how to cook OLD beans

How do I cook old dry beans?

The longer dry beans are stored, the longer they may take to cook. First, sort and rinse the beans. For each cup of beans, bring 3 cups of water to boil, add the beans to the boiling water, and boil for two minutes. Next, add 3/8 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for each cup of beans, cover, and soak for 1 hour or more. More baking soda may be required for older beans. Next, drain and rinse the beans thoroughly, cover with water, bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer 1-2 hours or until tender. Do not add salt or other ingredients until the beans have softened adequately. (Instructions from the Provident Living FAQ)

Because baking soda is helpful for cooking old beans, it's a good idea to store some baking soda with your beans. Optimum shelf life of baking soda is about 2 years. If you use baking soda regularly, it can be rotated as part of your three-month and long-term supply so you'll always have some on hand.


Anonymous said...

Baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate) never 'goes bad," but it might absorb odors over time. If you rotate your baking sodda, keep the old box on hand - it is a very effective fire extinguisher for use in the kitchen or shop. It also can be used as a laundry additive - it 'softens' hard water.

Anonymous said...

Baking soda can also be used in the refrigerator to absorb odors.

K Ritter said...

Very old beans can also be ground into flour if you do not have adequate water supply to reconstitute them. Or, old beans and a couple of scoops make a great kids'activity for boredom ;)