Green beans are some of the most popular vegetables in the United States.
These crisp, refreshing, and tasty greens start forming in May and keep creating their supply throughout the start of fall.
Though green beans are loved all over America, many people are put off by eating fresh vegetables as they can spoil at a fast rate.
This is understandable. It can be incredibly annoying to buy a pack of bright green beans at the store, to have them turn into a brown mushy mess a couple of days later.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to maximize green beans’ freshness.
Knowing how to store them properly can help keep your beans fresher for longer, as well as cut down on the amount of food waste that you produce.
You’ll learn how to store fresh green beans properly in this post, including how to keep them in the refrigerator and how to freeze them correctly.
Begin With Fresh Beans
We all know that food tastes better when it’s fresh!
The tasty green beans in your meals start the second they are picked from their field.
Farmers’ markets are often thought of as the best places to obtain farm-to-table produce, but this isn’t always possible.
Grocery stores keep vegetables refrigerated and sheltered from the sun, so there’s nothing wrong with shopping here if you cannot go directly to the source.
You’ll be able to find lots of different green bean varieties during their peak season, but make sure that you determine how fresh your green beans are before you take them home from the store.
Always examine the beans closely for any indications of rot.
Bruises, brown areas, and dings all show that the beans have been stored incorrectly or removed from their stalk for too long.
The beans should have a firm consistency and a distinct ‘snapping’ sound when you split them apart.
If there are any slimy parts when you touch them, or you notice the seed protruding against the beans’ shell, they’ll need to be disposed of.
Keep Your Beans Cold From The Start
No matter whether your beans are from a farmer’s market or a store, you’ll need to keep them in a cold environment.
Once you purchase the beans, place them in your refrigerator as quickly as you can.
You’ll need to prepare the beans for cold storage, unless you want to use them straight after purchase. Moisture can stimulate the formation of mold, so keep your beans whole and avoid washing them.
Refrigerating Fresh Green Beans
Keep your beans in an airtight container or a plastic bag, eliminating as much air as you can.
The beans should be stored in your refrigerator’s vegetable bin.
If your crisper has settings, set the crisper to a high humidity level, then keep a paper towel with the beans to soak up any residual moisture.
If the beans are stored correctly in a container or plastic bag, they should last between five and seven days.
If you’re cooking the beans in a recipe, like a tasty side dish, store them in an airtight container and eat them for between three and five days.
Make sure that you refrigerate them soon, as bacteria will begin to form rapidly at room temperature.
Freezing Fresh Green Beans
If you’ve bought a lot of fresh green beans, but cannot go through them fast enough, you can freeze them to preserve their consistency and flavor.
Freezing allows you to keep the beans for longer and will also retain their many nutrients to support wellbeing.
These little pods are full of fiber, as well as vitamins A, C, and K.
To freeze your fresh green beans, start by rinsing them in clean, cold water.
Trim off their stems and peel any noticeable strings.
Blanch the beans by boiling them in hot water for two to four minutes, depending on how big or small they are.
Next, plunge the beans into an icy bath to prevent them from cooking anymore.
The blanching method helps the beans keep their firm texture, even when you defrost them several months later.
Store your beans in a freezer-safe bag and label them with a date.
How To Prepare Green Beans For Cooking
Green beans and their pods can be eaten raw, but they are typically enjoyed cooked (learn more about raw green beans here).
You can cook them with many different methods, like baking, steaming, and sautéing.
To prepare your fresh green beans for cooking, rinse them thoroughly to remove any dirt and bacteria.
Cut their stem end off, as this will be too hard and tough to chew.
You can trim its other end off, but this is edible, so this is a matter of preference.
After you’ve trimmed the ends off the beans, examine them for any impaired areas.
You can slice these damaged bits off, but if you notice any beans that look brown, you’ll need to dispose of that pod.
Fresh green beans can be used in a lot of different ways.
They can be steamed and mixed with some herbs and butter for a tasty side dish, or sliced into thin pieces for the foundation of a salad.
The beans can also be mixed straight into soups, casseroles, or stir-fries.
You can leave the green beans whole, slice them into chunks, or cut them into thin pieces for an elegant side dish.
A trick to keeping the beans a bright green color, no matter how you prepare them, is to avoid cooking them for too long.
Fresh green beans won’t need more than seven minutes to make them tender and crisp.
Purple types of beans will turn green during cooking, so don’t be worried if you see them changing color later on.
The Bottom Line
Storing fresh green beans correctly is important to maximize their freshness.
Unless you’re using the beans straightaway, store them in the fridge as soon as possible after purchase.
If they are kept in an airtight container inside your refrigerator’s crisper, they should last for five to seven days.
You can also freeze them if you have a large supply, as this helps them stay edible for several months.
Remember to examine your green beans properly before you buy them and keep an eye out for any signs of spoilage when you use them.
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning
- 1/2 tablespoon oregano
- 1 pound green beans
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into medium-sized cubes. Place them into a mixing bowl.
- Add the olive oil, taco seasoning, oregano, salt, and pepper to the potatoes. Mix everything well.
- Transfer the potatoes to a large baking sheet and spread them out evenly so they don’t touch. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add the green beans to the same mixing bowl (no need to wash it). Add the olive oil, minced garlic, and salt to the green beans. Stir everything together.
- After 15 minutes, remove the potatoes from the oven and add the green beans to the baking sheet. Mix everything gently.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until the green beans and potatoes are cooked through.
- Once done, remove from the oven and serve. Enjoy!