Choosing & Storing Green Beans
First, let’s make sure you’re sourcing the highest quality green beans you possibly can. Green beans are best when eaten in season (summer or fall), although they freeze well, and in many places, are available fresh year-round thanks to global trade.
Green beans taste best and provide the most nutrients when you eat them fresh or frozen, instead of canned. Best case scenario, you get them freshly picked from a garden — yours or a neighbor’s — or a local farmers market. If you’re growing, look for pole or bush varieties. Pole beans grow upward on poles (surprise!), fences, or trellises, and tend to be more prolific than their bushy counterparts.
Whether shopping or harvesting, pick green beans that are free of brown spots and are firm, uncut, and bright green (or yellow or purple, depending on the variety). You’re looking for vibrant colors, and a loud and satisfying snap when you break one in half.
Don’t store your fresh green beans in the fridge for more than a few days, as they don’t keep well. Ideally, you’ll start prepping them shortly after they enter your kitchen. Prepping typically begins with trimming the tail end — the one that attached the bean to the plant — before cooking or eating. Many recipes call for “topping” the beans as well, which means trimming the non-tail end — but that’s purely an aesthetic preference. In addition to removing their tops, cut off any blemishes and soft spots that may have snuck by you before.
Fresh green beans freeze well, and putting a few pounds in the freezer is a great way to have a year-round supply without needing a can opener. First, blanch the green beans them by dropping them briefly in boiling water — to halt enzyme activity that affects flavor, color, and texture — then plunging them in cold water. Or don’t blanch them, and just place washed and dried beans into freezer-safe containers or bags. They’ll still taste and look fine as long as you use them within a couple of months.
( Excerpt from The Food Revolution Network)