It is time to think ‘freezing’

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The last few nights have been quite chilly. The temperature dipped down to a single figure. In fact, it was so cold that I didn’t want to leave the bed this morning…

With the cold weather quickly approaching, I have been busy tending to the Patch, as well as getting some young seedlings into their final position for winter. I have also been busy harvesting tomatoes, aubergines and runner beans. I love runner beans, it is one of the reasons why I grow vegetable at home. I first came across runner beans when I was 21 years old having a Sunday roast at a friend’s home. Since then, it has been one of my favourite vegetables. 

To store tomatoes for winter consumption is hard. Most methods will involve making some sort of tomato sauce and freezing it. However, you cannot preserve the freshness of tomatoes, so I tend to finish all my tomatoes before winter. There is nothing better than grabbing tomatoes in the garden and putting them straight into a salad (or mouth).  

On the other hand, storing runner beans is fairly easy. As I love runner beans, I have planted five different kinds of runner beans and now I think I have slightly over planted! Well, I certainly shouldn’t complain as they are just so versatile, you can add them to curries, soups and they are the perfect green for a Sunday roast. Some suggest washing, cutting and blenching before freezing, but this is way too complicated for my brain. Therefore, I was on a mission to find an easier way to store runner beans without making the kitchen like a battlefield! 

This is a super easy way and all you need is a straw, some freezer bags, a knife, chopping board and runner beans. I don’t bother with washing my runner beans as I grow them organically so I go straight to cutting them into the desire length. If you prefer to wash them before freezing them, make sure you have taken off all the moisture before bagging them into the zip lock bags.  Once you have filled the bag with the desired amount (please don’t fill it too full), close the freezer bag just enough so you can fit the straw on the end of the zip. Then, suck the air out from the freezer bag and quickly seal the bag completely.   

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Tips:  I use some small freezer bags as we are a small family. I like to thaw whatever we need on the day. If you have a larger family, you may want to pack them in some larger freezer bags.  I would suggest you mark the harvest day and name of the vegetable on the bag for easily identification later.

This is a great way to store all kinds of beans you grown in the garden. If you have one of those food sealing machines, you will find this an even easier process. 

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