An important part of a long term food storage diversification plan. Beans and legumes. The LDS recommends 60 pounds as part of an overall 1-year food storage inventory per adult. But the question is, what are the best beans for long term storage? Does it matter?
Beans For Long Term Storage
The legume family, of which all beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts are a part — is one of the largest in the plant kingdom.
I’ll tell you what I do, and what I recommend. I have my own favorite beans (and recipes). You likely do to. So, just get those for your long term storage. That’s mostly what we did. Most of our beans are those which we enjoy. Although we do have others too, for the sake of variety.
Almost all beans generally have very similar calories, protein, nutrition. So it’s not something to be too concerned about. Also, they’re all dry. They will all store well long term.
I personally like the following beans / legumes. Are they the best? Well, it’s all really a personal choice.
The following happen to be available in 10 pound bags (or other sizes), they’re organic, and product of the USA (((gasp!))).
(view on amzn)
I’m curious to hear what other people like. Your best beans for long term storage…
Here’s a partial list of some common legumes:
GREAT NORTHERN BEANS
620 calories per cup (raw); 40g protein
A large white bean about twice the size of navy beans. They are typically bean flavored and are frequently favored for soups, salads, casseroles, and baked beans (yum!). They are one of the more commonly eaten in the U.S.
Also, milled into meal, these mild flavored beans can be included in many baked goods as a protein booster or used to thicken soups and stews.
573 calories per cup (raw); 40g protein
Also known as “cowpeas” or “field peas”. There are many varieties of these peas, especially eaten across the Southern United States, with black-eyed peas being the most commonly known in the U.S.
Black-eyed peas are small, oval shaped with an overall creamy color. And, of course, their distinctive black-eye. They cook very quickly and combine very tastily with either rice or cornbread. They’re also reputed to produce less flatulence than many other beans.
700 calories per cup (raw); 46g protein
Smaller than Great Northern beans, these petite sized beans are also sometimes knows as pea beans. They are the main ingredient of Navy and Senate Bean Soups. They’re favored for many baked bean dishes, and are most often chosen for use in commercial pork and beans (yum!).
They retain their shape well when cooked. Ground into meal they can be added to many soups and stews without overpowering them.
670 calories per cup (raw); 41g protein
Anyone who has eaten Tex-Mex food has likely had the pinto bean. It is probably the most widely consumed legume in the U.S., particularly in the Southwestern portion of the country.
Stereotypically bean shaped, it has a dappled pattern of tans and browns on its shell. Pintos have a flavor that blends well with many foods. When milled into a meal, pinto beans will cook in mere minutes, making a near instant form of refried beans (again, yum!).
CHICKPEAS – GARBANZO
729 calories per cup (raw); 39g protein
Also known as the “garbanzo bean” or “cecci pea” (or bean). They tend to be a creamy or tan color, rather lumpy roundish, and larger than dried garden peas. Many have eaten the nutty flavored chick-pea, even if they’ve never seen a whole one.
They are the prime ingredient in hummus and are one of the oldest cultivated legume species known, going back as far as 5400 B.C. in the Near East.
Chickpeas tend to remain firmer when cooked than other legumes. They can add a pleasant texture to many foods.
600 calories per cup (raw); 38g protein
In the Southern U.S., they are also commonly called “butter beans”. Limas are one of the most common legumes, found in this country in all manner of preservation from the young small beans to the large fully mature type.
Their flavor is pleasant, but a little bland. Their shape is rather flat and broad with colors ranging from pale green to speckled cream and purple. They combine very well with rice.
718 calories per cup (raw); 49g protein
Best known here in the States in their sprouted form, they are quite common in Indian and other Asian cuisines cuisines and are a close relative of the field peas (cowpeas).
Their shape is generally round, fairly small with color ranging from a medium green to so dark as to be nearly black. They cook quickly and presoaking is not generally needed.
828 calories per cup (raw); 38g protein
The peanut is not actually a nut at all, but a legume. Peanuts have a high protein percentage and even more fat. Whatever their classification, peanuts are certainly not unfamiliar to U.S. eaters.
They are one of the two legume species commonly grown for oilseed in this country, and are also used for peanut butter, and boiled or roasted peanuts. Peanut butter (yum yum!), (without excessive added sweeteners) can add body and flavor to sauces, gravies, soups, and stews.
PEAS, GREEN OR YELLOW
117 calories per cup (raw); 8g protein
More often found as split peas, though whole peas can sometimes be had. The yellow variety has become somewhat uncommon but has a milder flavor than the green types which well lends them to blending inconspicuously into other foods.
Probably best known in split pea soup, particularly with a smoky chunk of ham added. Whole peas need soaking, but split peas can be cooked as is. Split peas and pea meal makes an excellent thickener for soups and stews. Because splitting damages the pea, this more processed form does not keep for as long as whole peas unless given special packaging.
830 calories per cup (raw); 68g protein
The soybean is by far the legume with the highest protein content in large scale commercial production. It’s amino acid profile is the most nearly complete for human nutrition. Alongside the peanut, it is the other common legume oilseed.
The beans themselves are small, round, and with a multitude of different shades – though tan seems to be the most common.
Because of their high oil content, they are more sensitive to oxygen exposure than other legumes. Precautions should be taken accordingly if they are to be kept for more than a year in storage.
Although the U.S. grows a large percentage of the global supply, we consume virtually none of them directly. Most go into cattle feed, are used by industry, or exported. What does get eaten directly has usually been intensively processed.
Soybean products range from soymilk to tofu, to tempeh, to textured vegetable protein (TVP) and hundreds of other forms. They don’t lend themselves well to merely being boiled until done, then eaten the way other beans and peas do.
612 calories per cup (raw); 43g protein
(not recommended due to potential toxicity if not processed correctly)
Like the rest of the family, kidney beans can be found in wide variety. They may be white, mottled or a light or dark red color with their distinctive kidney shape. Probably best known here in the U.S. for their use in chili and bean salads, they figure prominently in Mexican, Brazilian and Chinese cuisine.
Need to mention that raw, undercooked, and improperly cooked red kidney beans are toxic. After looking this up to make sure before I posted, seems that white kidney beans (cannellini) and some broad beans like favas are also.
FDA recommendation is to boil them for at least 30 minutes. Preparing fresh red kidney beans in a slow cooker that does not boil them hard can increase the toxicity by up to five times.~ reported by an MSB reader
Some of this descriptive information is credited to Alan T. Hagan
[ Read: Rice and Beans – A Survival Combination ]
[ Read: Storing Beans Long Term ]