Beans can be easily overlooked as a food item to have, but given how nutritious they are, it would be a great idea to have a healthy supply of them stocked away in a pantry.
Beans are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. They also have properties that can help maintain healthy bodily functions.
However, one downside of consuming too many beans frequently is digestive discomfort and an increase in intestinal gas.
Generally, there are two different types of beans that a prepper will want to have. Dried beans and canned beans. Let’s take a closer look at these two options.
Types of Beans to Store
Canned beans have a couple of great things going for them. Some of those are:
- They are extremely affordable.
- Sold in almost every food store.
- Canned beans can be stored right away after purchase.
- They store for years. Many canned beans have a best by date of one to two years from the purchase date. However, when stored safely they may remain good far beyond their best by date.
- They can be eaten right from the can or warmed up
The main downside to canned beans is that they may not be as nutritious as dried beans. Additionally, some canned beans may contain unhealthy additives.
These are beans that have been picked, put through a cleaning process, and dried.
Some stores offer a large variety of dried beans which gives a range of options to people wanting to pick and choose.
Dried beans can be a great choice to have because
- They will provide good nutrition
- Are easy to store
- Affordable, especially when bought in bulk
- A small number of beans will make a filling meal
The main downside to dried beans is that they cannot be used right away. Oftentimes, they need to be soaked for many hours before they can be cooked.
Best Beans for Prepping: Top 4 Picks
Lentils are a great source of fiber and protein but with low-fat content. Packed inside you can also find, potassium, folate, phosphorus, and iron.
Lentils are commonly used in soups, stews, to top off a salad, or as a side dish on its own.
The pinto bean has a good amount of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
They are widely used for baked beans, chili, and in many Mexican dishes. The pinto is also commonly mashed and fried to be used as refried beans, which is a popular side dish or dip.
Kidney beans are given their name because of how they are shaped, which resembles that of the human kidney, especially the red variety.
These beans are a great source of fiber, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Kidney beans are often used in chili and an assortment of rice dishes.
Soybeans are kind of a super bean as they have a good amount of fat, carbohydrates, protein, minerals, and vitamins.
Generally, this bean is grown to be used in other products. The soybean is processed into other food items such as soymilk, flour, or tofu. Its oil is also highly sought after.
It should be noted that soybeans should not be eaten raw. Doing so can lead to several symptoms that include vomiting, abdominal pains, and diarrhea just to name a few.
15 or 16 Bean Soup
In case you are having a difficult time deciding on what type of beans to put in your pantry I thought I would throw in one popular option.
Now, there are a couple of different brands out there that offer fifteen or sixteen bean soups, but the one I come across a lot is HamBeens 15 Bean Soup or generic brands of the same.
This product is a bag that contains several varieties of dried beans and a packet of ham flavored seasoning. The beauty of this option is that the beans can easily be separated into a different container to be cooked by themselves or they can be made into a soup by using the seasoning packet provided.
I have made this soup on several occasions and it is simple to make and tastes quite good. I would suggest cooking it in a crockpot with a few pieces of pork.
Open Questions on Beans for Prepping
Q: How should beans be stored?
A: To get the longest shelf life out of beans they should be stored in airtight and waterproof containers. Additionally, they can be packaged in mylar, vacuumed, or resealable bags.
When storing in a hard container make sure that the material the container is made from is food grade. The packaged beans can then be stored long term in a cool, dry, dark location.
Q: How many beans should be stored per person?
A: A good rule of thumb is to store between 50 and 70 pounds of beans per person per year. So, for a family of four, approximately 200lbs of beans should be stored for a one year supply.
Q: How long can beans be stored for?
A: Beans are a great food to have because they can last for so long. When safely stored, many types of dried beans can be stored for decades.
Q: How can you tell if beans have gone bad?
A: Many dried beans have a neutral smell to them, meaning they do not smell like anything. So, a bad or rancid smell emanating from the beans is probably an indication they have gone bad. Another sign is if you can see mold or an odd discoloration on the bean.
When storing canned beans, here are warning signs that the beans could be bad.
- Cans with bulges
- Cans with rust, especially on the inside
- The seams of the can have become damaged
- There is a hissing sound upon opening the can
- The contents become pressurized and shoot out upon opening
- They smell bad or rancid
- The beans become discolored or there is visible growth on the inside of the can
Q: Should I only buy dried beans or only canned beans?
A: What type of bean to store is really a personal choice that depends on your taste buds, budget, storage capabilities, and cooking abilities. Overall, it is a good idea to store a mixture of both dried and canned beans as this will afford options.
Whether you store canned or dried beans, this simple food item is a nutritious staple that every pantry should have.
They are extremely affordable, can be eaten by themselves, are used to supplement other dishes, and a small number of beans can go a long way in filling up several bellies.
Thanks for reading and stay prepared!
Sound off in the comment section below and let us know what your favorite beans are and how you like to store them.