Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pick Your Own and Eat it Too!

Despite my lack of childhood memories, I do remember the hours spent in the garden.  We grew up on a small 3.5 acre parcel of land, much of which was a vegetable garden.  A lot of time was spent weeding the rows, that seemed endless!  If memory serves me correctly, our parents would compensate us for each row that was weeded.  Trying to get my own children to weed is futile, even for money!  Then came harvest time and the hours that took to pick and prepare the food for canning and freezing.  What a huge chore!

I was never a real big fan of green beans as a child, unless they were smothered in butter and salt.   There's such a difference in taste, in quality, in texture between a fresh vegetable and a frozen vegetable.  And there's a difference too in whether it's mass produced with pesticides and herbicides.  When you grow and pick your own it tastes so good and it's incredibly healthy knowing it's free of chemicals.  They simply are better than anything you've ever had from a store!  I love to eat green beans!

The rewards and benefits of  picking and preparing your own food are just as huge as growing and tending a garden!  I wish now that I'd pay a little closer attention to how my parents prepared the food for canning and freezing.  Hindsight is 20/20, but fortunately there are many great resources available through the Internet that provide a wealth of knowledge on every topic you can imagine.  I came across a website as I was searching for how to freeze my green beans from my garden.  I needed clear directions, recipe, photo's and advice. 

In a nutshell, here are the 8 simple steps to freezing green beans, courtesy of

1.  Get your green beans from the garden!

2.  Wash the green beans.

3.  Trim the end, and if you prefer cut into smaller pieces.

4.  Get your blanching pots ready.

5.  Blanch the green beans for about 3 minutes in boiling water.  I steamed mine for 6 minutes.

6.  Cool the green beans in ice cold water.

7.  Bag the green beans in freezer bags or vacuum sealed Foodsavers.

8.  Place the bags into the freezer.

Beans sealed in Ziploc bags with as much of the air extracted as possible will keep for about 9 months in the freezer.   I always put aside some of the fresh green beans into the refrigerator to be eaten over the next week.  If you seed your beans in stages, you can pick fresh all summer long.  Nothing beats the flavor of a freshly cooked green bean from the garden!  I highly recommend it.  Yes, it's a lot of work.  Yes, it costs a little money to plant a garden.  It seems that anything worthwhile takes time and money.  The seeds to plant that crop of beans were a few dollars and the water was free from mother nature this year.  The time I put into it was well worth the effort.  It's an investment in my health.   This year we're going to try and harvest our own green bean seeds from our plants by letting some of them dry out on the vine.

It's never too late to start changing bad habits, habits that can shave years off your life and impact the quality of your life.   So, if you want the straight dope on fueling your body with nutritious food and what to avoid, I'm here to help and it won't cost you a penny for the free advice based on my own experience and what has worked for me.  I hope you'll follow my blog and provide me with some feedback on my posts.  I'll be catering good choices that include both dietary and lifestyle changes.  So if you could use a boost to your engine, buckle up for the ride of your life and let's get started!

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