Butter Beans

Butter Beans

Few things taste better than great vegetables that have been lovingly preserved when their fresh season is long gone. So as I toil over the hot stove on a hot day to prepare the freshly harvested Butter Beans I have been shelling, I remind myself of that. I usually completely cook the beans, then after they have cooled down, package them in individual serving containers for the freezer. They are then ready to use during the winter months with just thawing necessary. I already have around a half dozen containers waiting for cold weather outside while nestled in my freezer.

But yesterday, I was in a hurry and decided simply to blanch the beans and put them in the freezer. It was quick and provides me with beans I can add to all kinds of long-simmering soups and stews in the months to come. There are only 2 vegetables that do not have to be blanched before freezing: Onions and Bell Peppers. All the rest need to be blanched beforehand. It is necessary to set the color and flavor and stop microbial growth. 

The process is simple: Plunge the vegetable into boiling water for the specified amount of time. Then remove and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. It stays in the ice water bath for the same amount of time it was in the boiling water. After it has been drained, it’s ready to be packaged in freezer containers, labeled and dated, then placed in the freezer for later use.  Each vegetable has a specific time, so grab your timer and forget guessing. Use the following link for the exact times necessary: https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/blanching.html

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