Fresh beans and other vegetables aren’t necessarily healthier than beans that have been frozen as they start to lose their nutrients as soon as they have been harvested. Frozen beans are often snap-frozen fairly quickly after they have been harvested, preserving the nutrients. Once defrosted the nutrient loss is minimal.
On the other hand, fresh vegetables often have long travel periods to get to the supermarket from where it sits in the fridge for several days before it’s eaten. During this period the veggies will lose some of their nutrients.
Frozen beans and other vegetables can be just as healthy, if not healthier than fresh. But how do you cook frozen green beans for the best flavour and goodness?
There are a few tricks to help you get the best result. It all starts with the beans.
How to Cook Frozen Green Beans – so they’re not watery
Step 1: Selecting the beans
When you go shopping next time, don’t just buy any old green beans. It’s important to buy a thin bean, packed with flavour.
The best beans are:
- French green beans (also called Haricots Verts)
- Thin or fine green beans
The worst beans are:
- standard/regular green beans
- French cut green beans
Step 2: Thaw the beans
To thaw, remove the beans from the bag and put them in a heatproof bowl. Boil a bit of water and cover the beans with the boiling water. Next, leave the beans for a few minutes, 5 minutes should be adequate until the beans are thawed. Then drain all the water thoroughly.
Step 3: Sautee the beans
Next, add a bit of olive oil to a skillet, turn on the heat to medium. Then add the beans with a few cloves of crushed garlic.
Sautee the beans until they become tender and bright green and that’s it.
How to Cook Frozen Green Beans
- 400 g frozen fine organic French beans
- 2 tblsp extra virgin organic olive oil or organic butter
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- boiling water
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add the beans to a heatproof bowl
- Cover with boiling water and let it rest for 5 minutes
- Drain the water and set aside
- Heat the olive oil or butter in a skillet
- Add the green beans and garlic. Sautee for roughly 10 minutes until the beans are tender and bright green
- Season with salt and black pepper and serve.
Three other Ways you can Cook Frozen Green Beans
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If you struggle to finish fresh vegetables before they spoil, frozen can be a good option to help you reduce waste in the kitchen or follow a zero-waste regime at home. Reducing food waste is so important, especially if you’re hoping to help the planet while keeping your family healthy.
How do you Cook Frozen Green Beans in Boiling Water?
You can boil your green beans from frozen no need to defrost, saving you time and effort. A lot of the goodness will dissolve into the water so we recommend using only a bit of water and steaming the beans in essence until the water disappears, this will prevent you from losing precious nutrients with the discarded boiling water that is drained. Use a saucepan with a thick base and lid.
Here are the steps to follow:
- Place the desired amount of beans, in boiling water. Add a few splashes of water so that the bottom of the pan is covered in water, you don’t need to cover the beans completely.
- Once boiling reduce to a simmer, put the lid on and leave to steam for roughly 10 minutes or until the beans are tender and the water is almost gone.
- Remove the lid and increase the heat, boil on high until all the water disappears. Be careful not to burn the beans during this step. Season and serve with a knob of butter
How to Cook Frozen Green Beans in the Microwave
Microwaving frozen green beans are really easy and quick. Here are the steps:
- Place the desired amount of frozen green beans in a microwavable bowl with a lid slightly ajar, or if you have a microwave bowl with a vent leave the vent open
- Put on full power and cook for 3.5 – 4.5 mins
- Once done make sure your beans are piping hot and no longer frozen. Then drain the liquid, season and serve with a sprinkling of Italian hard cheese
How to Oven Roast Frozen Green Beans
We love oven roasting veggies, this can easily be done from frozen, no need to defrost. Feel free to mix your green beans with other vegs such as onions and cherry tomatoes. Or if you choose to you can cook frozen green beans on their own.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C / 180C Fan or Gas mark 6
- Rinse the desired amount of green beans under lukewarm water and pat dry
- Add the beans and other veggies to a roasting tray along with a drizzle of olive oil. Make sure it’s all are coated with the oil
- You can also add a garlic clove or two, onions and a few cherry tomatoes that are cut in half to the roasting tray (optional)
- Season with salt, pepper and a bit of rosemary.
- Cook in the oven for between 15 and 20 mins, checking and turning them halfway through the cooking process
- Once nicely roasted, but not burned remove from the oven and serve
Should you Thaw Frozen Green Beans Before Cooking?
Generally thawing frozen green beans isn’t necessary. In most cases, they can be cooked frozen. The only exception is sautéed beans. Here it’s best to boil them or run them under hot water before sautéing.
Note, as a rule of thumb serving size for green beans are around half a cup, but it’s low in calories so you can use more if you choose.