If you often use kidney beans for your weekday meals, but you’re worried they’ll go bad, you’re in the right place. In this case, it’s good to know that they’re freezer-friendly!
By freezing kidney beans which you don’t plan to use soon, you will have healthy and tasty ingredients for upcoming dishes and decrease food waste. You can also freeze leftover cooked meals with beans.
Generally speaking, beans freeze well. The freezer prolongs their safety and taste and prevents them from ending up in the trashcan.
But, how to store them so that they keep their optimal shape and taste in the freezer? And, can you freeze both raw and cooked beans or not?
Keep reading to learn the answers to these questions and other helpful information for optimal kidney bean freezing!
Table of Contents
- Why to Freeze Kidney Beans?
- Steps to Freeze Kidney Beans
- Can You Freeze Kidney Beans Once Cooked?
- Can You Freeze Raw Kidney Beans?
- How Long Can You Freeze Kidney Beans?
- Can You Freeze Baked Kidney Beans in Mason Jars?
- Can You Freeze Kidney Beans from a Tin?
- Thawing and Using Frozen Kidney Beans
- Final Thoughts
Why to Freeze Kidney Beans?
So, why would you want to freeze your kidney beans? Well, let me throw a few reasons your way:
Retaining Nutritional Value:
Freezing is like hitting the pause button on the nutrient clock. It helps the beans maintain their nutritional goodness, ensuring you get all those health benefits when you finally dig into your frozen stash.
Extending Shelf Life:
Let’s face it—fresh produce has a limited shelf life. By freezing kidney beans, you’re essentially giving them a one-way ticket to an extended stay in your kitchen, ready to be used whenever the craving strikes.
Convenience and Meal Planning:
Imagine having pre-cooked kidney beans at your disposal whenever you’re whipping up a quick meal. Freezing allows you to be the superhero of your kitchen, saving time and effort during those hectic days.
Steps to Freeze Kidney Beans
Now that we’ve established the “why,” let’s jump into the “how” of freezing kidney beans:
Step-1: Selection and Preparation
Choosing Quality Beans: Start with the best. Look for beans that are firm, plump, and free from blemishes. If they look good, chances are they’ll taste good after freezing.
Washing and Sorting: Give your beans a good wash under cold water. Remove any debris or beans that look a bit off. We want only the finest for our freezing adventure.
Step-2: Cooking the Kidney Beans
Boiling vs. Soaking Methods: You’ve got options here. You can either soak your beans overnight or go for the quicker boiling method. Both work like a charm, so pick the one that suits your schedule.
Ensuring Proper Doneness: No one likes a crunchy bean. Make sure your kidney beans are cooked just right. A little bite is good, but we’re not aiming for jaw exercises here.
Step-3: Cooling and Drying
Draining Excess Moisture: Nobody likes soggy beans, right? Drain those beans like you mean it. Get rid of excess moisture to prevent ice crystals from forming during freezing.
Allowing Beans to Reach Room Temperature: Patience is a virtue. Let your beans cool down to room temperature before taking them to the next stage of their freezing journey.
Step-4: Packaging for Freezing:
Choosing Appropriate Containers: Tupperware, freezer bags, or even vacuum-sealed pouches—pick your weapon of choice. Just make sure it’s airtight and can withstand the chilly temperatures of the freezer.
Tips for Minimizing Freezer Burn: Nobody wants freezer-burnt beans. Seal your containers tightly, leaving little room for air. If using bags, squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.
Can You Freeze Kidney Beans Once Cooked?
The next time you have leftover kidney beans, you needn’t worry. You can set them aside for the next occasion by setting them aside in the freezer. But, before freezing them, transfer them to a freezer-safe container with a lid.
Make sure there’s an inch of two space from the beans to the lid so that the liquid can freely expand as the content freezes. Close the container and don’t forget to label the container with the date.
In this way, you’ll know how long the kidney beans have been in the freezer and whether they’re safe to eat or not.
You can also store leftover canned kidney beans in this way. Never leave them in the can because they will spoil fast!
Another way to store kidney beans, dried ones, is to cook them before putting them in the freezer. This is a popular and effective method of storing all types of beans.
To try it, rinse the beans first. Sort through them to ensure any bad-looking beans are out. Then, soak them in water overnight or for two to six hours. Drain them and rinse them once more. Boil them in a pot with water for half an hour to an hour.
Leave them to cool down to room temperature. When they cool down, drain them and store them in freezer-safe bags. Squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible and close it.
Don’t forget to mark the bags with the date before you put them away in the freezer.
Raw, uncooked kidney beans can be frozen.
But, make sure you rinse them well first. Remove any debris or dirt to prevent bacteria. Once you rinse and clean them, pat them dry using a clean cloth or a paper towel to remove the surplus water.
Put them in a plastic, freezer-safe container. Don’t fill it to the very top, but make sure you leave several inches of space between the beans and the lid. Close the container and put it on a sticker with the storage date.
Put it in the freezer. At 0 degrees F in the freezer, raw kidney beans can be kept for an indefinite period of time.
Cooked and canned kidney beans, when you store them properly, remain safe for consumption for up to six months. On the other hand, dried beans in the freezer will last for an indefinite period of time.
Freezing kidney beans isn’t just great for the prevention of spoilage and ensuring healthy food preservation, but it’s also a great way to decrease food waste in your household.
Mason jars are freezer-safe. And, they make great containers for storing store baked beans in the freezer.
They’re a great, simple way to store foods and drinks. Whether it’s a soup, a stew, or leftover baked kidney beans, a mason jar is there to help out! Once the baked kidney bean leftovers have cooled down, transfer them into the mason jar.
Leave a bit of space on the top and close the lid. Remember to write the date of storage before you leave the jar in the freezer.
Yes. You can freeze leftover kidney beans from a tin, but you should never use the tin as a freezing container, especially after it’s been opened!
This won’t just cause the food to go bad, but the food also becomes a danger if anyone consumes it due to a risk of poisoning.
Tins are great containers until they’re opened. Once you open them, you expose the inside content to air. If you tend to leave open cans of kidney beans in the fridge, we advise against doing this.
Regardless of whether you cover it or not, the food inside will eventually go bad. This is because cans are hard to reseal optimally once open.
The food inside will begin to dry, it becomes exposed to changes from the air circulating, and it will begin to absorb the smell from other foods in the fridge.
There’s also a risk of metal leaching into the food from the can. Although it’s not usually a health-related concern, it does make the taste of the food worse.
With this in mind, if you have leftover kidney beans from a can, transfer them to a plastic or glass container or a plastic bag before you store them in the fridge or freezer.
The fridge is the best option if you plan to eat them within several days. If not, the freezer is the safest option.
Thawing and Using Frozen Kidney Beans
Alright, so the moment has come. You’re ready to unleash those frozen kidney beans into your culinary creations. Here’s the lowdown:
Safe Thawing Methods:
Refrigerator Thawing: Patience is key here. Pop those beans in the refrigerator the night before you plan to use them. Slow and steady wins the race.
Quick Thawing Techniques: In a hurry? No problem. Seal your beans in a plastic bag and submerge them in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes until thawed. Quick and effective.
Kidney beans are yummy and a staple in a variety of cuisines. These beans are a favorite among vegans and vegetarians and they’re packed with amazing nutrients!
Whether consumed as a side dish or combined with other tasty ingredients to make a soothing stew, kidney beans are a great addition to any diet.
Kidney beans are freezer-friendly, including raw, cooked, and canned kidney beans. When storing them, it’s essential to do it properly in order to maximize their safety, maintain the optimal texture, and preserve the taste.
Mason jars and freezer-safe containers and bags are excellent for freezing all types of kidney beans!