Do you guys remember when I wrote about my family not liking the texture (squeaky and rubbery) of blanched and frozen green beans so I rebelled against the conventional method and froze them unblanched? Since I published that post almost two years ago, it’s become one of my most visited pages, almost surpassing my soft 100% whole wheat dinner rolls (but not quite, because, hello- rolls vs. frozen green beans?).
I’ve gotten a ton of comments with many people telling me that they don’t blanch either or that they remember their mothers or grandmothers freezing green beans without bothering with the blanching process. It’s nice to know I’m not alone and that many people are like my family and like the beans better without blanching first.
I’ve also gotten the comments telling me that blanching 1) stops the enzymes that cause the beans to mature and become tough (I haven’t found that to be true in my experience in eating them, though the science might be right), 2) kills bacteria (I don’t worry about this with my home-grown, organic beans and we eat a lot of raw produce of all kinds, which I don’t plan on stopping any time soon), and even that 3) the enzymes, unchecked by blanching, will “break down vitamins so that we are eating empty food.” I found this article on the science of food preparation, however says “The vitamin and mineral content of unblanched frozen foods is relatively stable.”
One thing I know for sure is that I will never freeze green beans any other way (I now freeze snap peas and corn this way now, too) and that there are a lot of other people out there who feel the same way as our family does:
From Virginia: just ate a bag of ” frozen” Blue Lake. not blanched string beans from july 17, 2012. a little ice on them. washed them under cold water to get rid of most ice. still frozen, put in pot, seasoned my usual way-little salt-cooked a short time not to mush time. they were delicious!!!!!! june 17th——2014!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From Charlotte: I have always blanched all my veggies, but when I saw your article I decided to try a test batch, did some blanched and some as you suggested, I was sure the blanched would be much better, they had a prettier color, but I must admit, the un blanched ones were better, much better, easier, faster…. and your method is now my now method too, Thank you, (and this just shows, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!)
So Brian and I have created a video to further help spread the word about freezing green beans without blanching (for those who want to) – our first with a new camera in HD. It was kinda fun doing this first video in our remodeled kitchen – I felt like it was a cooking show or something! Maybe we’ll get in a groove and not wait so long to produce another one (I think the most recent one on our YouTube channel was about a year ago!)