Storing Beans: What to Keep in Mind
Dried beans might just be one of the most versatile foods around. And we’re proud that ours are grown in the USA, non-GMO certified, and rank above the highest USDA grade for quality and freshness. They’re also delicious, protein-packed, budget-friendly, and can be stored for up to a year or more!
Basic Storage Guidelines
By following basic storage guidelines, dried beans will stay fresh, tasty, and ready to be cooked into creamy perfection. Of course, you can store Camellia Brand beans right in the iconic cellophane bags they’re packaged in, just be sure to store them in a cool, dry, dark place away from sunlight — like your pantry.
You may notice that some Camellia Brand beanbags have a ‘Best By’ date stamp, but they’re safe to use after that date. In fact, according to foodsafety.gov, dried beans can be consumed within 1-2 years if they’ve been stored in a pantry from the date of purchase, or within 1 year if they’ve been opened and then stored in a pantry. Dried beans are considered ‘non-perishable’ foods, which means they have a long shelf life and can be stored at room temperature.
Tips for Storing Dried Beans in Containers
If you prefer using other types of storage containers such as glass or plastic jars, the key is to make sure they’re food-safe and have tight-sealing lids. In addition, you might want to consider:
- Using containers that hold the typical amount of beans you tend to cook at a time – for example, 1 pound or 2 pounds.
- Labeling your containers with the date you purchased the beans, so that you know how long they’ve been in your pantry.
Beans That Have Been Stored Longer Than A Year
Cooking and eating beans more than a year after purchase is perfectly safe, but they might require a longer cook time to become tender. Adding ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to each pound of beans while cooking can help make them softer.
Storing Cooked Beans in the Freezer
Feeling industrious? Double your favorite red beans & rice recipe, then enjoy with your family, and freeze the rest. You’ll thank yourself at a later date — when you don’t have the time or energy to cook. Another worthy idea is to cook dried beans in large batches, portion 2-cup increments along with some cooking liquid into small storage bags, and freeze. Then, when you need the equivalent of a can of beans for a recipe, just grab them from the freezer instead. Cooked beans in the freezer should last up to six months.