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Buying, Storing, Preparation
& Cooking Tips for the Bean
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Buying and Storing | Preparation Methods | Cooking Tips & Methods | Freezing Tips


You can find most beans in grocery, organic food and bulk food stores in canned, bagged or bulk formats.

When buying dry beans look for:

  1. Uniform size
  2. Smooth skins without chipped or shrivelled seed coats
  3. Similar in colour (no dark marks)

Dry beans will keep for years if stored in tightly covered containers in a cool, dark, dry place. It is best to use beans within a year of purchasing. The longer a bean is stored; the harder it becomes, which increases the cooking time.

Canned beans are very convenient and essentially ready-to-use. They store well in cool, dry places for up to one year. Unfortunately, most canned beans have added sodium (salt) from the canning process; to help reduce the sodium content rinse and drain the beans.



Dry beans from scratch

  1. Be sure to check all dry beans before rinsing or soaking. Remove beans with shriveled or broken skins or any non-bean "foreign" material.
  2. Dry beans must be soaked for a minimum of four hours before cooking. For every one cup (250ml) of beans, soak with three cups (750ml) of water.
  3. Discard the soak water by putting beans into a strainer/colander and rinse well. This washes away some of the carbohydrates and sugars that may cause gastrointestinal disturbances (gas).

Canned Beans

  1. Open, drain and rinse, then use in your favorite recipe.


Cook large batches - make it once, eat it twice

Dry Beans

  1. If the beans are pre-packaged, refer to the 'suggested cooking instructions' listed on the package
  2. Have a large enough pot, sauce pan or baking dish as beans double and sometimes triple in size during cooking
  3. Beans can be cooked by different methods such as boiling, baking (pre-soaked beans) or in a crock pot.
  4. For the boiling method, bring the beans to a rolling boil, then simmer up to two hours. To prevent foaming when boiling, add 1 teaspoon (5ml) of oil to the cooking water
  5. Seasonings like garlic, onion and herbs can be added while cooking beans.
  6. Adding tomatoes, vinegar and other acidic ingredients should be avoided until beans are tender. Acid slows the cooking process
  7. Cook large batches of beans at one time, so they can be used in your favorite recipes such as appetizers, soups, wrap and casseroles

Canned Beans

  1. Use rinsed beans in your favorite recipe


Cook it today, freeze it tomorrow and use it in a month

  1. Cooked beans can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  2. Pre-portion cooked beans in freezer bags or small containers. One or two cup portions work well in most recipes.
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  4. Cooking a large batch of beans and freezing some of them will save you time for future recipes including soups, wraps and other favourite meals.

Link: Get the Fact - facts about beans
Link: Read about nutrition information
Link: The link between healty eating and agriculture
Link: Take the quiz
This website is brought to you by Guelph Food Technology Centre (GFTC), Ontario (White) Bean Producers Marketing Board, Ontario Agri-Food Education Inc., and  Residence Dining at The University of Western Ontario

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Last Modified on March 13, 2018 12:37 PM, by [DR]