Like most working men, I spend most of my days out and about. I have become sick and tired from eating fast food, and thus I try to have a home-cooked meal whenever possible.
As I do not have a lot of free time to cook, I prefer cooking food that I can freeze and save for later on. I have made a true art of it!
There is nothing more convenient than coming home after a hard working day and having a delicious and nutritious meal ready in a couple of minutes. That is the magic brought to you by your freezer!
Unfortunately, not all meals can be frozen. Some food is good to eat only when fresh as freezing it can greatly alter its texture or taste. I have done a lot of research on this subject.
For example, I cannot live without baked beans, but it takes ages to prep it and freezing it would be a true life-saver! So, the first thing I looked up is can you freeze baked beans?
I have found the answer! Read on to find it out too!
Before we go on check this: How To Cook Canned Black Beans
Why Should You Eat Beans?
Beans are a part of the legume or Fabaceae family, and they are a great source of fiber and protein which are an essential part of any healthy diet plan. As a bonus, beans are rich in vitamins and amino acids and thus offer many health benefits as well.
What Are the Health Benefits of Beans?
1. Source of protein
- Protein is essential for almost everything our body does, and beans provide us with amino acids that help build up all the protein we need. Although beans do not contain all nine amino acids, consuming them with some dairy product or grains will provide you with complete protein your body needs to function to its best possibilities.
- If you are vegan or vegetarian, beans can provide you with almost all the protein you lack. Beans are also great for people who have to mind the intake of saturated fat or the calorie count as they are low in both.
Further Reading: Best Vegan Cereals List
2. Provide vital nutrients
- Beans are nutrient dense food, which means that they contain the most vital nutrients our body needs. Among others, beans are rich in folate which is especially important for pregnant women as it prevents neural tube defects in a fetus.
- If your body does not have enough folate, you can feel weak, irritable, lack appetite or experience heart palpitations. Beans are also rich in other important nutrients such as Zinc, Iron, and Magnesium.
3. Rich in antioxidants
- Beans contain an important antioxidant called polyphenol. The antioxidants will help your body battle free radicals and prevent the damage they can cause to your body. Free radicals are responsible for a number of processes in your body including inflammation, physical aging, and the worst disease of the modern world – cancer.
4. Good for your heart
- Beans are good for your cardiovascular health as they lower the risk from numerous heart diseases including the heart attack and stroke. Some studies found that eating beans can also help keep your cholesterol level in check and thus reduce the risk of heart disease as well.
5. Lower the risk from cancer
- As I have already mentioned, beans contain antioxidants which act as anti-inflammatories and reduce the risk of cancer. Most studies have concentrated on intestinal cancer, and it has been proven that black beans really slows down the growth of colorectal cancer.
6. Prevent diabetes
- Beans play an important role in glucose metabolism. Namely, the high fiber content of beans helps lower and stabilize blood glucose levels and thus prevents diabetes as well.
7. Help control your weight
- The fiber and protein will help you stay satiated for longer while the starches in beans help regulate your blood sugar level. As a result, you will feel full for longer, and the undesirable food cravings will be prevented. And what happens when you do not overeat? You lose weight of course! Ain’t that great? 🙂
Further Reading: Most Recommended Lunch Boxes
The Question of the Day: Can You Freeze Baked Beans?
Fortunately for all of us bean-lovers, you can freeze the beans without risking compromising their taste or texture if you only follow a few simple guidelines.
I will explain the freezing technique thoroughly, but you are responsible for following the guidelines precisely. If you fail to do so, you might ruin the texture or taste of this delicacy, so be careful.
First of all, you have to be aware that there are two types of baked beans: the canned version and the homemade one. I prefer the later, but you can freeze both, you just need to take a bit different approaches.
1. How to Freeze Homemade Baked Beans?
Although preparing baked beans on your own requires more of your time and effort, it is well worth it, believe me. In order not to do it too often, you can always cook more than you can eat at once and freeze the rest for the future.
The good news is that home-cooked baked beans can not only be frozen but will also preserve their great taste for as long as six months. Of course, for the best results you need to respect the following advice:
- Freeze the homemade beans on the same day you have cooked them
- Always allow the beans to cool down to the room temperature prior to freezing them
- Use the freezer-safe storage or airtight containers. The containers can be made from plastic or glass, but the lid needs to close tightly and keep the moisture locked in.
- If you opt for the freezer bags, make sure that you remove all the air before you seal them. You can do that by squeezing the bag and zipping it at the same time.
- Whether you use containers or the bags, you need to label them with a date of freezing prior to placing them in the freezer. In this way, you will know if the beans are safe to eat or not once you decide to take them out of the freezer.
- If you want to make sure that your beans will last longer, you can season them with salt prior to freezing. The salt acts as a natural preservative and can thus add more days to the shelf life of your homemade beans.
Good to Know: Excess air in the freezer bag can contain harmful bacteria that will accelerate the deterioration process and speed up the spoiling of your frozen food! therefore, make sure that you press out as much air as possible prior to freezing any food.
Related: Food Storing Guide – Storage Times For The Refrigerator And Freezer
2. How to Freeze Canned Baked Beans?
Once you open a can of beans, you can either eat the entire content or transfer it into a storage container and save it for later. You must never keep the beans in an open can as that can lead to serious food poisoning.
Although, in my opinion, canned beans cannot begin to measure up to my homemade ones, even I sometimes opt for that quick and easy meal solution. Once again, it is good to know that you can freeze baked beans from a can as well. The difference is that canned baked beans can last only up to three months in your freezer.
How to freeze the canned baked beans? Follow these guidelines:
- If you heated the canned baked beans, let them cool down and then transfer them into the appropriate containers or freezer bags just as you would the homemade ones. A glass jar will do the job as well.
- Label the date as to avoid any confusion, especially considering the fact that canned baked beans stay safe to eat for only three months after freezing.
Good to Know: Choosing to freeze cooked, baked beans is better than freezing uncooked versions. And that’s because cooked beans retain their composition in a much better manner. On the other hand, freezing uncooked baked beans gives you a crumbly texture after the thawing process.
Bonus: How to Reuse the Frozen Baked Beans?
You probably already know the rule – you must not transfer anything from the freezer directly into your oven or the microwave. Why?
Well, the drastic temperature changes can also cause the change in the taste or texture of your food, and the same goes for the beans. For this reason, you should plan ahead and transfer the container or the bag with baked beans into your refrigerator first.
- For example, if I plan to eat my beans when I get back from work, I take them out of the freezer and put them in my fridge before I leave for work. In this way, the beans have enough time to slowly defrost, and after that, it is safe to keep them at the room temperature.
- If you like your beans hot, set your oven to the low setting and heat them up. If the temperature is too high, you will cause the damage to the structure of your beans and spoil the otherwise delicious meal.
My Final Thoughts
It is great to know that you can freeze the baked beans, am I right? Now you can go on and prepare a lot of baked beans at once and freeze them for later.
Whenever you feel too lazy to cook a meal, or you have too busy of a day, you simply take out the frozen baked beans, thaw them and heat them up!
Of course, try to remember how to freeze both homemade and canned baked beans appropriately, and follow all the instructions to the letter as you surely do not want to ruin the delicious baked beans you have worked so hard to prepare!
Do share my text, but also feel free to tell me about your experiences. How did freezing baked beans work for you? Do you have some additional tips?