Lima beans, when prepared properly, are a tender, savory treat. Take advantage of fresh lima beans by freezing them when they are not in season. To ensure that your lima beans will be just as green and flavorful when you thaw them, you must blanch the lima beans for one to four minutes in boiling water. Blanching stops the enzymes from breaking down during the freezing process and helps preserve the texture, color and nutritional value of the beans.
Shell the lima beans and discard the pods. Rinse the beans to wash away any dirt or sand.
Bring 1 gallon of water to a rolling boil in a stockpot. Add 1 lb. fresh lima beans and return the water to a boil. Blanch small lima beans for 2 minutes, medium lima beans for 3 minutes, and large lima beans for 4 minutes.
Drain the beans into a colander. After the beans are drained, pour them into a large bowl filled with icy water to stop the cooking process.
Drain the lima beans again, and then pack them into resealable plastic freezer bags. Leave 1/2 inch of space at the top of each bag to allow the beans time to expand as they freeze.
Freeze the lima beans. The lima beans will keep in the freezer for 3 to 6 months.
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Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.