Too good to be true? Usually, but not this time. How to harvest and preserve string beans easily and quickly was born out of necessity. Those hot summer days are filled with so much to do and so little time.
We did the research. Checked it out with our own experimentation. This will be the third year of harvesting our string beans and putting up/stocking up on all we want in a minimal amount of time.
How? We pick. Refrigerate. Wash the beans when we are ready. And then sit and snap. Mostly one inch pieces, a little bigger is fine.
As we are going along, we start filling quart bags with our snapped beans. Once we reach about 2 inches from the top, I start pressing on the bag to squeeze out the air. Some people actually take a straw and suck the air out of the bag. I haven’t found that necessary.
Once you actually seal the bag and see the beans are pressed up against the sides, you are all set. Sometimes I have to redo the pressing if I do not see that enough of the air has been removed.
Don’t worry if it seems as though you should remove more air. Try it twice, do the best you can. It has always worked for us, even with the bags that don’t seem perfect enough. Give them a good firm press.
No cooking? None. I don’t boil, steam or blanch. This does not work for all vegetables. Broccoli was horrible tasting. Carrots were not much better.
But green beans? They tasted as though they had almost come straight from the garden. Waaaay better than canning, and much better than blanching and steaming.
Needless to say, much less work. Harvesting and preserving string beans has never been easier or quicker. So, here is a bullet list of what you want to remember as well as tips that have helped me!
- Pick fresh, young beans. Old beans, fat and dry will stay fat and dry.
- Keep refrigerated until ready to wash and snap.
- Wash well, and use paper towels or a clean dish towel to dry. Do not freeze wet beans.
- Keep the snap size fairly uniform. 1-2 inches.
- Make sure you leave room to press the bag of beans well.
- At the same time, leaving only what you need for pressing space, let the beans fill up the rest.
- Once your bag is filled and sealed, freeze right away. Fresher beans always do best.
This method has done so well for us. It’s nice to be able to stock up on a surplus from the garden with so little effort. This spring I took out a bag I had lost inside the freezer vortex.
I figured they would be a bit off, so I cooked them up in a stew. Those string beans tasted as good as the day they went into the freezer.
This really is the easiest and quickest way to harvest and preserve your surplus string beans.
For other harvest hacks and hints, check out this post.
I have read that beans preserved this way are only good for two months in the freezer. You be the judge. I usually keep some a good part of the winter. However, they are so handy to cook up, I also tend to use them up first.
Lastly, I was reading one of my favorite homesteader’s blog and realized she had an awesome section on canning. It’s diversified and well written. Check it out!
Feel free to comment if you have any questions or you would like to add some of your own wisdom! I’d love to hear from you.