It’s garden harvest and preserving time around here. This week I’ve been working on getting the green beans into the freezer. There’s several ways to put up produce but my preferred way for vegetables is to freeze them. To me they taste fresher than canning them (I’ve never tried dehydrating) but either method works and is food storage for the winter months.
I have my garden positioned where in the early morning, when the sun starts to come up, or in late evening it’s in the shade and this is when I do my picking. You’ve all heard me say over and over again I’m not a hot weather girl so anything I can do when it’s cooler in the shade is right up my alley.
Hubby’s been out of town working so most everything I’ve picked has been for winter food storage. I don’t bother doing any cooking for myself I just crab snacks instead of meals. I know that’s not good but I have no desire to cook for one.
Years ago I used to can everything but as I got older and the kids moved on I handed all my jars and canning supplies down to my brother. So now I just freeze things. To me it’s easier, less mess, faster, and I can do small batches if I need to.
This week I’ve been blanching beans, putting them in freezer zip bags and adding them to our freezer. I know many of you can because of lack of freezer space. I say do whatever works for you, food is food and it will all be welcomed anytime it’s served.
Here’s my method:
Gather green beans
Cut of the ends (snap if you prefer)
Bring a pot of water to a boil, enough to cover the beans and add beans to the boiling pot; boil for 3 minutes
Remove beans with a slotted spoon and submerge in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes
Drain water from the bowl and place the beans in a single layer on a clean dish cloth
Pat remaining water from beans with anther dish cloth or a paper towel
Add serving size of your choice to freezer zip bags and seal removing as much air as possible
Lay flat on a cookie sheet in the freezer until frozen
I then stack them like books on a shelf in a plastic tote I place inside the freezer. This makes it easier to see what I have and as long as everything is packaged the same I get more storage room with flattened bags.
I now have garden fresh beans to pull out of the freezer for the upcoming winter. For some reason they always taste better when you know all the works that’s went into the planting, weeding, nurturing, picking, and storing process.
By the way I store my beans whole. I don’t bother snapping them into bite size pieces. It’s easier and faster that way and if I want them smaller I’ll just cut them up once I defrost a batch. I store ours in 2 serving portions. One for me and one for hubby, if the kids come for dinner I just thaw out another bag which is another 2 servings.
I’ve learned over time to only cook what we’ll eat for one meal. Leftovers don’t always get eaten in our home. If we’re busy we eat out, and if we’re fishing we normally just grab a simple sandwich when we get home. There’s no sense wasting food so I make just enough! Anyone else working on food prep for winter right now?