Storing cooked beans

jasdipMay 10, 2013

I've never cooked dried beans, and we've been enjoying black beans.

Is there any health advantage to using dried beans vs canned? Aside from the sodium levels, and I do rinse the canned beans.

If I bought dried, soaked and cooked them, can they be frozen for future use? I can't imagine doing that work just for a cup or 2 of beans for a recipe.

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I don't know about a health advantage, but there can be a taste advantage!
It is hard to improve on a pot of home-cooked beans.
And, yes, they freeze beautifully.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:31AM
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Taste is definitely something I was wondering about Hounds! I'm looking for any advantage of dried vs canned.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 8:32AM
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I do think they taste better ..and I love controlling the salt I love the creamy taste of the home cooked ..probably over cooked LOL but what I would do if I were you Jas, when you cook them, just prior to them being ready...get your freezer containers ready and dip the amounts that you want to freeze into the containers and sit them out to cool...and finish cooking the ones you want to eat for your you want to under cook the beans you are going to freeze....the reason for this is freezing does soften (break down is probably a better term) a bit so I prefer to have them not quite fully cooked for freezing...Do you have a canner...I often do a canner full of beans and just have a bunch of black beans of the shelf so I can grab a jar when I want some..but...I always have beans in the freezer too...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:13AM
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The main health advantage of dry beans vs. canned besides controlling the sodium content is that food cans are lined with a resin containing Bisphenol A (BPA). It easily leeches into the foods in the can and it's not healthy at all.

As for cooking beans, I follow the method of a Mexican cookbook author, no soaking required. Just rinse and sort the beans really well, put in a large pot, add plenty of water, bring to a boil, and once they are boiling, turn way down to simmer. After a couple hours, you have perfectly cooked beans. I also add an onion and lots of dried herbs.

Just before they are done, I add salt and some smoke seasoning (supposedly, salt added early in the cooking process toughens them and they never get soft. Not sure if it's true, but I wait, just in case). I've used this method with black beans, pinto, white beans and others and they turn out great each time. And like Hounds and Ruthie wrote, they do freeze well.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 10:59AM
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I think the "no soaking" works for some beans but I prefer to soak lots of my beans still. I love beans and cook many different kinds of beans. Many of them are quick cooking and do cook up soft and creamy but I am a creature of habit and love the texture of soaked beans like pintos and red beans and yes even black beans...softer beans do not need it and will turn to mush if over cooked..I say try skipping the soak and if you like it, you will save your self that step.....there are only maybe 6 that I don't soak...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:15PM
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Ruthie, I was a religious over night soaker before I tried that cookbook method. :o) I used to soak everything except for black eyed peas, lentils and adzuki beans. Nothing wrong with soaking, but leaving that step out helps my disorganized self to still cook beans in time for dinner. It probably also depends on how old the dried beans are, really old tough ones would likely require soaking over night plus longer cooking.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 2:25PM
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My family has been in the restaurant business for 3 generations, if someone brought in anything in a can they were gone, my Noni made sure of that, same holds true today. Taste, taste, and more taste. I think it has something to do with taste.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 3:19PM
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Oh I know petra...I have cooked lots of beans and peas without soaking...its nice not to have to do it...

Flor De Mayo is one that cooks beautifully without soaking
The Anasazi...most of the white beans...

I love beans so much that I have them fresh, frozen and yes even bought canned and home canned....I open a can, pour then in a strainer, rinse them off and love them just like I had cooked them all day...LOL

I usually try to have at least 4 or 5 kinds in my garden and I will even sort through the packages at the grocery store for new beans to try in my garden..

Sorry I sort of lost tract of the original subject...but I am a bean aholic....and they help with my health and weight issues...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 4:30PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I love beans! My mother soaked the few that she cooked, but I don't. We ought to have a Bean Recipe thread!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 7:01PM
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Here's a dumb question. If soaking overnight, are they okay to leave out at room temperature? I would think so, but well, it's me that's asking, and I have no clue. :)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 9:36AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Jasdip, you can leave the beans on the counter as long as you get to them sometime the next day.

You know, the good thing about soaking them is that all the gross scumminess that comes to the surface can be rinsed away. Hmmmmm.

Ruthie, what kinds of beans do you grow? Do you grow enough to dry some or do you freeze some? More and more varieties are available frozen these days, but nothing unusual.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 11:26AM
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WalnutCreek Zone 7b/8a

If I am using the crockpot to cook pinto beans, I do not soak overnight.

If I cook on the stovetop (which is very rare these days for beans), I soak overnight.

Fairly recently, for the first time I tried a can of pinto beans from the store and did not like. There is just nothing to describe the so very, very much better taste of home cooked dried beans.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 2:22PM
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I've never frozen beans separately, only in chili and I don't like the texture after freezing chili. They're mushy and just a weird texture. I'm not sure if I really notice a taste difference other than the texture but it's repulsive enough to me that if I'm making a batch intending to freeze part, I'll separate it and add beans to the portion not intended for freezing.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 5:47AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Freezing cooked beans doesn't seem to work very well, but fresh, raw beans freeze beautifully. I always have bags of frozen limas, black eyed peas, soy beans, and other field peas in the freezer. They're as close as you can get to fresh picked without harvesting from your own garden. IMO, better than cooking up a batch of dried peas /beans. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a big selection of the frozen.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 6:47AM
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I like Ruthie's method. Take out the beans you are going to freeze just before they are done, and then when you thaw and heat them up, finish the cooking time, which isn't long. I have never eaten beans in a can...except green beans. Red beans are my favorite and I cook those often. I mash them and use them in tostados the next day....or heat them up and eat them two days in a row.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 3:59PM
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A lot of people who can their own beans don't even cook them,, wash them, ,soak them over night,and measure them out into your jars and then pour in hot liquid and pressure cook them...for the required amount of will get a good product in my opinion..Canning in pints is all I have ever done except for green easy to run in and grab a jar of beans when you haven't taken anything out for supper and you need a quick fix..

    Bookmark   May 14, 2013 at 9:32PM
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