The Best Way To Prep And Clean Fresh Green Beans

Whether you grow them yourself, purchase them from the local farmers market, or get them fresh from the grocery store, green beans are one of those ingredients that you can enjoy in a multitude of ways. Also known as French beans, these pods are long, slender, and average between 7 to 10 centimeters in length. One of the prominent features is the small stem that protrudes off of the end of the bean. This is where it was attached to the growing vine and needs to be removed during preparation.

You've probably seen this process in countless cooking shows and real-life kitchens: Someone is sitting at the table with two bowls before them, snapping and separating the stems from the beans with their hands. Using your hands is the easiest and most efficient way to prep green beans. Adding a knife into the equation prevents you from hearing that characteristic snap.

It may seem like something of a cooking cliche, but the snap of a green bean when you break off the stem gives you a clue about the quality of your beans. The more hydration the bean has, the fresher it is as it has spent less time sitting around and drying out. But the prep and cleaning process does not stop with the snapping. There is still another simple step that needs to be taken to ensure the beans will be clean and last a while: blanching them in boiling water.

Blanching green beans

The best way to finish preparing and cleaning your fresh green beans is to blanch them. Blanching vegetables means dropping them in boiling water for just a few minutes before plunging them into ice water and allowing them to cool completely. Blanching preserves and enhances the color of the green beans, and also helps preserve their crispiness. The boiling water also cleans the exterior of the beans, removing any natural wax and dirt and tightening the skin.

Once the beans have been blanched they can be used immediately for meals like a green bean salad or casserole. However, if you find yourself with a glut of blanched beans, you can actually freeze them or store them in the fridge for a future date.

It doesn't take a lot to get your green beans prepped and cleaned. Even if you have a lot of them, you could make an occasion of it with friends and family or sit down to some music or a podcast. There isn't much to it, and you can enjoy your green beans for weeks and months to come.