How to Prepare Black Beans for Vacuum Food Storage
This article describes how to store dried black beans for long term storage
My wife and I eat a lot of black beans and rice. These two ingredients make up an universally tasty base to which almost any edible animal or vegetable can be added. A great snack is black bean and rice on a tortilla shell with some cheddar cheese. On the boat, we will often throw in some sea lettuce and chunks of sauteed greenling in with them. At home, we’ll dice up onions, spinach, broccoli, and sweet peas from the garden and mix it all together. If you freeze fresh spinach leaves at home, it makes a great side dish to black beans. Black beans and rice is easy to cook, easy to store, nutritional, and tasty. It’s pretty hard to beat.
So… I’m on a bit of a food storage kick right now. With global food prices on the rise, I decided to do a little price comparison on the cost of black beans. I determined the going rate for black beans is between $1.75 and $2.00 per pound. After getting some prices, I called my local food co-op and found out that they are having a sale. I picked up ten pounds of black beans at just $1.29 per pound. Score!
Vacuum Seal Storage Bags
I talked with the lady who ran the bulk food isle and told her that I planned to buy several pounds for long term storage. My goal was two fold:
- Save money by buying in bulk when the prices are low
- Store food for as long as 2 years
She said that my goal was not uncommon. Many smart shoppers do the same thing. The important thing to keep in mind is to store them in an air-tight container in a cool and dark place. Heat, light, and oxygen are the enemies of long term food storage.
I love my Food Saver. Annie and I usually use it to store extra fish and crab that we catch, but it was also the perfect solution for storing black beans long term. I used my Salter scale to weigh out one pound bags, which I then proceeded to vacuum seal. I like the Salter brand of scales. They are accurate and made of stainless steel, which is a good material to use when you live aboard.
The vacuum pack bags take care of the oxygen. From here, I’m going to put all my bags into a 5 gallon bucket with a tight fitting lid and store it in the crawl space under my house. That will keep them dark and cool. Now we have several months worth of black beans and I got them at a rock bottom price!