Dried beans are not only packed with amazing nutrients, they are also affordable, tasty, and they store beautifully for a long time. Dried beans will come in handy when you need to fix yourself up a healthy meal. But since this product is sold in bulk, leftovers are inevitable. So how do you store the excess dried beans? Do dried beans go bad? What can you do to maximize the shelf life of dried beans if you have no plans of using them right away?
Dried beans have gone through a lengthy drying process so much of the moisture within the beans are removed. This process enhances the shelf life of the dried beans. As you know, high moisture foods tend to go bad much more quickly. Since the dried beans are more shelf stable than raw beans, they can be stored at room temperature for a long time.
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That’s not to say that dried beans will keep forever. The beans are still prone to mold growth especially when packed poorly. The beans are also likely to go bad if they’ve been stored in a moist or humid storage spot. If you’d like to know more about storing dried beans properly, continue reading below:
How to Store Dried Beans?
Storing Dried Beans in the Pantry
The best method of storing dried beans is to keep the beans in the pantry. Refrigeration and freezing are not recommended because overly chilly temperature could cause the beans’ outer coating to harden. When the dried beans’ outer coating hardens, soaking and cooking the beans will take longer. In addition, the texture of the beans is forever altered. That said, some people have several solutions for keeping hardened dried beans soft after storage. You can try any of these tips although great results aren’t always a guarantee.
Dried beans are best stored in a glass jar with an airtight lid. Store the beans in a cool, dark place that’s away from direct sunlight. You can also use a food-safe storage container as long as the lid seals tightly. Never store dried beans in a brown bag or plastic wrapping. This will only dry out the beans faster.
Before transferring the dried beans in a container, remove the broken beans or rocks. Do note that dried beans tend to attract pantry bugs (weevils) so use up your supply as soon as possible. Dried beans will keep in the pantry for years. However, this doesn’t mean that the product retains its quality when kept for too long. According to the US Dry Bean Council, adding ¼ teaspoon of baking soda for every pound of dried beans will help restore the softness of the beans as they cook. To extend the freshness of dried beans even further, consider vacuum sealing the container of the beans.
Storing Dried Beans in the Freezer
The only time that you should store dried beans in the freezer is if you are planning to ground the dried beans into a powder later on. To store dried beans in the freezer, remove all the broken beans and unwanted debris first. Then, transfer the beans in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight, freezer-safe container. Stick in the freezer and you’re done. To extend the freshness of dried beans even further, consider vacuum sealing the container of the beans.
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Shelf Life of Dried Beans
Dried beans will keep indefinitely in the pantry. Some people have stored dried beans for 30 years and the beans remained safe to eat. Of course, don’t wait too long before you use up your supply. We recommend consuming the beans as soon as possible for optimal quality. It helps if you buy only the amount that you need to avoid waste.
How to Tell if Dried Beans Have Gone Bad?
It’s easy to tell if dried beans are no longer safe to eat. Give the beans a whiff. If the product has developed a sour or off-aroma, discard the beans right away. Seeing signs of mold growth or weevil damage could mean that the beans are no longer safe to eat. Hardened dried beans are still safe to eat, these will only take a longer time to soak and cook.
Do dried beans go bad? To say that dried beans have a long shelf life is an understatement. Dried beans are known to keep for several decades in the pantry! Of course, there are many ways to extend the shelf life of dried beans even more, including the tips we’ve outlined in this guide.