Green beans or snap beans are no stranger to our kitchen and cooking recipes. As green beans are such a great source of protein and fiber, we use them in most of our daily meals, especially for those on a diet. They are so tasty and easy to combine with different types of food, such as bacon and thyme.
However, as with all vegetables, they won’t stay fresh for a long time. Normally, you can tell from the signs such as limpness and dryness with black spots. But green beans slimy? Maybe it is the first time you encounter this sign. So, why are green beans slimy? Is slimy green bean safe to eat?
Let’s find out your answer in our article now!
Why Are Green Beans Slimy?
If your green beans are covered with a layer of slime, it might have two reasons: Over-blanching or food spoilage.
Blanching is an important step for you to prepare your raw green beans for cooking. After blanching, green beans are tenderized, stay vibrant color, and deactivate the enzyme leading to food spoilage. If green beans are not blanched before putting in the freezer, they might lose their fresh color, flavors, or even textures.
However, nothing is good if you do it too much or too little. In this case, over-blanching might disrupt the green beans crispy texture and turn it into a slimy softness on the beans’ surface.
That’s why we recommend that blanching green beans should only be in a short time that allows the beans to bend without breaking. When boiling water, leave your green beans for 3 – 5 minutes for a thorough effect, then scoop them out in a bowl of ice water.
If you find your green beans slimy in a bag, your green beans are possibly near their expiration date. Green beans are fresh vegetables with a limited shelf life, 3-5 days at room temperature. If they are exposed to high temperature and bacteria, their life would be much shorter.
Food spoilage is a normal process happening to fresh food from raw meat, pouty to vegetables and fruits—people in the world waste 179 kilograms of food every year due to spoilage. The process causes the food to become undesirable with several changes in textures, odors, taste, and appearances.
The most common cause of food spoilage is exposure to fungi and bacteria for vegetables and fruits. Their presence may be easy for you to see as they are visible on the surface, causing a color change (green to brown), bad odors, sour taste, and slime formation.
Is It Safe To Eat Slimy Green Beans?
Now that we understand how green beans become slimy, you might wonder, “are slimy green beans safe to eat?”
If your green beans are slimy because of over blanching, you can eat them later. As the disrupted texture is solely a physical effect on the beans, the vegetable‘s nutrition and taste remain the same.
However, if food spoilage is the main cause of your slimy green beans, you might need to be careful with this case. The spoilage bacteria, pathogenic bacteria such as E Coli, can cause food poisoning and are activated at room temperature.
The longer you leave the slimy vegetables exposed to the danger zone (5-60 degrees Celsius), the higher the chance your food is contaminated. Therefore, if you forgot the spoiled green beans in the bags for days now, it is time to throw them away to avoid food poisoning.
How To Keep Green Beans From Being Slimy?
Food spoilage is an unfortunate natural process that there is no method to reverse the progress. When it has happened, you can only throw them away, which costs a lot of our money and time. Thus, prevention methods should always be essential to keep the vegetables fresh and edible.
Like other types of vegetables and fruits, fresh green beans are best kept at a low temperature, which deactivates the enzyme and bacteria activities. That means the fridge and freezer are perfect storing places for these delicious green beans.
Before you put them in the fridge or freezer, you need to prepare them first. You must remember that you cannot wash them before refrigerating them as they will start to spoil if they are exposed to the water.
What you can do is to put all of your green beans in freezer bags or airtight containers so the beans are not exposed to the air.
After preparing them, you can put them in the fridge or freezer. As the fridge storing day varies from 5-7 days, it is most suitable to cook them soon. For freezing, you can leave your green beans for up to 8 months long.
What Goes Well With Green Beans?
Green beans are an ideal side dish for a healthy and delicious meal. You can cook them with onions, almonds, bacon, or shallots. You can also use all kinds of toasted meat and green beans strings for a balanced dish.
2. What Can You Substitute For Green Beans?
If you’re short of green beans, you can find other types of beans or vegetables to substitute this delicious ingredient. Some substitutes we can recommend to you are nopalitos, asparagus stalks, ranch-style beans, and wax beans.
Green beans are amazing green vegetables for our daily meals as they bring nutrients and health benefits. However, these fresh string beans don’t last long in the normal temperature. Unless there are proper storing methods, the green beans will become slimy and spoiled.
After our article, we hope you have learned the answer to your question: “Why are green beans slimy?”. Food spoilage is inevitable in the natural environment. With easy storing steps, you can keep your green beans fresh longer.