How to Freeze Beans

The Easy Way to Freeze Beans for Delicious Meals All Year Round

Beans are a nutritious and affordable pantry staple. But let’s face it, sometimes you just need a cup of beans and who cooks just a cup of beans at a time? That’s where freezing comes in! Freezing beans is a fantastic way to cook a large batch of beans and enjoy their goodness whenever you crave them.
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the simple process of freezing beans, ensuring they retain their texture and flavor. Plus, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you need for successful bean freezing!

Why Freeze Beans?

Here are just a few reasons why freezing beans is a brilliant idea:

  • Save Money: Buying dried beans in bulk is much cheaper than canned beans. Freeze them after cooking, and you’ll have a budget-friendly protein source readily available.
  • Reduce Waste: Don’t let leftover cooked beans go bad! Freeze them for later use and avoid unnecessary food waste.
  • Convenience: Pre-cooked frozen beans are a lifesaver for busy weeknights. Simply toss them into soups, stews, chili, or any recipe that calls for beans.

Freezing Beans:

  1. Cook It Up: Soak and cook your beans as usual or prepare your beans according to your favorite recipe.
  2. Cool Completely: Let the cooked beans cool completely to room temperature. This prevents them from getting mushy after freezing.
  3. Portion and Package: Leaving the beans in their cooking water, divide the cooled beans into freezer-safe containers or zipper bags. Leave an inch of headspace at the top to allow for expansion during freezing.
  4. Expel the Air: Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags before sealing them. Air exposure can lead to freezer burn.
  5. Label and Freeze: Label the container/bag with the bean type and date. Frozen cooked beans will keep for up to 6 months.

Reheating and Using Frozen Beans

Frozen beans are incredibly convenient, but knowing how to reheat them properly is key to maintaining their texture and flavor. Here’s how to bring your frozen bean stash back to life:

A pot full of cooked beansReheating Methods:

  • Stovetop: Place frozen beans in a saucepan with a splash of water or broth. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Drain the water then add the beans to your recipe.
  • Microwave: Transfer frozen beans to a microwave-safe bowl with a little liquid. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway, until heated through. Drain the water then add the beans to your recipe.
  • Direct to Recipe: In most cases, you can add frozen beans directly to your recipe without thawing them first. Just increase the cooking time by a few minutes to allow them to heat through. This works especially well for soups, stews, and chili.

Top Tips for Freezing Beans:

  • Use Fresh Beans: For best results, freeze cooked beans made with fresh, high-quality dried beans.
  • Freeze in Small Portions: Freeze a cup or two of cooked beans in each container. You can always thaw out two but it’s hard to cut a larger portion in half, trust me, I’ve tried!
  • Freeze Flat: Consider freezing cooked beans flat so you can stack multiple bags and fit more in your freezer.
  • Thaw Safely: Thaw frozen beans in the refrigerator overnight or under cold running water. You can also add them frozen directly to most recipes with a little extra cooking time.

Conclusion

Freezing beans is a practical and money-saving way to extend their shelf life and enjoy their versatility throughout the year. With these simple steps and helpful tips, you can easily freeze cooked and dried beans, ensuring you always have a nutritious and delicious ingredient on hand for your culinary creations!

 

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