Did you know that green beans are fruits? That’s because their biological structure very well suits the definition of a fruit, as per the declaration of director of Edible Academy, Toby Adams. And no, it hasn’t changed from being a veggie either. It comprises properties equivalent to those of the latter as well. A green bean is a wonder edible!
The notion of the numerous benefits that come with green beans has orchestrated an overwhelming demand, prompting high produce from various countries. Consumers, especially in countries that lack, or produce it in small scale, tend to buy their darling vegetables from the stores in bulk.
And why not? Green beans are not your ordinary salad vegetables. Its green pigment in its pod carries a wealth of health goodness in the form of vitamins, proteins, fibres, carbs, calories, and rich minerals.
It is therefore impossible to leave out green beans in any discussion regarding the top worldwide food exports.
The need to counter the inconvenience of spoilage therefore becomes a concern for every green bean consumer.
What Are The Best Ways Of Preserving Green Beans?
The shelf life of green beans greatly relies on the mode of its preservation.
Below is a highlight of a variety of proven and the most commonly used preservative methods;
This is the most convenient way of increasing the shelf life of green beans. Sizable ready to cook pieces of green beans are packed neatly in a variety of preservatives depending on the brand.
Other than the inscribed expiry date, look out for any bulges of the can. That is an outright indicator that the vegetable has gone bad. Canned green beans need not be refrigerated. When stored properly and at room temperature, canned green beans can last for three to five years.
If the storage conditions are good and consistent, it can last well past the estimated five years.
It is also a common antibacterial attack hack. Bacteria can hardly survive the harsh chill in a fridge. On the contrary, raw green beans sitting out at room temperature, risk exposure to bacteria.
For maximum protection from bacteria attack, it is recommended that green beans be kept unwashed in a dry plastic bag, or an airtight container, before being placed inside the refrigerator. These can last between six and seven days.
Here the beans get washed thoroughly, blanched, the hot water drained, then packed nicely in a freezer-compatible container or polythene before placing it in the freezer. The pack will be good to go for one to one & a half years, depending on the conditions under which your freezer is.
If you do not wish to have to go through the trouble of preserving your green beans, only visit the grocery the same day you want to prepare them. Make sure to check out for any blemishes. The green colour should also be vibrant and the texture smooth and tough enough to break at the slightest bowing.
Can Green Beans Go Bad?
Generally, any organic substance is pretty much prone to decomposition. Only that rate of deterioration varies from one organic substance to another, depending on the components it is made up of. Green beans happen to be one of the most delicate vegetables/fruits there is.
What Are The Main Triggers of Green Beans Spoilage?
First things first. Make a good pick! How old are your green beans veggies at the time you pick them from the grocery store? Fortunately, recognizing the age of green beans is no rocket science.
It merely takes a glance to differentiate between a fresh bean and a tired one. So if you take the latter home, maintaining it until you are ready to prepare it as a meal might be too cumbersome.
Poor preserving measures. It takes a slight handling blander, to have all your green beans wasted as you watch. If you do not intend to have your green beans the same you purchased, you have to be extra careful about their storage.
Before you take any preservation measure, it is important to know that you are not to tamper with them by way of cutting or peeling of the outer layer of the pod.
The most common methods of green beans preservation are cooling; (refrigeration or freezing) and canning. Refrigeration is most ideal when you do not intend to store your green beans over lengthy periods, while the frosting method is most ideal when you have a bulk of them and plan to have them intact for more than a year.
As for canning, you can buy the green beans yourself, or you can buy over the counter. How long your canned green beans stay good depends on the storage conditions you subject them to. By all means, keep your canned green beans away from hot or above room temperature atmospheres. The cans should also never be covered by any insulating materials.
How to Identify Spoilt Green Beans
Had you by any chance overstocked your refrigerator with green beans, only for you to later discover that its expiry date is overdue? If yes, you are probably wondering whether it has gone bad and how you can tell. This is how;
The physical appearance of a spoilt piece of green bean is pretty ugly. If it appears decolorised, shrunken, spotty, and rubbery, do not even think twice about throwing it away.
If you have used canned green beans over some time, you probably have become accustomed to the normal size of the can. Change in size of the can may mean rotting of its content. Green beans tend to produce gas as they decompose, resulting in building tension inside the can and hence a noticeable bulge.
Fresh/consumable green beans are almost odorless, so a slightly unusual, mildly unpleasant odor coming from them should be signal enough that all is not well. Such should be discarded with immediate effect.
Can the Shelf Life of Green Beans Be Extended?
You have been alternating a variety of meal plans, and as a result, your favorite vegetable gets overtaken. Before you realise, it is way past its marked expiry date, but somehow you hope they could last a little longer? Here are two life saving tips;
Firstly, your refrigerator’s functionality needs to be in check. With the assistance of a professional technician, ensure that your refrigerator is working fine. Also, clean it regularly to avoid contamination.
Secondly, avoid unnecessary exposure of canned beans while fishing the beans out of the can, it causes some contamination. This may slash down their shelf life by a huge chunk of time. Only open the can when picking out your desired amount of green beans and close tightly immediately after.
Can One Can Their Own Green Beans?
Absolutely! We are in a DIY era, and people are making things happen from the comfort of their own homes. Canning green beans is no exception. What’s more, it is a walkover, much as it is a bit lengthy.
First get a recommended pressure canner, a canning jar; the average ideal size is a pint.
Make sure the jars are enough to hold big bunches of green beans. This is because it is more economical to have a one-off canning procedure as opposed to repeating the procedures now and then, don’t you agree?
Clear off any form of contamination from the canning jars, and their respective rid through boiling them in water for not less than 10 minutes. Remove them and let them sit aside for cooling.
Now separately from a pot, bring water to a boiling point. As the water boils, prepare your fresh pieces of green beans through cutting off either end or arranging them vertically and tightly in the can jars.
Next, add water into the water canner and slowly lower the loaded jars into it. The water should cover about a height of one inch of the bottom of the jar. Use a scooper to pour the steaming hot water on to the jar repeatedly, as you compress the top bend of aligned beans to release excess air. Any additive can be added at this point for the sake of seasoning.
Now retrieve the lids of the jars from hot water, while taking caution not to burn your fingers. Cover the jar, ensuring that the lid fits tightly.
How Can I Sample Quality Green Beans in the Market?
Green beans vegetables are in many parts of the world rated highly owing to their pricey tag as well as their fragility. Sadly, you could unknowingly be missing out on value for your money. It is easy to miss the distinctive factor that sets the two apart. Do not pay for less than you deserve anymore.
Quality green beans are characterised by a slimmer pod and are a bit tougher than the opposite.
Whenever you walk to your local grocery store, make sure to request for a sample pod for testing. A sharp wet snap, can pass for a legit breed of green beans.
Now you have all the basics you need to make that clever choice at the grocery. Bon appetite!