How to Cut Green Beans

How to cut fresh greens, plus tips on buying them and freezing them. And how to store fresh green beans, keeping them fresh for weeks.

Green beans are widely available year-round, but their growing season is May to October, with the peak season being the hotter summer months. They not only come in green, but like the iPhone, other options are available. You can find both yellow and purple green beans. 

What are Green Beans

Green beans are commonly grown all over the world and are quite possibly the most popular podded beans worldwide. They not only come in different colors but also have a few different names. Sometimes they are referred to as string beans. Even less common, they are called snap beans. They are all the same bean. 

Compared to other varieties of beans, green beans are harvested and consumed along with their enclosing pods before the seeds inside mature. This is similar to unripe peas like snow peas or sugar snap peas. 

How to Buy Green Beans

Choose green beans that are vibrant, free from brown spots or bruises, and should have a firm texture. One easy way to test them for freshness is to snap one in half. Holding the bean at both ends, bend it in half. Fresh green beans will snap cleanly. 

How to Store Green Beans

Do not wash green beans before storing them. Store them in a bag with a towel to absorb excess moisture. They are sensitive to ethylene gas so keep them away from high producers like apples, avocados, or melons. 

Stored properly, they can stay fresh for 10 days or up to 2 weeks. If they brown or turn slimy, they’ve gone bad. 

How to Trim Green Beans

Part of the popularity of green beans is that they require little prep. Just a few simple steps, and you are off to cooking. 

  1. Add green beans to a large bowl of water. 
  2. Add ¼ cup baking soda. 
  3. Soak for 15 minutes. 
  4. Rinse and dry green beans. 
  5. Collect a handful of beans and line up one end. 
  6. Cut off the string-like stems on each side. 

Bagged Green Bean Hack

For green beans that are aligned and in a sealed bag, try this trick for easily preparing them. 

  1. Shake green beans to one end of the bag. 
  2. Cut through the bag and green beans at the same time. 
  3. Rotate the bag to the other side. 
  4. Shake the beans again, so they align. 
  5. Cut through the bag and the beans. 
  6. You may have to wash them as above. 

How to Freeze Green Beans

Green beans freeze quite easily. Wash and cut the beans how you plan to use them, whether just trimming the ends or chopping them into smaller pieces. Blanch them and then freeze the beans in an even layer on a lined baking sheet for an hour. Transfer them to a freezer-safe container, where they will keep for a year.