Learn how to blanch and freeze french beans to use for everything from salads to sides, and sandwiches. Eat them as a crunchy, low-carb snack, or freeze them for later use. Once blanched, green beans stay crisp and vibrant for much longer. Lunch box friendly, gluten-free, vegetarian, and a crunchy low-carb snack!
For more delicious vegetarian snacks and meals, click here.
If you were like me, green beans were on your list of no-go veggies, all soggy, dull green, and just blah! One of the lessons drilled into me in culinary school was the importance of retaining the texture, color, and flavor of foods. We do eat with all our senses after all!
This post is going to help you achieve just that. And hopefully, I can convince you to make this wonderful fibrous vegetable loaded with vitamins and goodness a part of your weekly menu planning.
What Is Blanching?
Blanching is a food prep technique that immerses food in hot water or oil for a short time and then cools it to prevent further cooking.
Oil Blanching: eg. Twice Fried Fries – Potato fries are cooked in oil at a low temperature, drained, and kept aside. Before serving, they are deep-fried a second time at a higher temperature. This gives you perfectly crispy fries.
Water Blanching: Vegetables, like French beans, or Green Beans are processed by immersing them in boiling hot water for a few minutes and dunking them in ice-cold water. This thermal shock is how beans keep their vibrant bright green color and crunchy texture.
Is It Necessary To Blanch French Beans / Green Beans Before Freezing?
If you have opened your vegetable crisper drawer and spotted any limp or browned vegetables, you have seen their enzymes in action. Enzymes in vegetables and fruits cause oxidation over time, which results not only in browning but also in a limp texture and lost flavors. I feel guilty over lost produce that will eventually end up in the bin.
Blanching is a great way to extend the life, texture, and appearance of your fresh produce.
Since the prices of fresh vegetables can vary a lot, I like to buy them in bulk when cheaper and in season, and prep and freeze them to use later. Once correctly prepared, and frozen, you can store your vegetables in the freezer for 8 to 10 months!
How Do You Blanch French Beans / Green Beans For Freezing?
1. Wash- Place fresh green beans in a colander and run wash them under running water till any visible dirt is drained away. Drain the beans and bring them to a chopping board.
2. Trim the ends, and cut the beans if desired. You can also leave them whole.
3. In a large bowl, add water and ice cubes. Keep this ice bath aside.
3. Boil water in a large pot. As a rule, use four times the water as the vegetables. eg. 1 cup of vegetables will need 4 cups of water. If 1 pound of vegetables is roughly 4 cups, you will need 16 cups or 1 gallon of water.
4. Bring the water to a boil and add salt. 1 tablespoon of salt for 4 cups of water.
5. Once the water is boiling rapidly, add the french beans. This will being down the temperature of the water, and it may stop boiling. Wait till it starts boiling again and start the timer for 3 minutes. If you want your beans to be extra crunchy, you can also boil them for just 2 minutes.
6. Once the time is up, using a tong, quickly pick out all vegetables and immerse them in the ice bath immediately. You can also drain them in a colander and then immerse them in the ice bath.
7. Keep the beans in ice water for 3 minutes, and gently stir them around so they cool evenly and quickly. We want to avoid fully cooked green beans.
8. After 3 minutes, drain the water completely. Your French beans are now blanched.
How To Freeze Green Beans / French Beans?
9. Freezing Green Beans: To freeze green beans, arrange them on a tray in a single layer, and freeze them. Once completely frozen, pack them in zip-lock bags or freezer-safe containers, label the date, and store them in the freezer.
Summary: Rapid boiling for a short while destroys oxidizing enzymes, and the cold ice bath prevents them from cooking further. What you get are beans that will stay crisp and vibrant green for a longer time.
How Long Do You Blanch French Green Beans?
A quick summary of the above steps for timing is as follows
Boil washed and trimmed beans for 3 minutes
Drain and immerse immediately in ice-cold water for 3 minutes. (6 minutes total time)
How to use Blanched French Beans / Green Beans?
Blanched green beans can be used in a wide range of cuisines and recipes like casseroles, and stir-fries. They can also be eaten as a crunchy snack with or without a dip. Some recipe suggestions are as follow.
Pair these crunchy French Beans with another healthy low-carb snack like these Spiced Walnuts by The Honour System.
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How To Blanch Green Beans
- Sauce Pan For Boiling Water
- 1 Colander For Draining Green Beans
- 1 Large Bowl for Ice Water For Quick Cooling Green Beans
- 1.5 lb Green Beans (600 g) Trim ends
- 4 Quarts Water 1 quart = 4 cups, 4 quarts = 16 cups
- 1 Tablespoon Salt
For Quick Cooling
- 8 cups Water
- 2 cups Ice Cubes
Prepare Ice Water Bath
- In a large bowl add ice cubes and add 8-10 cups of water
- Wash beans in cold water and trim ends of green beans and shop them in desired size (or leave whole)
Boil Green Beans
- In a large saucepan, add 1 quart (4 liters 16 cups) of water
- Add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil.
- Add green beans to the boiling water. Set a timer for 3 minutes.
- After 3 minutes of boiling, drain the hot water immediately with a colander.
- Immerse the hot green beans in the cold ice water.
- Keep in water for 5 minutes, and drain the water.
- Pat dry the green beans with a clean kitchen cloth or paper towel.
- Beans are ready to be frozen or used for cooking.
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Information given here is for general purposes only. Please check with your doctor particular ingredient or way of eating is suitable for you. Our nutritional values are calculated by Spooncular API. While we try our best to ensure these values are correct, please confirm these independently.