Broad beans are named for their large, flat, round seeds, which are commonly cooked before being eaten. They make an excellent freezer crop when harvested young and tender from the garden, and can be stored this way for up to one year. This method may be used to freeze as many broad beans as necessary.
Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Use one gallon of water for every pound of beans. Shell the broad beans while you're waiting for the water to boil, and set aside.
Fill a large mixing bowl with water and ice and set aside. Add the beans to the boiling water, cover and cook for two minutes to blanch. Remove the broad beans from the water with tongs and place immediately into the ice water to stop the cooking process.
Drain the water from the broad beans by pouring the contents of the bowl through a colander. Remove as much water as possible, as excess can cause ice crystals to form during freezing.
Pat the beans dry with a kitchen towel to remove as much moisture as possible. Transfer the beans to zipper lock freezer bags. Pack them in tightly and press the bags with your hands to remove excess air before sealing.
Label the freezer bags with the contents and date using a magic marker. Place the broad beans into the freezer where they will keep for up to 12 months. To use, cook the frozen beans in boiling water for five to seven minutes, or until tender.
Alternatively, broad beans may be frozen using the tray-pack method. Place the beans on a large baking sheet or tray after blanching and place in the freezer for several hours to open-freeze. Once frozen, transfer the beans to zipper lock storage bags and store as directed above.