Are you a vegetable connoisseur that likes to try all of the different veggies in all of the different ways? Or maybe you just simply like to mix things up and provide your family with healthy meals. Whatever your purpose when it comes to beans and vegetables, we hope that you give broad beans a try.
Broad beans are a very tasty vegetable that really has a lot to offer if you give them a try. You might already know that, in fact, we suspect that’s why you’re here!
Whether you raised your own broad beans or you bought a bulk supply, you need options for storing those extra broad beans so they don’t go to waste.
Broad beans store pretty well. You are able to can them if you wish but the best way to store them away is to freeze them.
So, how do you freeze broad beans? The best way to freeze broad beans is by rinsing and blanching them first, then sealing them in an airtight container and using within 12 months. You can freeze them without blanching, but we don’t recommend it.
Throughout this guide, we will be discussing the proper processes for storing and freezing your broad beans.
We will walk you through how to freeze broad beans step-by-step to be sure you have a valid understanding in order to successfully freeze your own.
Keep reading to learn all about freezing broad beans and so much more.
The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Broad Beans
Broad beans are a slightly unique vegetable. They form in a pod much like peas or green beans. While you can eat the pods, most people enjoy the bean within the pod and at times, they enjoy it directly out of the pod.
Broad beans are very commonly served this way in Italy, usually with a side of pecorino cheese and maybe a bit of oil.
Of course, there are many other ways to enjoy them as well. You may have heard of broad beans also referred to as fava beans, this is another common reference for them.
Cooking with Broad Beans
Broad beans are a great vegetable to add to your veggie line-up. You can make them so many different ways. You can enjoy them in the pods (which is not so common) or you can skin them.
Additionally, you can eat them fresh and raw, with the skins, or you can cook them into dishes or by themselves.
As you can see, the options are pretty much endless. If you’re looking for some inspiration as to what you might be able to do with your broad beans, here are few ideas for you.
- Fried gnocchi with broad beans and ham
- Make a Spanish Camino dish
- Mix into various salads
- Risotto Verde with broad beans
- Add to linguine or pasta dishes
- Broad bean fritters
- Smash into a spread for toast
- Mix with barley, quinoa, or rice
- Raw with cheese and oil
- New potatoes with broad beans and bacon
- Chorizo and broad bean risotto
- Broad bean shakshuka
- Homemade hummus
These are just a few delicious options to try if you need some basic ideas for your broad beans. You can serve them and enjoy them in whatever type of dish you like.
It is also common to serve broad beans accompanying various types of fish.
Mix it up and enjoy them in many different ways. Be brave and experiment and try new things with your broad beans so you can truly enjoy them and the health benefits they can offer you.
Broad Bean Storage and Preservation
Broad beans are fairly easy to store. If you have a batch of fresh broad beans still in their pods, you can expect them to last like that for several days as long as you store them in a cool, dry place.
You don’t have to refrigerate them but you can if you prefer. Refrigerating them might actually extend their freshness out a few days beyond the first 3-4 days.
When you store them initially, you can just leave them in the pods.
You can rinse them if you prefer but it’s not necessary. You can take care of all of that when you prep them to use them.
The longer you leave them in their natural forms (in pods), the longer they are likely to last without having to take extra measures.
The exception to that rule comes when you decide you are going to freeze your broad beans. You do not freeze broad beans in the pods, it simply works best if you pod them and blanch them, as it ensures they are going to stay fresh and ripe rather than turning bad in your freezer.
If you remove the pod from the beans and expect them to last a long time outside of the freezer, you will probably be sorely disappointed.
Your best option is to store them in their pods until which time you are ready to freeze them.
Now, let’s talk about that freezing process.
How to Freeze Broad Beans
Freezing broad beans is not a challenging process. It does take a little bit of work. Not only will you pod them before you freeze them but you should also follow a blanching process.
If you plan to use them within a couple of weeks, you could skip the blanching process and simply pod them, bag them, and freeze them.
However, we highly recommend that you simply just go through the whole process in case you don’t get them used right away.
Here are your steps to freezing broad beans:
- Start by rinsing your broad beans. Then pod the broad beans, which means removing the shells.
- Blanch the beans. To do this, you should heat a pot of water to boiling on high heat. When the water is at a high boil, place the podded beans in the boiling water. Let the water return to boiling and boil for 3 minutes.
- Drain the broad beans and immediately move them into ice-cold water. This sets the blanching process.
- Drain broad beans.
- Either pat the beans dry or allow them to fully dry before packing them for freezing. We recommend patting them dry so they aren’t just sitting out for an extended length of time.
- Place blanched broad beans into heavy-duty freezer bags or a freezer-safe container. We prefer bags for these.
- Remove air from the bag as much as possible and then seal the bag tightly.
- Label and date freezer bags and place them in the freezer.
- Your broad beans should last in the freezer for about 12 months. They could potentially last longer but this is the timeframe for best quality recommendations.
Most people cringe at the thought of blanching things but this is truly the best way to preserve your beans in the freezer.
Blanching does not cook them, it’s simply a preparation method that will help your freezer storage adventure be more successful in the long run.
Here’s the thing, you do the blanching process because it will keep your broad beans from going rotten (yes, they can do that even in the freezer).
Blanching is a unique process that actually halts the enzymes within the plant.
This means that the stage at which the broad beans are at when you blanch them is the stage in which they will remain while they are properly frozen.
It’s a very important step and could be the difference in whether or not your freezing attempts are successful.
If you simply take that little bit of time for blanching your broad beans, you will be very happy with the outcome. It’s well worth it to be able to preserve those beans much longer and truly get to enjoy them without worrying about them going bad in the meantime.
We hope that you have found this guide to freezing broad beans to be an informative and valuable resource to help you through the process. It’s quite simple and you should have no issues with your freezing efforts.
We invite you to review the following question and answer section for some additional information that might be helpful to you.
What Are Some Health Benefits of Broad Beans?
Broad beans are high in both protein and fiber. They are often recommended for weight loss and healthy eating plans.
You will find a range of folate and Vitamin B in broad beans. Some health benefits include cognitive function, energy, and blood cell development.
Do You Leave the Skin on the Bean Itself?
You can peel the skins if you prefer but it’s really not necessary.
The skin is edible and the flavor remains nearly the same with or without the skin on the bean.
We recommend leaving the skin of the bean intact unless you’re mashing them.
Do Broad Beans Need to be Cooked?
Broad beans are very commonly eaten fresh and raw, straight out of the pod. However, you can cook them as well.
The best way to cook them is to boil them for 6-8 minutes and then you can use them however you please.
Up Next: Reheating Steamed Vegetables