Butter beans are both delicious and nutritionally good for you. They are low in calories and high in protein and are packed full of vitamins and minerals. There are many recipes in which you can use butter beans, so you won’t get bored. Try a butter bean and squash crumble, add them to a vegan bean curry, or make a sausage and butter bean bake. You can add them to a salad, pan-fry them or make burgers out of them.
You can buy butter beans fresh, or you can buy them in cans. The shelf life of canned butter beans is long so you can keep them for some time. However, fresh butter beans will spoil fairly quickly, so is there anything you can do to preserve them for use when they are out of season? The answer is that you can freeze them, and in this article, we will tell you how to freeze butter beans and how to defrost them. It does take a little bit of effort to freeze butter beans but it’s worth it so that you can enjoy these beans throughout the year.
How To Freeze Butter Beans
1. Blanch the butter beans.
Blanching stops vegetables from losing taste and texture so it is a very important step. To blanch the beans, put boiling water in a bowl and then submerge the beans in the water. It is a good idea to keep the beans in a strainer. Keep the beans submerged for between two and four minutes depending on their size. When you have done this, put them in a bowl of ice-cold water to stop the cooking process.
2. Dry the butter beans.
Use a dishcloth or paper towels. It is important that you ensure that the butter beans are dry before you freeze them. This is because ice crystals will form on them in the freezer and when you come to defrost the beans, they may become soggy.
3. Flash-freeze the butter beans.
Flash freezing is recommended so that the beans don’t stick together in the freezer and form clumps. Spread the beans on a baking tray, making sure that they’re not touching each other. Put the tray in the freezer for a couple of hours by which time they should be frozen solid.
4. Put the butter beans in freezer bags.
Separate the beans into meal-size portions so that you only defrost as much as you need each time and put them in freezer bags. Squeeze out all the air from the bags so that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Freezer burn will ruin the taste and texture of your beans. Put labels on the bags with the date and contents.
5. Put the freezer bags in the freezer.
Tips For Freezing Butter Beans
- If you think that you are going to be able to use your fresh butter beans within a few days of blanching them, put them in the fridge. They will last for about four days.
- Freeze fresh beans as soon as possible after buying them so that they retain that freshness.
- Don’t freeze butter beans in an unopened can as the can may burst. If you have leftover canned beans, put them in a freezer bag or airtight container. There’s no point opening a can of beans to freeze it as cans have a very long shelf-life. It is much longer than the time the beans can be kept in the freezer.
- When you blanch your beans, use one gallon of water for every pound of butter beans. This will ensure that you can submerge the beans completely. It is essential to ensure that all the beans are blanched equally.
- Take note of the size of your beans when blanching so that you blanch them for the correct time.
- Squeeze out all the air from the freezer bags to ensure that freezer burn doesn’t occur. Alternatively, use an airtight container.
For How Long Can You Freeze Butter Beans?
Butter beans last for ages in the freezer so you can enjoy them all year. As long as they are blanched, they will last for around nine months. If you vacuum pack them, they will last for even longer, up to 14 months.
How Do You Defrost Butter Beans?
The good news is that you don’t have to defrost butter beans. You can either put them in a pan of boiling water and cook for around 10 minutes or you can add them straight into the dish you are cooking. Nothing could be simpler.
Can You Refreeze Butter Beans?
It is safe to refreeze butter beans but it isn’t the best idea. They can go mushy if you freeze them for a second time due to ice crystals forming. However, if you make a dish with your frozen butter beans and have leftovers, it will be fine to freeze them.
Is It A Good Idea To Freeze Butter beans?
As long as you freeze your butter beans while they are fresh and you blanch them, it is a great idea to freeze them. They will taste just as good as fresh beans. Freezing them makes sense if you have a glut of them as they would spoil if you kept them in the fridge for too long.
Frequently Asked Questions
Hopefully, you now know all there is to know about freezing butter beans but in case you still have questions, we have answered a few here.
This dish is popular in Mediterranean countries and yes, it can be frozen. However, it can only be frozen for a maximum of six months.
Mashed butter beans are a great alternative to mashed potatoes if you are trying to cut down on carbs. It is best frozen in the slots of an ice cube tray or a muffin tray, depending on the portion sizes you want.
You can but the shelf life is much shorter as animal fats can turn rancid in the freezer. We recommend that you don’t keep such a dish in the freezer for longer than three months.
Yes, you can. Put them in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag, squeezing out all the air from the bag to prevent freezer burn. They need to be used up within six months.
You can, but it isn’t advisable as not all herbs freeze well. Some may start to brown in the freezer, especially if they are kept in for a long time.