Since we don't grow all of the vegetables we like, I also purchase commercially frozen vegetables throughout the year. I appreciate this convenience, but there is no comparrison between the taste of commercially frozen vegetables and homegrown vegetables, even after they've been frozen.
Processing the vegetables for the freezer requires submerging them in boiling water for a short time (blanching) before freezing. This kills any bacteria that may still be on the vegetables after washing and deactivates the enzymes can cause the quality to degrade while the vegetables are in the freezer.
Freezing doesn't stop the bacterial and enzymatic activity that reduces the quality of the vegetables during frozen storage, it just slows the process. So blanching the vegetables is an important step.
We recently ate the last of last year's green bean harvest that had been in the freezer for ten months, and the beens were still fresh-tasting and delicious.
To process your fresh vegetables, first wash them thoroughly and trim into the desired size.
Place the vegetables into boiling water. For green beans, leave in the boiling water for two minutes.
Next, remove the vegetables from the hot water and drop into ice water. This will stop the cooking process so that they don't overcook. They should still be crunchy when packaged for the freezer.
When the vegetables are cool, remove them from the ice water and allow any excess water to drain off.
Package, and label, including the date.
For more delicious ideas, visit the Hearth and Soul Hop at Premeditated Leftovers and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.