Over the years, we have posted a number of articles on cooking and storing beans. Today’s post is a summary of some of the information we have learned.
Beans come in different varieties and you can normally find one that will suite every taste. The Different Varieties of Beans Try different beans and find the ones that suite you and your family.
Most beans will store for 30 years if stored correctly. This means keeping them cool and protected from exposure to oxygen by packing them in Mylar bags in plastic buckets, #10 cans or their equivalent. They are sensitive to heat and will become hard if exposed to high heat.
Beans provide good nutrition and if served with rice or wheat will make a complete protein. Many people in third world countries use them as a staple in their everyday diet and stay quite healthy. Beans and Rice a Complete Protein for your storage
If you have been storing beans and they get hard, don’t despair. Tricks to soften them.
If you are going to add acid foods such as molasses, tomatoes, and vinegar, add them near the end of your cooking because they have a tendency to make beans hard. The same thing applies to salt, which should be added at the last minute.
If your beans still won’t get soft, soak them in water with baking soda to soften them. Start out with about 3/8 of a teaspoon and increase if needed. If the baking soda doesn’t work, try pressure cooking or canning the beans. This works most of the time. If nothing else works, try grinding them into flour. This flour can be used to make refried beans, soup or even to mix in bread recipes.
- Old Beans from 1970 Made Soft and Edible,
- More on Saving Old Beans that Have Turned Hard,
- Making Bean Flour and Cooking with Old Beans
An additional use for beans is to cook them and use them in baking to replace fat. Beans can Replace Fat and Oils in Your Baking. I claim these are low fat, high protein cakes and you can eat more. But all kidding aside you can’t tell the difference between them and ones made with oils or fats.
Here are a few recipes to help you get started with cooking beans.
- How to cook Beans the Old Fashioned Way
- Refried Beans a Good Hard Time Recipe
- A Good Recipe for Beans and Chili
Like anything there is a bit of a learning curve, start using beans before you have to and get some good eating.