If you’ve ever spotted dried beans being sold at your neighborhood supermarket or local farmer’s market, you’d understand they’re a favored snack option.
They’re also an easy way to get protein into your diet if you’re vegan or vegetarian.
But how long does dry bean last once you purchase them? And what are some ways to extend their shelf life?
How long can dry beans last when stored properly?
Depending on the variety you buy, dry beans can last anywhere from six months to two years.
But in order to retain their flavor and freshness, you need to store them correctly.
Here’s what you need to know about keeping these nutritious foods fresh for as long as possible.
Beans are perishable
When you purchase dry beans, you want to be sure they contain no preservatives.
That means they must be kept in airtight containers such as glass jars or plastic bags.
Keep dry beans away from heat and moisture
The best way to preserve dry beans’ nutritional value is by keeping them out of direct sunlight.
If you live in a hot climate, this may not be practical.
However, if you live somewhere with cooler temperatures, then this will help extend the amount of time your beans will last before going bad.
Store dry beans in a cool, dark place
You don’t want to put them directly in the fridge, since that could cause condensation.
Instead, store them in the pantry or in a cupboard where they won’t get damp.
Don’t add salt to dry beans
Salt can draw moisture from the beans, which can lead to mold growth.
To prevent this, you shouldn’t add anything else to the container.
If you do, just wipe off the excess.
Wash your beans regularly
Even though dry beans aren’t likely to pick up germs, you still need to wash them thoroughly.
This helps remove dirt particles that can make the beans look dirty.
What is the shelf life of dry beans?
Because it depends on the type of bean, the shelf life of dry beans can vary greatly.
Some varieties of dry beans can last for up to two years while others only last for six months.
The longer they last, the better!
How do you store dry beans to prolong their shelf life?
- Keep them in airtight containers
- Don’t add things like salt, sugar, or vinegar to them
- Do not store them in direct sunlight
- Wash them well
Are there any special storage methods for dry beans?
There are different ways to store dry beans so they last longer.
For example, you can freeze them, but that doesn’t mean you have to thaw them first.
What are the consequences of storing dry beans for too long?
There are many reasons you might want to keep your dry beans around for awhile.
From making homemade soup to using them in dishes like chili, there are plenty of ways to enjoy them.
But if you’re planning on eating them soon, it’s important to follow proper storage guidelines.
What are the signs that dry beans have gone bad?
As we mentioned earlier, one of the biggest problems with dry beans is humidity.
Anyplace that has more than 50% relative humidity will accelerate the process of mold growth.
Therefore, if you see any signs of mold, throw those beans out as soon as possible.
Another common sign that dry beans have gone bad is the loss of their original color.
If you open up the container and notice that the beans appear grayish-white instead of bright green, red, yellow, purple, or brown, then toss them out immediately.
Is it safe to eat dry beans that have been stored for a long time?
No, it’s not safe to eat dry beans that have gone bad.
Not only are they contaminated with bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms, but they’ll also taste terrible.
To help you have a variety of choices for your meal menu. I suggest you how to cook Slow Cooker Ham and Beans
How can you tell if dry beans have gone bad?
One of the easiest ways to check whether your dry beans are still edible is by tasting them.
If the beans are still good, you shouldn’t notice any unpleasant flavors, odors, or textures.
On the other hand, if you find yourself chewing on something that tastes awful, then you probably shouldn’t consume them.
What should you do with dry beans that have gone bad?
If you see any signs of mold growth, throw them out immediately.
Even if they haven’t turned completely black, you should assume they’re spoiled and dispose of them accordingly.
If you’re unsure about whether your beans are okay or not, then you should always err on the side of caution.
Don’t take chances with food safety!
What should you do with dry beans that have gone bad?
If you discover that your dry beans are still edible after they’ve gone past their prime, you can use them for cooking.
Just remember that they’re already contaminated with microbes, so you should cook them right away to kill all the bacteria.
In terms of freezing, you can freeze them whole.
Then, once you pull them out of the freezer and defrost them, you can either cook them straight away or freeze them again until you’re ready to use them.
Slow Cooker Ham and Beans
- 1 Slow Cooker
- 1 pound navy beans
- 1 diced onion
- 3 chopped celery stalks
- 1 sliced carrot
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 leaf bay
- 1 smoked ham hock
- 4 glasses water
- 1 tsp. spices
- 1 cup ham
- Soak the beans in water overnight (the water should come up to a few inches above the beans).
- Before cooking, drain the beans in a colander.
- In the slow cooker, combine the beans, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, bay leaf, and ham hock.
- Fill the slow cooker halfway with water, just enough to cover the beans.
- Cover and cook on high for 5-12 hours or low for 7-12 hours, or until beans are cooked and falling apart.
- Remove any meat from the ham hock or bone from the slow cooker.
- Chop the meat and combine it with the Italian seasoning, the remaining chopped ham, salt, and pepper in the slow cooker.
- Cook for another 30 minutes covered.