Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dave's Kitchen - Brined Green Beans

When bringing in produce from your garden, there are times when you have more than you can eat but not enough to warrant getting out the tools and utensils out to process it.

Produce can be stored in the fridge until you have enough but but things like Green Beans can spoil if kept more than a few days.

Green Beans can be "Brined" and kept that way for weeks without spoiling.  That can preserve them until enough are gathered to work with.

Brined Green Beans

To brine the beans, wash snap, string or cut them like you would
when preparing them to cook or can.

In a crock, cooking pot or other container, put a thin layer of green
beans in, then add a layer of salt and repeat until the container
is full or you run out of beans.  Top with an additional layer of
salt. Cover the container and set it aside.

Fairly quickly the beans will start to "cry" and after a day or
so the beans will be "swimming" in a brine formed by the salt and
liquid that was drawn out. They can be covered and stored this
way for weeks.  Just make sure the level of the liquid
stays above the green beans. If the brine level drops, just add

More beans can be added and layered with salt as they come
in from the garden until the container is full.  Again, just make sure the
level of the liquid stays above the beans.

When you get ready to prepare them for preserving or eating, drain
the brine and soak them in fresh water for several hours or until the
salt leeches out, and process them like fresh beans. They can be
dehydrated, strung to air dry, or canned. Just process them
and treat them like fresh.

Keep in mind that if the beans are left in the brine for too long, they
may start to ferment and become "Pickles". Theres nothing wrong
with Pickled Green Beans but they will need to be treated like pickle
and processed accordingly.

 The freshly snapped green beans in a bin
layered in salt.

 The same bin after it has sat overnight, the salt has drawn
the juices out of the beans and formed the brine.

This is not an indefinite long term method of preserving and store
your green beans but is a good process to be familiar with.
I have a fresh email from Dave about the beans:

Just a note about the green beans...
We had our Thanksgiving meal and one thing on the menu was Green Beans so I made up a batch of the ones that have been in the brine for about 10 days now. They were every bit as good(and crisp) as if they had been prepared fresh. I soaked them in fresh water overnight then lightly boiled and drained the water again, they cooked up with just enough salt to season them to taste.
I am leaving the rest of the batch in the brine to see just how long they will last before they start to pickle.
I hope he'll let us know about the green bean brine-to-pickles process!

1 comment:

  1. thanks for this, we have 3 plants for the 2 of us. but with people coming to visit I don't want to lose the beans.