Cleaning Fresh Green Beans Only Takes 2 Simple Steps

Green beans are a delicious pantry staple that can be purchased and prepared in a variety of formats. But despite their versatility in the kitchen, they've been known to give some home cooks pause when purchased fresh as opposed to canned or frozen. But, with a simple and easy two-step process, fresh green beans can be just as easy to prepare as their alternatives, and perhaps even more delicious! 

For your assistance and reading pleasure, we've boiled the art of cleaning these little green pods down to two super easy steps. 

To clean your fresh green beans at home, simply wash them with cool water and remove the ends. Though some cooks will argue that the choice to trim the string bean on both ends is purely aesthetic, others contend that this supports even cooking during the boiling or baking process, allowing heat to travel evenly throughout the awaiting bean.

While the stem ends of green beans can be highly fibrous and sometimes unpleasant to chew, they are perfectly safe to eat. Of course, most home cooks opt to snip them off in order to maintain a uniform texture across their meal. Plus, breaking off the ends can be very fun as they produce a highly satisfying snap!

After following these steps, you can begin cooking your green beans immediately. You can also refrigerate them for 3-5 days, or take some additional steps to store them in the freezer for longer periods of time.

The best ways to prepare green beans after prepping

If you're not used to having an excess surplus of green beans, you may not realize just how versatile the delicious snaps truly are. When they're not going directly into a homemade green bean casserole or dusted with lemon zest to complement a tangy, earthy beet salad, fresh green beans can stay good in the freezer for as long as 10-12 months, though we doubt you'll want to wait that long.

If you're ready to begin cooking right away, you can't go wrong with sautéing your green beans in a cast iron with butter or steaming them to bring their earthy flavors alive. Or, if you're looking to get a little more creative, you could try French cutting them, which results in thin, angular pieces. To do so, simply pulse the beans through a food processor horizontally, being careful to utilize a thin blade attachment to prevent shredding the greens into a paste. 

You can also keep your green beans fresh and crisp for long periods of time through blanching, which calls for plunging the freshly boiled greens into an awaiting ice bath. Blanching green beans maintains freshness long after freezing, so be sure to employ this method if you plan on saving your greens for later.