Can You Freeze Cooked Navy Beans?

Navy or pea beans are small and yummy beans that cook fast. These oval-shaped beans offer a delicious and creamy texture in meals.

They make the ideal protein-packed ingredient for pureeing and an excellent choice for a variety of soups and dips. Moreover, they’re the perfect side dish and vegetarians’ favorite source of protein.

Abundant in important nutrients, navy beans shouldn’t be missed out.

The reasons for including them in your diet are numerous, including the fact that they freeze pretty well. This is a great storing option for batches of navy beans or leftover meals that contain navy beans.

You no longer have to waste food in your household: learn how to freeze navy beans following a couple of easy steps starting today!

Closeup of a soup spoon full of baked navy beans

How to Freeze Raw Navy Beans to Prevent Insects?

Raw navy beans can be frozen, but the purpose of doing this is a bit different than that of freezing cooked ones. They’re usually frozen to destroy any insects rather than preservatives.

Therefore, if you have a bigger batch that you just got from the green market or harvested from your garden and you’re worried about insects, freezing is the solution.

Set the beans in a freezer-safe bag or a container. Remove as much air out of the bag as possible to prevent freezer burn.

You want to avoid this due to the changes it causes to the beans’ taste and texture. Set them away in the freezer for a week to two.

The cold temperatures will kill any weevils and ensure the beans are ready for storage in the pantry. Avoid keeping the beans in the freezer longer than two weeks because they may begin to spoil.

Once the process of destroying the insects is done, you can move on to storing the navy beans in the pantry or prepare them for longer storage in the freezer.

Their lifespan is quite long, but it’s optimal to use them within a year of buying or harvesting. This is because the longer they remain on shelves, the longer will they need to cook. Still, though, they continue being safe for several years.

Keep them in storage containers that have tight lids or food vacuum bags.

Make sure they’re in a cool and dry area, away from sunlight. If you have been keeping them for more than a year, add ¼ tsp of baking soda per pound of beans while they’re cooking to soften them.

Should You Blanch Navy Beans Before Freezing?

If you want to freeze uncooked navy beans for longer than two weeks, blanching them beforehand is a great way to prolong their lifespan. Another option is to cook them and we will discuss this process in the following section.

If you opt for blanching, you need a pot of boiling water and one pot of cold water. Dip the navy beans inside and leave them for a minute or two.

Take them out of the boiling water and set them into the cold water. Leave them for a bit in the cold water and take them out.

This will stop the process of cooking and prepare the beans for longer storage in the freezer. Blanching is done to stop the enzyme’s actions that cause the loss of texture, color, and taste of the beans.

You can also opt for overnight soaking which can be done before freezing the beans or using them in a recipe.

For this, clean them and set them in a pot of water, making sure they’re entirely covered in it. Leave them to soak overnight or at least eight hours.

The soak before freezing or cooking will soften the beans and remove hard-to-digest sugars. Once they’re ready, strain the water and prepare the beans for cooking or freezing.

How to Freeze Cooked Navy Beans?

Cooking navy beans before freezing is the other option to maintain their taste and texture optimal. This process will ensure the beans last for up to six months or more.

Cooking the beans before freezing them is also time-saving.

Below, check out the step-by-step on how to cook navy beans and prepare them for the freezer:

  1. Make sure you don’t overheat them

Not overcooking beans is essential. This averts the beans from splitting or becoming mushy.

This will ensure optimal texture during the freezing. Cook them on low heat. If you’re combining them in a recipe, add them five to ten minutes before the end.

  1. Add a texture-preserving ingredient

If you want to prepare the beans for the freezer and use them for recipes, make sure you add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice or vinegar at the end of the cooking process.

This acidic ingredient will maintain its texture and freshness.

  1. Leave them to cool entirely

All leftovers should be cooled down entirely before they’re frozen. This will ensure the freezing process starts right away.

It’s also vital for the safety of food because freezing reduces the risk of bacteria and averts freezer burn.

If possible, divide the navy beans into smaller portions and several bags or containers. This will speed up the freezing and thawing process.

  1. Leave space

Always leave some space at the top of the container. This will make sure any liquid in the recipe can expand as the freezing starts.

By doing this, you prevent the beans from going mushy and sticking to each other.

  1. Reheat the navy beans gradually

Slow reheating is pivotal for all beans. If you do it fast, they will split and the outside will cook faster than the inside.

Always thaw the beans in the fridge or at room temperature and warm them up on low heat or in the microwave.

Final Thoughts

Navy beans are an awesome ingredient: packed with fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals, they’re a favorite in all types of diets. And, the good news is that they’re freezer-friendly!

Whether you have a fresh batch of navy beans or cooked leftovers that you don’t want to waste, the freezer is a great storage option.

Blanching or cooking the beans before freezing saves you time and you’ll have portion-size ready beans to use in future meals.

Following the right freezing procedure won’t just prolong the beans’ lifespan for up to six months, but it will optimize their texture and preserve their flavor too.

What’s your favorite way of preparing navy beans for the freezer and which one surprised you the most? -Tell us in the comment section!

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