Beans have been alluring people with their delicious taste and nutritional values for centuries.
They are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, making them an ideal source of healthy living. These plant-based proteins classified as legumes come in different versions and different shelf life.
Beans are the perfect cost-effective veggies and offer relatively low fat and cholesterol than other food products. They make an excellent addition to any meal and are low on maintenance as well
However, people are often curious about their shelf life as it can determine their favorite beans’ taste and flavor.
So how long do beans last? Do beans go bad? Or why should you be concerned about bad beans?
If you have these questions burning in your mind, you have landed on the right page. This article will help you understand the shelf life of beans and how you can determine whether they have lost their character.
How Long Do Beans Last? Do Beans Go Bad?
As we mentioned earlier, beans have different states, which include dried, canned, and fresh.
Fresh beans have a shelf life of about a week, while you can expect years out of canned beans. The shelf life of dried beans is indefinite, and many consider it as the non-perishable state of beans.
Unlike many food products, beans come with a sell-by date period and not an expiration date.
Some manufacturers can include a use-by date on their beans, but it solely means that they recommend consuming your beans before that date runs out to get the best quality.
However, it is entirely safe to use the beans even after the expiration date has lapsed.
Although you can store dried beans for years, they tend to lose their moisture after some time. If you have a pack of dried beans stored in your pantry that has lapsed its best before date, you will have to soak and cook it longer than it would have taken for a newer packet.
Luckily, dried beans retain all their nutritional value despite spending years in your kitchen pantry.
According to Huffpost.com, dried beans fall in those food categories that should never have an expiration date.
They are similar to honey or basmati rice, which remains safe to eat indefinitely. Just make sure that you store them with proper maintenance and away from bugs.
But do beans go bad? Unlike dried beans that can be used after years of storage, fresh beans don’t share the same fortune.
Fresh beans can last up to two days in the pantry and ten days if you store them in your fridge. So if you have fresh beans lying in your kitchen, it is probably time to add them to your favorite meal.
Don’t know what to cook? Here is a list of 20 fresh beans recipes by Woman’s Day.
How to Tell if Beans are Bad?
Beans can stay fresh longer if you keep them in a cool and dark place or your fridge.
The ideal temperature to store fresh beans would be 32 degrees Fahrenheit, while a temperature equal or less to 75 degrees Fahrenheit would suffice for canned and dried beans.
Additionally, you can preserve the taste by using a freezer-safe container.
However, beans can go bad if you don’t store them properly, and the simplest way of judging them would be by sight and smell.
Not to forget, bugs can also mess around with your beans and give you an indication that it is time to toss them out.
To make you understand what we mean, here are a few indications that will help you to determine whether your beans have gone bad:
- Sour smell – if your beans are discharging a sour smell, it is probably time to get rid of them. A rancid odor can indicate fermentation and molding, which is undoubtedly not the aroma you would like from your favorite meal.
- Mold growth – if you notice dark spots or mottled skin on your beans, it would be best to toss them out of your kitchen. Molds can indicate the growth of bacterial infection or fungus, which looks like a white-colored liquid and results from high humidity.
- Bug infestation – like most other food products, bugs on beans mean they are no longer the same. If weevils have found refuge in your container, you might want to say “sayonara” to your beans.
Beans are nutritious, and adding them to your meals will offer many health benefits along with a mouth-watering taste.
This high-fiber food comes at a relatively low price, and the fact that they can last for years makes them an ideal addition to your kitchen pantry.
However, as we mentioned, beans do need some care, and if you follow all the rules, such as keeping them away from moisture and air will ensure that your beans remain intact.
Air-tight containers and bags are the perfect ways of storing them, and while they may become faded in color with time, it is only a natural process and not a sign of expiry.