Normally, I'd be canning all those green beans. Not this year. Here's why:
- The beans don't develop all at once. We pick beans every other day and end up with enough beans to fill about two or three quart jars. While pressure canning green beans isn't hard, processing 2-3 qts every two days for weeks on end is kind of a drag.
- My family really doesn't care for canned green beans. There are few things more depressing than to proudly serve my home-grown and home-canned green beans only to have everyone avoid eating them. Well, Baby Dear loves them, but everyone else only eats them out of a sense of duty.
- My family will eat frozen green beans - and they couldn't be easier to prepare. They stay a vibrant green and are definitely not mushy. They also maintain more of their nutrition since they are significantly less processed.
How to prepare green beans for freezing:
|Getting ready to blanch the beans|
- Wash the beans and remove the stem ends. I remove both ends of the bean, but you can leave the little curly end on, if you prefer.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil.
- Blanch the beans in boiling water for three minutes. Drain, then chill the beans in ice water for another three minutes. Drain. While it may be tempting, don't skip this step. You must blanch the beans to deactivate the enzymes in the beans. You'll end up with a much nicer end product with the blanching/chilling process.
- Package and freeze.
|Vacuum sealed and ready for the freezer|
As a person who has made preparedness her hobby, I get in this mindset that all my food storage has to be shelf stable. I still love to can and I believe that the majority of my food storage should indeed be shelf stable. Sometimes you just gotta do what you like and do what works for your family. We're going to eat these green beans with pleasure and be a bit more self-reliant in the process.
Are we the lone canned green bean haters out there? How do you balance shelf-stable vs. perishable foods in your food storage?