However, as with all vegetables, they don’t stay fresh for long. Normally, you can tell when they are bad in a few ways like limpness, spots, and sliminess.
Let’s find out why green beans get slimy, and if slimy green bean are even safe to eat.
Why Are Green Beans Slimy?
If your fresh green beans or bagged green beans are slimy or are covered with a layer of slime, it might be because of 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. 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 either bought fresh or as bagged 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.
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 asparagus stalks, ranch-style beans, and wax beans.