The last time I got an extra bag of snap peas that wasn’t needed I carelessly threw them into the freezer, assuming I would thaw them out and prepare them when we had a more convenient opportunity. What came back out of the freezer the next week, although it tasted delicious, was a soggy replacement of the previously crisp vegetables. Was this a sign that I should put more forthought into preserving my vegetables?
A little research would show me that the best way to freeze (my preferred method of preservation) beans is to blanch them. It’s extremely simple and most of you probably know how to do it, but here’s a refresher for the rest of us.Â Blanching simply means that you put your item (in this case, snap peas) into a pot of boiling water for a short amount of time, then take it out and run it under cold water (or an ice bath) to immediately stop the cooking process.
Step 1, preparation:
Clean your beans!Â To do this you remove the little string that runs underneath the short side of the bean.Â I threw away any beans that looked too damaged, but a couple imperfections won’t hurt anyone and you can’t expect to have a perfect looking batch every time.Â This is garden food, after all!
Step 2, cooking:
Drop a batch of beans into boiling water. I set the timer for two minutes. You don’t want your veggies to get completely cooked..Â They should turn a shade brighter (you may see from my before and after pictures the change in their color and texture that occured after only 2 minutes)
Step 3, cooling:
Remove the veggies from boiling water, and immediately immerse them in cold water (or an ice bath) until they are cooled off.Â As those cool do the rest of your vegetables.
Step 4, freezing:
Once everything is cool seperate batches into bags, LABEL THEM and be sure to include the date! Then all you have to do is put them in the freezer.
Step 5, eating:
When the time comes to finally eat these veggies you have a lot of options on how to prepare them. I’m thinking any way that you could eat them when they were fresh you can still replicate. If you like to eat them raw simply thaw them out in the fridge for a day– they won’t be nearly as crispy as they would be fresh, but they will still maintain a lot of the same characteristics.Â You can always microwave, sautee, or bake them too. Now wasn’t that easy?