Pole beans are easy to grow and yield a large harvest of fresh green beans. Freezing extra beans will extend their shelf life, but can also reduce their quality. Tough or woody textures can develop in frozen beans, and they can also lose some color and nutritional value. However, if you have more beans than you can eat in a few days, freezing is a good way to preserve them. To get the best results, choose beans that are perfectly ripe and blanch them in boiling water before freezing.
Harvest beans that are green, firm and slightly swollen, before the internal beans become visible bulges in the external pod. Freezing beans at their peak will allow frozen beans to better retain their color, flavor and texture.
Wash and trim beans, and separate them into 1-pound batches.
In a large pot with a fitted lid, bring about a gallon of water to boil. In a separate bowl, prepare a cooling bath by combining cold water with ice. When your first pot is boiling, add one batch of beans and replace the lid. Keep the water boiling, but reduce the heat if the pot boils over. Leave the beans to blanch in the water for four minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to move the beans from the boiling water to the cooling bath. Once they have cooled, remove the beans from the cold water and drain any extra liquid.
Repeat the blanching process until all the beans are blanched. Blanching water can be re-used, but you will need to add more ice to keep your cooling bath cold.
Package blanched beans in freezer-safe plastic bags or containers. Remove as much air as possible from the container, and place the beans in the freezer.