beans are the immature pods of the bean; shell beans, the mature fresh seed, and dried beans, seed which has dried in the pod and must be reconstituted in liquid. Any bean allowed to grow long enough will give you all 3 stages, but not necessarily the same good flavor at each stage.
Store fresh snap and shell beans unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the humid crisper section of the refrigerator. They will keep 3 to 5 days.
Shell beans should be left in their pods and shelled just before cooking.
Freezing: Snap beans: blanch beans in boiling water for 3 minutes per pound of beans. Chill in ice water for 3 minutes; drain and store in freezer bags. Beans will keep 10 to 12 months at 0°F (-17.8°C).
Shell beans: blanch beans by size. Medium beans will blanch in 2 minutes in boiling water; larger beans will take 3 minutes. Immediately chill in ice water for an equal length of time. Drain and loosely pack in freezer boxes or bags. Beans will keep 6 to 12 months at 0°F (-17.8°C).In addition to freezing, you may either can or pickle beans.
Drying Shell Beans: Let beans dry in pods; when dry, remove and shell. Dry beans in a slow oven about 200°F (93.3°C) for 6 to 8 hours to kill weevil eggs. Store covered, in a dry place.
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