easy freezing storage.
Label That Bag
Write the date and kind of bean you are freezing. Very important. We don’t want mystery beans.
Lay beans in a single layer until frozen, then you can stack them. Yay, You’re Done.
You can successfully cook dried beans and freeze them. With or without the juice. Many recipes call for plain Kidney beans so you would want to freeze some without the sauce. Looking at the cost saving of buying a can of Kidney beans or freezing 2 cups of cooked beans is amazing.
Two Pound Bag of Cooked Dry Beans Yields 3-4 Two cup bags of beans.
Two Cup bag of cooked dry beans equals 1 can
Saving money and better nutrition is always a plus. You know what is in the bag. You are getting the premium beans for less than the discount beans. No Preservatives that you cannot pronounce.
Always soak beans before cooking
8-10 hours or overnight. This process is very important. Soaking beans get rid of gas producing compounds, to put it bluntly, you will have less flatulence if you soak the beans and discard the soak water and rinse thoroughly before cooking them. Soaking also helps beans cook faster.
Kidney beans must be fully cooked before consumption. Kidney beans contain a toxin that will cause gastric issues so cook them thoroughly.
Allow Beans to Cool Before Bagging
Freezing Beans With Soup Juices
Of course, this will yield more quarts. Probably 5-7. Beans cooked as soup and frozen are just as delicious as eating them right away. I have had wonderful outcomes with my frozen Great northern Bean Soup.
Leftover Bean Soup is also great to freeze.
Just pour bean soup ( whatever variety you have chosen to freeze) into a quart freezer bag and make sure to get out all the air. Seal and lay on its side. Place in a freezer. Label bag.
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Founder of bountifulharvesting.com