How to Store Beans, Nuts and Seeds
Beans, nuts, and seeds are kitchen staples, and if you’re like most people, you probably buy each of these in bulk. After all, beans, nuts, and seeds are great additions to many dishes and supplementing a healthy, protein-rich diet.
But did you know that there is a wrong and a right way to store these foods? Although all the above-mentioned foods have a long storage life, improper storage can affect their flavors and even cause stomach pains.
So, the next time you bring home those giant bags of beans, nuts, and seeds, keep these helpful tips in mind!
To extend their freshness, store your beans in a food-safe storage container with tight-fitting lids. Keep them in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. And if you do have beans that are older than a year, not to fear. As you cook with them, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda for every pound you have. The baking soda will soften them and help them prepare faster.
Nuts and Seeds2
Nuts and seeds are a little higher maintenance, but properly storing them will give you better-tasting ingredients for your salads, granola, or just on their own.
Like beans, you can store your nuts and seeds for up to a year. However, unlike beans, nuts and seeds contain high amounts of healthy, unsaturated fats in the form of oils. These fats are rather delicate and can rapidly decompose if exposed to heat, light, or oxygen. The breakdown will cause the nuts and seeds to turn rancid and give them a bad, bitter taste, and give you a stomach ache.
So, to keep this from happening, buy fresh nuts and seeds in the bulk section at your grocery store. Instead of purchasing large amounts of multiple kinds of nuts and seeds, buy smaller amounts of those you know you’ll use and save the rest for another shopping trip.
Another tip is to buy whole, raw nuts and seeds. When nuts and seeds are chopped, toasted, or ground, they release the oils inside that are then exposed to oxygen, which accelerates decomposition.
And, of course, keep your nuts and seeds in airtight containers away from direct sunlight, which will help block out odors that they can easily absorb and will affect their flavor.
If you don’t plan on using them within the next few days or even weeks, keep them cold. Even if you store your nut and seed containers in a cool, dark place like your pantry, at room temperature, they will still go bad within a few months. If you store your nuts and seeds in the refrigerator, they will stay good for about six months. If you keep them in your freezer, they will last about a year.