Whether dried or canned, kidney beans make a significant part of every kitchen, and they are often ideal for meal prep or batch cooking.
Many people prefer storing canned beans as they are easier to use and the shelf life is very long. While others prefer buying dried bean bags so that they can cook whenever required and save costs by buying them in bulk.
But can we freeze kidney beans? Well, the answer will be yes. Whether dried, cooked, or canned, we can freeze the kidney beans which is ideal if you want to batch cook and freeze kidney beans recipes.
Although cooking and freezing kidney beans take quite some time, it is still worth it, and you can benefit from prepping in advance. If you have leftover canned beans, it will be a good idea to freeze them if you don’t plan on using them which can prevent food wastage.
Can you freeze dry kidney beans?
Technically, we can freeze the dried kidney beans and other types of dried beans. However, their shelf life is quite long regardless.
If kept under proper conditions, the dried kidney beans can be stored for many years in your pantry just like lentils. However, you will need to keep it in a tightly closed container or bag in a cool and dry place.
The best quality of the beans can be retained for 2 to 3 years. But, when suitable conditions are maintained, it will be safe to use beans even after three years which is why this is an amazing ingredient for batch cooking.
While freezing the dry kidney beans follow these steps:
- Wash them
- Remove all the dirt, debris, stones, and any beans that seem wrong.
- Dry the beans with a paper towel.
- Once they are dry, pour them in an airtight container or freezer bag.
- Label and place them in the freezer.
How to freeze kidney beans?
Once the beans have been properly prepared and cooked, freezing them should never negatively affect the beans’ taste and quality.
Please find below a step-by-step guide regarding the freezing of kidney beans:
- After cooking the beans, drain them, and wash with water.
- Divide the washed beans into equal portions. Store 1-2 cups of beans in every container or bag to be conveniently used later.
- Store beans either in a plastic container or airtight sealable bags.
- The liquid in the beans will expand in the freezer; hence be ensured to keep a little space in the container or bags.
- Do not forget to mention the date and amount of beans in every bag or container.
Some people freeze the beans along with the liquid they have cooked in. It is more appropriate for such people who are planning to use beans on their own.
Doing that will simply require you to take out the frozen kidney beans along with the liquid and reheat them.
3 Benefits of Freezing Dried Beans
Canned kidney beans are specifically handy and more comfortable to you when you require a quick dinner. However, consuming extra time to cook and free kidney beans yourself has significant benefits.
Master portion control
While cooking and freezing the beans, you can decide how much you will be freezing in every container or plastic bag.
You will need a smaller portion while cooking for one person.
However, for a big family, you have to use large quantities, i.e., more than two cans of kidney beans.
Finally, you can freeze kidney beans in various portions depending upon your preference and cooking needs.
When canned beans are available in standard sizes only, storing your kidney beans gives you the liberty to control portions according to your convenience.
The canned beans are not very expensive.
Purchasing a dried kidney bean bag, cooking, and then freezing them for future use is definitely a cheaper option.
The cooking does need time as compared to opening cooked beans can and spilling them into the pot.
However, a lot of effort is required to cook the beans.
Although it is a time-consuming process, it goes unattended most of the time.
Spending an extra hour to get beans stored for future use and that too much lower than a can is not a bad idea.
Reduce Sodium Intake
While trying to reduce the sodium intake, you must consider replacing the canned beans with the frozen ones in your kitchen.
The canned kidney beans contain added sodium that many of you would like to avoid.
It is advisable to leave out the salt while cooking and freezing beans and then add it later in the recipe to use the beans.
How to Freeze the Canned kidney Beans
After opening a can of kidney beans, you can easily save the leftover beans if it has not been wholly consumed.
- Strain the beans
- Wash them with cold water
- Place the beans in an airtight bag or container
- Mention the date on the bag
When freezing kidney beans, adding water to them is entirely your choice or preference.
How Long Can You Keep Kidney Beans in the Freezer?
The cooked kidney beans can be stored for about six months.
In case you have kept the beans without cooking and have only soaked and froze them, you need to use them within four months.
Canned kidney beans can be kept in the freezer for a short time.
After storing beans in the freezer, try consuming them within a month.
However, when kept at 0°F (-18°C) temperature, the dried beans can last forever in the fridge.
How to Defrost Kidney Beans?
When you are about to use frozen kidney beans in a dish, you do not require thawing them but simply need to add them directly into hot water.
After being added to soups or hot liquid stews, the beans will instantly come back to life.
For recipes that require defrosted kidney beans, simply take out the beans from the freezer plenty of time ahead of cooking and place them in the fridge to thaw.
Afterward, transfer them to room temperature to thoroughly defrost them.
When you need a quick defrosting of the beans, place the frozen beans into warm water. Within a few minutes, the beans will defrost.
During cooking, do not keep the flame high as the beans may split.
You can also avoid splitting the beans by adding some salt.
That is why it is recommended not to add salt while freezing the beans, as adding salt later while cooking will prevent beans splitting.