I first want to start off this post by saying thank you for all the encouraging words I have received after going live with my first blog post. It truly is empowering to know so many people support your (crazy) ideas. I promise, I won't let you down!
Now bring on the beans. I have to say growing up I wasn't really a fan of the green bean. They were well.. green, and you really could only put so much butter on them, aka as much as your mom would let you. I learned to appreciate this vegetable more after receiving pounds of them in my CSA box (really, green beans again?!). If anyone has a CSA now, I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. I tried to get creative in how to cook them. One of my favorite ways to enjoy beans is by roasting them, which is featured in the dinner recipe below.
Green beans are a great vegetable for freezing due to their low water content. They do require a two step process of blanching and an ice bath. These steps help the beans hold their shape and prevents them from getting soggy when thawed. In the winter I love to pull these guys out of the freezer and throw them into stir fry's, chili's, or vegetable soup.
Beans - as many as you don't want to or can't eat
Wash and chop your beans in the desired size for freezing. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and a tray of ice cubes. Blanch the beans for 1-2 minutes. Immediately place the beans in the cold water for a few minutes. Once cooled, place in a colander to drain. Place beans in freezer containers and note the vegetable, date, and volume.
Growing up, every summer I watched my mom can all the delicious vegetables that my dad grew in the garden. To me, summer isn't summer without some canning. The great part is, you can do as little or as much as you like. Canning does require some specific equipment but it is easy to find (here) and affordable. If this is your first time canning, I would highly recommend reading Ball's Canning Guides. They explain the equipment needed and go into detail about the safety of canning.
This recipe is adapted from Liana Krissoff's, "Canning for a New Generation". You can find her book here.
2 lbs green beans
4 cups distilled vinegar
3 tb kosher salt
5 sprigs fresh dill weed
5 cloves garlic, whole
5-10 dried red hot red chiles
Fill a canning pot with water and bring to a boil. Wash pint jars in hot soapy water, then place in the canner for 10 minutes to sterilize. Wash lids in hot soapy water and place in a heat proof bowl, set aside.
While your jars are sterilizing, trim ends off green beans and then trim to 4 1/2 inches long. By cutting the beans to this length you are leaving about a half inch of headspace in the jar, which is important for sealing. Peal your garlic cloves.
In a medium pot, add vinegar and salt. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the salt. Once the salt has dissolved turn burner off.
After 10 minutes, remove your jars from the canner and place on a heat proof surface. Pour some of the boiling water from the canner over your lids. Place a clove of garlic and chile in each jar. Add beans until full, packing in a vertical manner. Add vinegar mixture. It is important to leave a half inch of space but also make sure the beans are covered. Add the dill weed on top. Take one lid out of the hot water and wipe clean, place the lid on jar and screw on the ring only going finger tip tight. If you screw the ring to tight the lid will not seal.
Once the jars are ready, slowly place in the canner. Process jars for 10 mins. Remove from canner and place on a heat proof surface to cool. The lids will start to seal when you hear a "pop". If they do not seal within an hour, you can use a new lid and reprocess in the canner. Let jars sit undisturbed for 24 hours. After that time, you can remove the ring and move to a pantry or basement shelf for storage.
Nothing is easier for dinner than a one pan meal! I tried Becky Hardin's, of The Cookie Rookie, honey mustard crusted salmon with roasted veggies. You can find her recipe here. I was able to use tomatoes and green beans from my own garden! I did make two substitutions. I used almond flour to make the dish gluten free and instead of making the honey mustard dip, I used a bottled honey mustard sauce with jalapeños. So good!