Assorted GrainsI grew up on dry bean dishes… pinto beans, white navy beans, black eyed beans and Lima beans.  We occasionally had split pea soup.

I have to admit, the Lima beans were not my favorite.  There was something in the texture that bothered me.  But, my momma insisted that we girls ate them anyway.

When I was in high school, I learned that another name for beans was “legumes.”  That name comes from “seed pod.”  Beans or the legumes are the seeds that come from a pod.  (Just a little trivia, in case someone asks.)

I learned to love beans and found that they are very easy to store for long term storage.

Bean Selection For Long Term Food Storage

Adzuki, Black, Black-eyed, Black Turtle, Garbanzo, Great Northern, Kidney, Lentils, Lima, Mung, Navy, Pink, Pinto, Small Red, Soy, and Split-peas and Lentils can all be dried and stored.

Pinto beans have the very best shelf life.

Bean Grades

Beans are graded U.S. No. 1 (best)  through U.S. No. 3 which are substandard.  I wouldn’t bother storing anything less than the best grade.  Substandard dry beans don’t have to be cleaned as well.  So, you get sand and a few tiny rocks mixed in with the beans.  (I wash my No. 1 dry beans very way anyway… just in case one little pesky rock sneaks in there.)


They are rich in protein and amino acids.  In fact they are 22% protein.  They are a excellent source of vitamins and minerals…. and best of all fiber.

Long Term Food Storage Containers

Like most foods store for long term, they should be stored in the absence of light and oxygen.  You can purchase prepackaged dry beans in #10 cans.  These pre-packaged cans will last from 15 to 20 years.

If you package your own dry beans for long term storage, you can use Mylar-type bags.  They have a shelf life of 10 years or more.  Or you can use 5 gallon cans or 5 gallon buckets.  They have a long term shelf life of 10 years and more.  Just remember to keep them in a cool dark place.

Removing Oxygen

You must remove all of the oxygen from the containers.  You can purchase “Oxygen Absorber Packets” from an emergency supply store and place it on top of your beans in your containers. (Follow the Oxygen Absorber Packet instructions for use.)

Bean Soup Mix

For a short term food storage, it’s nice to have your bean soup all ready to go.  All the ingredients are mixed together and place in a mason canning jar.  Using your handy vacuum sealer, you can remove all of the air from the jar.

You can get three wonderful bean soup mixes in the recipe section.    Calico Bean Soup Mix.   Rainbow Bean Soup Mix.

These handy bean soup mixes store well for about 2 years.  I’ve never pushed the limit beyond that time period.

Yummm!  There’s nothing like a good pot of beans on a cold winter night.  Add a bit of cornbread or buttermilk biscuits to the side… like my Grandma Ella use to do… and you have one heck of a meal.

Til Later,

Kathy Griffiths – Insightful Nana

P.S.  Beans that have been stored for long periods of time dry out a bit and it will take longer to reconstitute them.  You may have to soak them longer or cook them a bit longer.  That’s where a good pressure comes in handy.  I couldn’t live with out my pressure cooker.