Freezing home-grown green beans - advice sought
Harvested an abundance of green beans and ended up freezing about 8 quarts. Are frozen green beans always mushy? My beans went from vine to freezer in about two hours, so it's not the age of the beans. I had the same result when I froze fresh beans purchased from the grocery store.
After I picked the beans I blanched them for about 1 minute in plain water, plunged them in an ice-water bath until cold, drained them and then placed them in ziploc freezer bags. I did not dry the beans before packing them.
Is this the right procedure? Why are my beans mushy? I'm not sure if they're even suitable for soup, and I'm so disappointed at the waste of this produce (not to mention the time spent growing/harvesting/preparing). I'd appreciate any advice you can offer.
I woulg have dried them a little bit and placed them on a baking sheet in the freezer, and after they are frozen, couple of hours, put them in the ziploc bags.
When water is frozen it expands. Green beans have water in their cells, when the water in the cells freezes, it expands and breaks the cell walls. The more water the more broken cell walls.
The water is the problem. Beans have to be bone dry before freezing. And then it is still iffy. 40 years ago we put beans in our washing machines in mesh bags and hit the spin cycle. They were good and dry. Today I would think a salad spinner would work. Also If using ziploc bags, use a straw to suck the air out. Also we froze them on cookie sheets and then bagged them.
I dont think the residual water is the problem;I believe u did not blanch them long enough. I always trhew the beans in and waited till the water returned to boil and steam started escaping, then timed it at 4 minutes- then blanched , drained i colander, and froze. The beans turn out fine.