Beans are a wonder food: inexpensive, full of protein, and delicious in a number of healthy dishes. Dried beans are easy to store, and will keep almost indefinitely. Frozen beans are convenient and easily re-heated, and will keep up to 3 months. Always have some beans on hand, and you'll always be ready for an impromptu meal.
Storing Dried Beans
Spread dried beans on a large tray or cookie sheet. Dispose of any shriveled beans, and watch for small rocks that sometimes get mixed in with the beans.
Put the beans in a glass or plastic container with a lid that fits very snugly. You can also store them in Ziploc bags.
Label the container, noting what type of bean is stored inside, and the date. Store the beans at room temperature.
Storing Frozen Beans
Cook the beans in boiling water until they're slightly underdone. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the beans to cool until they're just warm, but not hot.
Drain off about half of the liquid. Put the cooled beans in a plastic storage container.
Label the container and store it in the freezer. The beans will be best if they're used within 3 months.
About this Author
M.H. Dyer is a longtime writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the "East-Oregonian Newspaper" and "See Jane Run" magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.