Old Beans from 1970 Made Soft and Edible

old beans

The other day someone gave me a case of white navy beans that were packaged by Neo-Life foods.  The date on the cans was 4/28/1970.  Neo-life was a good company and packaged their food well and used nitrogen packaging.  The old beans looked in good shape, so we decided to eat some of them.

The first thing that was done was to see if they would still sprout.  This was unsuccessful they would not sprout reliably.  My wife then decided to cook some as an expertiment; since they seemed very hard, she cooked them with two different methods.

Both methods start out the same way.  She brought three cups of water to a low boil in two different pans. A cup of the old beans was then added to each pan.  The heat was turned off.  She added a teaspoon of baking soda to one and none to the other. Both pans of beans allowed to soak for one hour.

At the end of the hour, both pans of old beans were then cooked for three hours.  At the end of three hours, the beans in the pan with the baking soda were nice and soft and edible.  The beans in the other pan could be used for buckshot.

old beans
The ones on the right are edible. The ones on the left are like buckshot

Here is a link to a post my wife made on this subject. Softening Old Beans Can be Simple In the post, she mentioned starting out with 3/8 of a teaspoon of baking soda and then increasing it if needed.  In this case, the beans were so old and hard she started out with a teaspoon full.  Now these beans may not have all the nutrition of fresh ones, but they will provide you with calories and fill your belly.

If you have beans in your storage you need to store extra baking soda.  Having baking soda on hand can be the difference between throwing out old beans or using them.   Baking soda is cheap, store extra.



3 thoughts on “Old Beans from 1970 Made Soft and Edible”

  1. Thanks for posting this. It would be interesting to know if a pressure cooker would cook the “buckshot” beans, but baking soda is so easy, that makes the most sense. Mom always used 1/2 teaspoon full.

  2. Am I correct that the old beans would grind well into bean flour, and would probably make better than OK frijoles refritos? I see another recipe test opportunity and cannot wait for the results! I’m getting hungry….

  3. Funny, I also have some NEO LIfe storage cans nitrogen packed foods from the 1970’s. Mostly Soy and Milk, some vegetables. Have never opened them. Just keep them as a last resort. Wonder how well preserved they are

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