Whenever there comes a point of tightening the grocery belts, you always go for eating lots of beans and rice. And canned beans are surely an economical way to get plenty of protein in your diet.
Preparation of beans from dried might seem a tedious job, however, consumption of beans as much as possible, can help you save money. The beans are healthy, and tasty moreover, can be stored properly. The dried beans can be used over a year or more, likewise saving your time and pocket-friendly food item. The proper storage condition increases the shelf life of a commodity.
The time required from cooking to freezing dried beans is the best way to save money and help to control ingredients however, still, canned beans are a convenient option.
In comparison with the canned beans, the dried beans are cheaper, however, by buying in bulk bins you can save even more. Following steps need to be followed to store dried beans in your storeroom. The process of storing the beans can be simple yet easy. It takes just 5 minutes.
In this article, we will go through how to store dried beans in the freezer to be used further.
The Basic Procedure:
Cooking and freezing of beans include 5 basic steps. We will discuss them one by one further in the article.
- Rinsing and sorting the beans.
- Bagging and freezing.
In our family real food menus-like salads and soups, beans are used in large amounts, and for delicious dips like white bean dip and hummus.
Canned beans are much more convenient, whereas, dry beans are a cheap and healthy food that can be utilized not depending on the season, making them the most unique and versatile ingredient in any food store.
For the preparation, we will require the following things.
- Dried beans.
- A large bowl or pot.
- A large sturdy sieve.
- Bags for storage.
Sorting the dried beans:
Nowadays there are some sorting machines available in the market to sort out any unwanted thing present in the beans however, you need some more and thorough cleaning of dried beans by looking for twigs, rotten beans, and pebbles.
Soaking the beans:
The cooking time can be reduced if you soak the beans before cooking. The soaking is done in two ways either by filling up the bowl with water and beans up to 2 inches and letting the beans be soaked in water for the whole night.
The other option is quick to soak method. Fill the big pot with beans and add 2 inches of water. The pot is placed on the stove and the heat is increased to high. Boil up to a rolling boil along with a hard boil for a minute.
The heat is turned off and the beans are removed, covered, and soaked for 1 hour. The beans increase in size and softened a little.
Storage of beans is comprised of the following steps mentioned below.
- Dried beans are transferred to the airtight container with a lid. They will dry out faster if left in their original bag.
- Debris (like rocks or broken beans) is removed.
- The container should be placed in a dry, cool place. Direct sunlight should be avoided.
- Beans are stored in separate bags for storing.
- Bags are zipped-up and stored.
- The bags are stacked in a flat position to make easier stacking.
- Vacuum sealing hinders crystal formation and result in freezer burn.
Another feature of soaking is to get the beans free from flatulence-causing compounds and helps to cook harder beans fast.
- To get the best results, beans must be used in a year. However, they are safe and can be eaten after one year, besides needing more soaking and cooking time.
After investigations, the beans can be kept for many years so don’t haste to throw them.
Cooking Dried Beans:
It is very simple to cook and store dry beans.
- The dried beans are soaked in water for several hours or the whole night.
- Drain the beans and water is filled in the pot again.
- They are boiled and simmered to tenderize them considering the bean and its freshness.
The beans should be cooked properly as undercooked or raw beans cause gastric issues due to the presence of some toxins.
- Why freshwater is used? The soaked water can also be used however, changing of water minimizes the presence of any abnormality related to the bean.
- The boiling point is dependent on the points like age and type of bean. As chickpeas require more cooking time as compared to black beans. Moreover, older beans also take more time to cook.
How to tell the beans are done?
Take a spoon to scoop and blow the beans however, if the skin raptures and curls then the beans are done.
After cooking, remove the covering and let the heat be removed. Allow the beans to cool down.
Cooling the Beans:
- After boiling, drain the beans and lie out on a baking sheet for rapid cooling.
- The more the surface area, the quicker the cooling time.
- Don’t put the hot beans into the freezer as they will decrease the temperature of the freezer.
- The beans must be spread on one single sheet.
- As the beans cool down, the baking sheet is transferred to the freezer for further cooling.
- There is a quick soak trick used to enhance the process of cooking if you’re in a hurry.
- US Dry Bean Council recommends every pound of beans add ¼ tsp. of baking soda in the pot when you cook them. The baking soda makes the beans soft.
Divide, Label, and, Freeze:
- After the freezing process has been done, the beans are brought out, broken, and divided into containers. As most recipes require canned beans so use the beans according to your requirement.
- For easy use, the bags are stacked flat. On usage take the bag out and thaw the beans on the counter.
Using Dried Beans:
Many cooking recipes use beans in them. The dried beans are cooked in a cooker along with the famous quick pot recipes, which use dried beans without soaking in water. They can be added to your meals.
If the canned beans are used in a recipe, the dried beans can be used as a substitute.
- The dried beans are cooked in big batches for ease. The beans are divided into pint-size freezer jars and stock the beans in the freezer. The canned beans are pulled out along and microwaved or refrigerated the whole night.
Best ways to store Dried Beans for Long Term:
There are some best food storage tips to use the beans for a longer time.
Storage in Glass Jars:
The whole grains and beans are stored for a long time in glass jars and can be kept on shelves. This method is the best one and causes no damage.
The labels must be put on the jars.
When storing Dried Beans keep Bugs out and Remove Oxygen:
To store beans for a long time, make sure to keep the bugs and oxygen out of the container.
The storage can be done in buckets, and get ensured that they are food grade. They are available in many sizes. Also, get the bucket buster for the safe opening of buckets.
The next important step is to remove oxygen from the bucket. The oxygenated tabs are available to keep the oxygen out of the box. Another option is to use dry ice. A block of dry ice is broken down into smaller pieces and put ¼ cup of dry ice pieces into the bucket.
The lid is placed on the bucket without sealing it. The breaking of ice is done because the large pieces will take more time to dissolve as compared to the smaller ones.
Vacuum Seal Dried Beans for Longest Storage.
The beans if stored with proper conditions can be used for several years. The longer you have to soak the beans if the beans are older. They should not be left in plastic packing as it moistens the beans in humid conditions.
Is it safe to freeze beans?
Yes, it is totally safe however, you must have an idea regarding proper thawing and that is dependent on the type of bean.
Before starting the process of freezing, you need to know that few beans like black beans and kidney beans don’t go tender even after thawing for several hours.
The main point to consider with these two types of beans is to place them in the freezer for more than a week otherwise, they will become smelly.
Can you freeze dry beans?
Dry beans enclosed in airtight bags can be frozen. But, ensure to unpack the beans properly and place the dry beans in a freezer bag or mason jar in order to avoid them from coming in contact with oxygen from the surrounding.
Do Why beans get hard after freezing?
If the beans are cooked in the frozen form the beans will become hard as the water present inside them freezes and converts into ice crystals.
And when you try to cook the beans, they get hard, making it very difficult to eat and chew.
The beans are a good source of protein. The beans can be stored under proper conditions for a longer period. To freeze the beans, the proper steps should be followed as mentioned above to use the beans for further use.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. How long-cooked beans last in the freezer?
The cooked beans can be stored in the freezer for about 6 months with proper sealing till cooking.
2. What is the best way to freeze beans?
The beans are blanched for 3 minutes, and then treat the beans with ice water. Green beans are drained, dried, and spread on a single baking sheet. Freeze the beans till solid. The beans are then stored in the container of your choice.
3. Can the bean be frozen without blanching?
Yes, fresh green beans can be frozen with blanching. The ends are trimmed off, chopped, washed, and frozen.
4. Why do you discard bean soaking water?
The beans can be more digestible by soaking them in water. This will lead to a thorough cleaning of beans, and this is the reason for discarding the bean water. It is good to drain and rinse the beans properly before cooking.
5. Do cooked beans freeze well?
Yes, the cooked beans can freeze well. This is the best way to save time, energy, and money. For the best quality, you can freeze the beans for 2-3 months. The shape can be maintained if thawing the beans slowly in the refrigerator for the whole night.