Blanching isn’t a new technique in cooking. Overall, it’s used for many benefits like ensuring a crisp-tender texture, easier peeling, and more.
Getting blanched green beans is perfect if you want to add a delicious side dish to your primary meal, but they’re also great if you want to extend the shelf life of your fresh green beans.
In that sense, it’s good to note that you can use either frozen or fresh green beans for this recipe.
Blanched green beans are fast and easy to make, and you don’t need that many ingredients to get started.
Today, we’ll cover everything you need to make blanch green beans, regardless of the purpose you want them for.
What Is Blanching?
First, let’s cover what blanching is in the first place, as this isn’t a practice exclusive to green beans.
Blanching, overall, involves boiling vegetables until they reach that crisp-tender texture.
Once they reach that state, you will put them into ice water so that you stop the cooking process.
Ice water is excellent for keeping your veggies colorful and avoiding any loss in texture, flavor, or color.
Besides green beans, you can also do this process for other vegetables like broccoli and asparagus.
As mentioned before, blanching green beans is useful whether you want to eat them right away or store them for later.
Why Should You Blanch Green Beans?
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of blanching in general, let’s cover the exclusive benefits of blanching green beans:
- You will get a brighter color for your blanched green beans.
- You will preserve the beans’ crispiness.
- You don’t need many seasonings to get your blanched green beans to taste good.
- It’s a perfect way to preserve or freeze green beans, making it great for meal-prepping sessions.
- You can easily reheat and cook your green beans, but you can also serve them cold if you like.
What Ingredients Do You Need?
An excellent thing to point out about blanched green beans is that you don’t need many ingredients, unless you’re planning to serve them right away.
Are There Any Ingredient Alternatives?
Here, there aren’t many things to change for your cooked green beans. Still, I’ll list some alterations you can make to the original recipe, as well as things you can keep in mind when you blanch green beans.
Regarding the green beans themselves, you can get any kind.
You can get green beans, string beans, haricot verts, or any other option. In any case, you should look for beans with a bright green color. Some bean varieties are purple or yellow, so if you know your way around them, feel free to go for those.
Try to avoid limp or slimy green beans. Moreover, if you notice any brown spots in your raw green beans, you may not get that crisp-tender texture you want.
As for the seasoning, you can get any type you consider appropriate for your next green salad. However, if you’re planning on storing your green beans, you won’t need those seasonings yet.
What Equipment Do You Need?
The equipment needed for this recipe is also simple. In most cases, all you will need is a stockpot, a large mixing bowl, and tongs to move things around easily.
What Are Some Common Green Bean Recipes?
Cooking or freezing green beans after blanching them will be a great option for many recipes.
Here are some options you can consider:
- Regular bean salads with feta cheese and tomatoes.
- Main dish salads like the Nicoise Salad.
- Potato salads like a Green Bean/Potato Salad w/ Dill.
- Topping for regular green salads.
Remember you can also throw your green beans into a pan, add a bit of olive oil and seasoning, and eat them as a side dish.
Other specific green bean recipes you could try out include:
- Sauteed Green Beans
- Crack Green Beans
- Roasted Green Beans
- Grilled Green Beans
- Cheesy Green Bean Casserole
Do You Need to Blanch Green Beans Before Cooking?
Not necessarily. However, if you want to prevent overcooking or ensure your beans stay crisp and tasty for longer, blanching is one of the best things you can do.
What Is the Best Way to Blanch Green Beans?
The key here is to get the blanching times right. In the boiling process, make sure you only have the beans in for three minutes or until they look bright green and have a crisp texture.
Then, you should take your green beans into the ice bath for about 30 seconds or a bit more, depending on the number of beans. Finally, drain/dry them and store or cook them, depending on your goal.
There you have it! Blanching green beans is as easy as it can get.
Once you’re done, you can either store them in your fridge/freezer or take some olive oil, salt, and pepper to cook them, whichever you prefer.
While blanching isn’t necessary to cook or store your beans, I highly recommend it if you want to ensure the crisp-tender most people love and avoid losing any color, texture, or flavor.
- 1 lb. trimmed green beans
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
1. This first step for blanching green beans is a no-brainer. All you need to do here is to grab a big pot, fill it with water, and add some ice. That's all! Your ice bath is done.
2. Whether you're going to store or cook green beans, you should trim or snap off the ends.You have full liberty here, so you can choose to do it one bean at a time or to line up some fresh green beans together and slice the ends off.While you only need to remove the stem from your green beans, you can also remove the tail end.
3. Here, you will get a separate pot and fill it with water only.The size of the pot will depend on how many green beans you're using for the recipe.Take the pot to your stove, and wait until you get boiling water. Then, add the kosher salt, and carefully drop the green beans into your boiling water.Cook the green beans in the boiling water for about three to five minutes. In the end, your green beans should have a vibrant, bright green color and feel crisp-tender.
4. If you followed the instructions correctly, your ice bath should be done already. Take the bright green beans out of the boiling water carefully, and then submerge them into the ice water. Submerging the green beans into the ice water will stop the cooking process immediately. Once you're done blanching green beans, all you have to do is take them from the ice water and drain them accordingly. If you want an easier draining process, place a large colander inside the ice water. When you want to drain the green beans, all you will have to do is lift the colander.
5. You will use either the A or B option for step five, depending on what you're planning to do after blanching green beans.
A. Option A is for those who want to store their blanched green beans. Take your blanched green beans from the ice water and pat them dry with a towel.Then, place the green beans on a baking sheet, preferably in a single layer. Freeze them for a few hours, and then transfer them to a resealable freezer bag. Finally, store your green beans in the freezer or refrigerator.You have two options here. If you blanch green beans and store them in a freezer, they could last for months (approximately four to six). On the other hand, if you blanch green beans and store them in your refrigerator, they can last for up to four days.
B. Did you blanch green beans and are ready to cook them right away? Then, you have a couple of options to choose from. The first option would be to keep your chilled beans and add them to your favorite green bean recipes. On the other hand, you can take your beans as a snack with your favorite dip sauce. Your second option is to get your beans to your pan, warm them up, and add your favorite seasonings or just the ones I gave you in this recipe.
If you want to serve your blanched green beans right away, you may also consider these ingredients:
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 40Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 945mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 4gSugar: 4gProtein: 2g