Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Didn't Know That - Storing Beans and Grains


I keep a lot of rice and beans on hand in my pantry but I've never been quite sure how long they will keep.  I know that most have a sell by date but that doesn't mean they have to be eaten by that date so again I went searching for answers.

Dry beans are easy to keep and can be stored at room temperature up to 1 year or even longer in the freezer.  Whole grains have a shorter storage life because they contain an oil-rich germ that can become rancid.  Whole grains should always be purchased in smaller quantities and kept in tightly covered containers.

Here are a few guidelines for grains:

Pearl and Scotch barley can be stored up to 1 year in a cool, dry place (other forms of barley up to 9 months).
Buckwheat kept in a cool, dry place can be stored up to 3 months.  In the refrigerator 6 months and in the freezer for 1 year.
Bulgur stores up to 6 months in a cool, dry place or indefinitely in the freezer.
Cornmeal can store up to 6 months in a cool, dry place or up to 1 year in the refrigerator or freezer.
Oats should be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months or in the freezer for a year.
Rye Berries will keep up to 5 months in the refrigerator or freezer.
White and Wild Rice stores indefinitely in a cool, dry place.  But Brown Rice will only store up to 6 months under the same conditions.
Whole or Cracked Wheat can be kept up to 6 months in a cool, dry place or up to 1 year in the freezer.
Wheat Bran will store up to 1 month in a cool, dry place, up to 3 months in the refrigerator or up to 1 year in the freezer.  But Wheat Germ will only store up to 3 months in the refrigerator.

I sometimes buy bulk at my nearby health food store and in doing so I usually pay just a bit more because what I'm buying is organic and fresh.  The information above has helped me save money by knowing how to store my rice, beans and grains properly.
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