Have I mentioned how much I adore the fall? Yet another reason why this is my favorite season revolves around a holiday where its okay to eat ALL day long, Thanksgiving of course. I am already running through the Rolodex of recipes in my mind deciding which ones to keep in the line-up this year and which to swap for a new option. I must admit that I can’t change the Thanksgiving menu too much because certain family members have their favorites, and these just cannot be tampered with! (I’m sure I’m not the only holiday cook who feels this way)
One of the traditional holiday dishes that I have been able to tinker with to make it healthier has been green bean casserole. The original recipe calls for canned green beans which, if I’m allowed to be completely honest, are disgusting. They are soggy and salty and…not my first choice. Several years ago I swapped them out with frozen green beans which have far less salt and have an inviting bit of crunchy texture left to them….and no one noticed! So I suppose I got away with that one, whew! If only I could find a way to get rid of the dreaded canned condensed soup next…
So I began thinking, why am I paying someone else to freeze my green beans? It is very easy to do and you can choose where you get your beans; there was a local farm at the market this weekend that offered two huge buckets of beans for 2 dollars…yes I said two dollars! So, naturally, I couldn’t refuse. I can’t wait to pull out these green beauties next month for my green bean casserole!
Step One: Wash your beans!
Step Two: Cut off both ends and portion them into the sizes you want. I used the frozen green beans at the store as my size guide (about 1-2 inches).
Step Three: Blanch the beans. It sounds complicated, but I promise its not! You want to put the beans in boiling water for two minutes (just to take the edge off the crunch while still keeping the nutrients) and then put them in cold water for two minutes (to set that gorgeous green color).
Step Four: Freeze! Wasn’t that easy? You can either freeze in a single layer and then place in a zip top bag or put them directly in the plastic bag.
For those of you who will be using these green beans for the holidays, here is a link to the classic Green Bean Casserole recipe: