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Old 10-01-2011, 04:47 AM   #1
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Can I freeze or vacuum pack rehydrated beans?

I love to make various kinds of bean dishes. In my new eating plan I am trying to put one bean dish every day, as well as a toy product. I usually use dried beans because of the reduced costs and reduced sodium. To rehydrate beans I usually put them in a covered pan of boiling water over night which works well. I was wondering if it is possible to freeze the re hydrated beans or find some other way to preserve them - without using salt? My hope is that once a month I could rehydrate the beans and then pack them into individual serving sizes..and pull them out of the fridge or freezer when needed. It would help make cooking a little more spontaneous. If I can freeze them, will the resulting texture be useful? or just mushy?

I have read several posts on this forum that talk about freezing chili and other final products, but I am hoping that freezing the beans without meats or veggies will give them a longer shelf life.

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Old 10-01-2011, 06:01 AM   #2
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I have never frozen rehydrated beans but, I do freeze cooked plain beans in 1 and 2 cup containers. I cook the plain dried beans until they are cooked but still firm, like the texture of canned beans and then freeze them with the cooking liquid. I use them mainly in soups and they are fine.
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:43 AM   #3
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I freeze beans all the time. I put them on cookie sheets and flash freeze them. Once frozen, I package them. I use them for everything that needs beans or chick peas (which also freeze well).
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:52 AM   #4
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"flash freeze" ??
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:53 AM   #5
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Oh--I have professional freezer that has a flash freeze setting. But I've frozen them in other freezers in the past, no problem.
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Old 10-01-2011, 12:50 PM   #6
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You can also cook your beans in whatever type of liquid you wish, and then divide the liquid and beans into serving size containers to freeze.

Once frozen, I take them out of the containers and put them into freezer baggies.

That way, the containers used to freeze them can be freed for use with other items.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:08 PM   #7
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re "Can I freeze or vacuum pack rehydrated beans?"

YES. I do it all the time. You can presoak dried beans, drain, and then freeze (I use ziplock bags). The presoaked, dried beans will cook in about 30 minutes. There is no need to defrost them prior to cooking.

TO PRESOAK: briefly rinse the beans. Dump in a bowl. Add water to cover by 3-4 inches. Average soaking time is about 8 hrs - large beans (like kidney or chickpeas) may take slightly longer and small beans slightly less. You can test whether the beans have been presoaked long enough by cutting one in half with a small knife. If the the interior of the bean shows the same color throughout, they have been soaked long enough. If the center is slightly paler than the outer part of the bean, you should soak a bit longer.

DRAIN THE PRESOAKED BEANS (duhh). Blot the presoaked beans with cotton kitchen towels (if you're environmentally aware) or with paper towels (if you're not environmentally aware) to remove excess moisture.

FREEZE THE BEANS - dump them in ziplock bags. LABEL THE BAGS with the date and type of bean. Place in the freezer.

USING YOUR PRESOAKED, FROZEN BEANS - Use your favorite recipe. No need to defrost. If you normally use canned beans, your dried-presoaked-frozen beans may take slightly longer to cook (? ablout 15 minutes though this is partially dependent on the size of the bean.). I would say that chickpeas (a bean that is hard to overcook and will seldom become mushy unless totally abused) takes very well to this method. Kidney beans and black beans also work well.

SAVE MONEY AND SAVE TIME - dried beans are significantly less expensive than canned beans. For most dried beans, the time involved is simply rehydrating (soaking) them. Rehydrated frozen beans cook almost as quickly as canned beans so you can save money and time by this method.
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