Food Storage: Bean Cooking Tips

Here are some great tips for cooking beans I’ve come across. Just thought I’d share them with y’all! Have a great week!! (I won’t be posting this week due to some crazy family schedules, but enjoy all the other reading there is to do!) 🙂

Tips for Cooking Beans

  • During hot summer weather, soak your beans in the fridge to prevent fermentation.
  • Drain off soaking water to reduce gas. 🙂
  • After soaking, get rid of any beans that have floated to the top.
  • If you soak your beans, but don’t have time to cook them, you can store them in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for 2 to 3 days before you cook them.
  • Just prior to cooking the beans, bring your cooking water up to a hard boil for five minutes.
  • To keep beans from splitting, cook over low steady heat.
  • Add salt and other acidic ingredients (like tomatoes and vinegar) once the beans are tender (especially if you’re having trouble with consistently tough beans).
  • Bean dishes are generally better the next day because they continue to thicken and blend their flavors as they cool. So if you want a great make ahead meal, beans are a great option!
  • Make a big batch of beans and freeze the extras for use at a later date.
  • If you plan to freeze beans, undercook them slightly (so they don’t lose their shape and texture as they thaw and reheat).
  • To freeze beans: Allow the beans to cool just to room temperature (about 1 hour), then place useable portions of the cooked beans into freezer bags or air tight containers with enough liquid (use the cooking liquid if available) to barely cover them (so they don’t get dried out or freezer burn). Make sure there’s room in the container for expansion of the beans as they freeze. Place in the freezer and keep for up to 3 months or so (6 months for a deep freeze).
  • To thaw and reheat frozen beans: It is best to thaw beans slowly so they don’t lose their shape and become mushy. Thaw in the fridge overnight if possible, in a pan of warm water, or in the microwave on the defrost setting (only if they are in a microwave safe container!). Once they are thawed enough to be removed from their container, put them in a saucepan with your choice of cooking liquid to reheat and finish cooking. Bring the beans slowly to a boil over about medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the beans are tender (depending on how ‘undercooked’ they were when you froze them). If they were fully cooked when you froze them, then cook them just long enough to reheat them.
  • Don’t cook kidney beans in the crock pot method. They need to boil first! (Red kidney beans contain a substance called phytohemagglutinin. It’s neutralized by boiling, but not by sub-boiling temps. If you eat raw or undercooked red kidney beans, you will be in for serious gastrointestinal trouble for the rest of the day, though it won’t kill you. White kidney beans don’t have as much phytohemagglutinin, but it’s still a good idea to make sure they come to a boil. Source.)

For other information on how to cook beans, click HERE.

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