Freezing soaked beans is an easy and practical way of storing beans.
It also helps reduce food waste and shortens the preparation time of the beans.
They can actually be frozen with or without the soaking liquid, although they will need more defrosting time if you decide to freeze them with the liquid.
They can last for up to three months in the freezer like this.
It’s a great way to store surplus beans without worrying about fast spoilage or fermentation. Beans are a staple throughout cuisines because there are so many varieties and so many different flavors and tastes.
If you and your family can’t get enough beans, keep up with us! We’ll help you learn the dos and don’ts of freezing soaked beans!
Why Should I Soak Beans in the First Place?
Soaking is often advised with beans. This is because soaking in water speeds up the cooking process and helps us digest them easier (bye-bye flatulence!).
The beans cook even faster in brine (salt and water) because the salt dissolves their skins. Soaking beans can be done in several ways and each one can be suited to fit your plan or preference.
The ideal time for soaking is between eight and 12 hours.
Anything below eight hours will result in a longer time necessary for cooking. Avoid soaking the beans for more than 12 hours because they will go mushy due to absorbing a lot of water.
- Fast soak
Thanks to this method, you can prep a pot of beans in only a couple of hours without worrying about their flavor or texture diminishing.
Place the beans in a pot over the stove. Pour water to cover the beans. Sprinkle salt if you wish and bring the content to a boil.
When they reach a boiling point, turn off the stove and leave them to soak for an hour. You can then strain and rinse the beans.
- Soak them overnight
This is the traditional way of soaking beans.
You should cover them with water and then add two tablespoons of kosher or fine salt per pound. Soak them for four hours or up to 12.
Strain and rinse them before you use them in a recipe.
- No soaking
Soaking beans isn’t a must. In fact, you can simply add them to a pot and cook the recipe for an additional one or two hours beyond the cooking time necessary.
As the water level drops, you can pour more water, stock, or broth. Make sure there’s always liquid covering the beans while they’re cooking.
Are Beans Freezer-Friendly?
Beans aren’t just yummy, budget-friendly, and good for the planet, but they’re also freezer-safe.
They can be cooked and frozen for later. This practice helps decrease food waste and ensures healthy ingredients for a variety of meals.
The good news is that you can freeze all types of beans, from canned to cooked. By following the steps below, you can easily freeze your next batch of beans and cook them for your favorite dish in the future!
- Rinse and clean the beans-this is easily done in a colander. Remove any bits of debris and any broken beans
- Soak the beans to prevent flatulence and speed up the cooking process
- Drain and rinse the soaked beans and cook them
- To cook the beans, fill a pot with water and make sure they’re entirely submerged in liquid
- You can add salt or not (more salt may speed up the cooking, but it may also make the beans mushier)
- When they reach a boiling point, stir them and lower the heat to a simmer
- Cover the pot with a partial opening for the steam
- You can cook the beans between half an hour and one hour. This depends on the variety and how long they have soaked (navy beans cook faster while kidney beans need longer)
- To be sure they’re ready, take several beans out and blow on them: if the skin peels and curls, the beans are ready
How to Store Soaked Beans?
You can easily store soaked beans without worrying about them going bad.
The uncooked, soaked beans can be put in the freezer, with or without the liquid. Storing them without the liquid helps prolong their longevity and speeds up the defrosting.
- Storing the beans with the liquid
If you have soaked beans that you don’t plan on using in a recipe soon, you can always store them in the freezer.
If you freeze them in an airtight container together with the liquid, they will last around three months.
But, take into account that the defrosting time necessary will be longer due to the extra liquid present.
- Storing the beans without the liquid
If you don’t want to waste precious time defrosting beans from the freezer with the liquid, store them without the water.
Strain them well and then transfer them into the container. These beans will also preserve their optimal flavor, taste, and texture for up to three months.
To reduce the risk of freezer burn in the beans, remember to squeeze the air out of the bag. If you opt for a plastic container, make sure it’s as small as possible and cover the beans with plastic wrap.
Even though you can always freeze soaked beans, it’s a lot easier to freeze them after cooking. In this way, you’ll have them ready for consumption after they’ve been thawed and reheated.
When you don’t have time to cook beans that have been soaked, don’t worry. You can set them in the fridge for a couple of days and then cook them. But, if this doesn’t happen, it’s best to transfer them into the freezer to prevent food waste.
It’s essential to know that soaked beans may go bad. This will result in bad bacteria that can cause diseases. Spoiled beans smell foul and go slimy and this is easy to recognize by sniffing them shortly. Usually, you won’t even need additional effort because the smell is easily noticeable!
If you’re unsure, rinse the beans and check again. If the smell is still there, they’re either fermented or spoiled.
But, fermented beans, which are not unsafe to consume as spoiled beans, often release a foul odor. So, most people confuse fermentation with spoilt beans.
But, there’s a trick to distinguishing between the two. It’s the foaming. If the water has foam, the beans are fermenting.
If you notice something growing out of the beans, it means that they’re sprouting! Sprouts are safe to consume, although they may taste slightly different.
If you’ve soaked beans, but don’t plan to use them immediately, you can store them in the fridge or in the freezer.
The latter is an excellent option if you won’t be using them within a week. When properly stored, they can last up to three months in the freezer.
Soaked beans are good for digestion and they cook faster. You can store them with or without the liquid, although the thawing will be longer in the latter case.
With only a couple of tips, you can easily store, freeze, and cook beans without a decrease in flavor, taste, and texture.