You’re probably here because you’ve dug out an old jar of beans in the cupboard and are left wondering: when did I open these, and how long do dried beans last?
Want us to spill the beans early? (Pun intended.) Dried beans basically don’t go off, and they’re considered non-perishable goods.
Full of potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and zinc, and boasting a high protein content, dried beans are a more economical alternative to their canned counterparts. Keep reading to find out how to make sure your beans are good, how long they last, and the best way to store them.
How To Tell If Dried Beans Have Gone Off
Since beans don’t officially go off, it’s pretty easy to tell if they’re inedible. If you spot bugs or mold, that’s a surefire sign your beans are ready for the bin. The same goes for any foul-smelling bags. Mold, bugs, and foul smells are usually caused by moisture getting into your bag.
How Long Dried Beans Last
For best results, you should use dried beans within a year of purchase. However, they’ll still be packed with nutritional content and easy to cook for 1-2 years.
Once your bag is 2-3 years old, expect the nutritional value of your beans to decrease. The vitamins and minerals once had will be gone within five years.
There are two reasons you want to cook your dried beans sooner rather than later. First, the nutritional content decreases as time goes on.
Secondly, your beans will need to soak for a minimum of 12 hours before cooking, and both cooking and soaking times increase as your beans age.
How To Restore Old Dried Beans
Help! Your beans are over two years old and really hard. What should you do?
Simply add ¼ teaspoon of baking soda to your bag of beans. Unfortunately, this will remove a lot of the nutrients, but it’s a good way to revive beans for a recipe you need pronto.
If your beans don’t soften at all, then re-purpose them as pie weights or throw them in your compost bin.
How To Store Dried Beans
Dried beans should be stored in an airtight container to stop moisture from getting in and kept in a cool, dark, dry place.
In order to stop your dried beans from going bad, you can add an extra ziplock bag over the packet they came in. This ensures no moisture gets in. Also, if one pack goes bad, it doesn’t contaminate any other bags.
Ready for a pro tip? If you’re buying dried beans for storage or you don’t trust that you won’t forget about them, you should freeze your beans for 48 hours before you put them in your pantry. This kills any insect larvae that may be in the packet.
So, Do Dried Beans Go Bad?
The answer is no, not really, and it’s pretty easy to see or smell when they’ve gone bad.
Plus, there are loads of easy ways to stop your beans from going off and revive old ones.