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Here's what you need to know about how to store soybeans

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Soybeans are the perfect item to have on-hand in the kitchen for anyone who appreciates healthy foods that have multiple uses.

When it comes to health benefits, soy is hard to beat. Soybeans are highly regarded for being high in natural, plant-based protein, plus there are many other reasons to include more soy in any person’s diet.

What’s more, soybeans are versatile, too. There is so much to create using soybeans that it’s easy to change things up and experiment - all from right at home. Soybeans can be used to make delicious soy milk and tofu that carry with them many of the same healthy eating advantages of the beans.

However, to unlock these health benefits, you need to understand how to store soybeans safely so that they do not decrease in quality or spoil.

Why you should eat more soy

Soy comes with many nutritional advantages when compared to what it typically replaces in a person’s diet. Its plant-based proteins receive the most attention because this protein source is much healthier for your heart than other forms of protein, such as those found in meat, because they don’t come with all of the dietary downsides of meat.

Where soy really shines, though, is what your body receives in addition to all that protein. In a soy serving, you’ll get fiber that helps with digestive system function and cardiovascular health; iron, which promotes blood flow, immune system strength and energy storage; and B vitamins that help improve metabolism, energy production, nervous system function and skin health.

As with any food, though, soybeans must be properly handled in order for all these health benefits to be enjoyed.

How to store dried soybeans

Most soybeans consumers purchase will be dried. This is the case for our popular Laura® Soybeans. These beans are very easy to keep on hand for a lengthy amount of time.

While fresh soybeans can be stored in a refrigerator for over a week, dried soybeans can be easily stored for well over a year after the date they are purchased. If storage conditions are right, then some dried soybeans can last even longer, about 2 to 3 years even at room temperature. By that time, though, you may notice a decrease in the overall quality of the beans.

This is why it’s wise to make sure your soybeans are used up by the “best by” or “use by” dates found on the containers they came in at the time of purchase. After that date passes, the beans’ texture, color and flavor may begin to change.

For most climates, it is perfectly acceptable to store soybeans as you would any other type of grain. Ideally, you should find a cool, dry and dark place to keep them. They should also be kept in an air-tight container.

Resealable plastic freezer bags are good solutions for storing soybeans.

Where not to store soybeans

For dried soybeans, there are few factors to keep in mind if you want them to last as long as they should.

First, consider that moisture and insects are likely the biggest threat to your beans. So, keep them somewhere neither of these issues could become problems. That should rule out a damp basement or garage.

Keep the beans away from moisture and anywhere they may be exposed to insects. Don’t place the beans out on the counter, or anywhere else that could be exposed to sunlight.

It is normally not necessary to place dried soybeans in the refrigerator.

Cooked soybeans can be stored in the freezer

Cooked soybeans can be great additions for stews, soups and other similar dishes. They can’t be left long without adding to a recipe, but they don’t have to be eaten quickly, either.

In the fridge, cooked soybeans can be kept in an airtight container for about three days.

Once you have gotten your use out of them for now, boiled soybeans can be separated from the cooking liquid. Both the beans can then be frozen and reused as needed. The beans can be placed in a freezer bag, while the liquid may require a sturdier container.

Fresh soybeans can also be frozen

Fresh soybeans or green edamame should be treated like any other fresh vegetable produce that you have. If you get your hands on fresh soybeans or edamame, then these also can be easily stored in the freezer for later consumption.

Simply rinse the beans, boil water in a large pot with a little bit of salt and add the beans. They will need to boil for about two to three minutes. After that, strain the beans and rinse them in cold water.

From there, they are ready to be frozen in a bag or jar.

How to tell if soybeans are spoiled

Soybeans that are spoiled or have gone bad have a few telltale signs. The primary sign is an odor that seems off. Appearance can also be a good indicator of when beans have started to go bad.

If there is mold or insects found in or near the container, then it’s time to throw away the beans - and probably evaluate where you are keeping them while in storage.

Natto beans need more care

Natto style soybeans, which are used for sprouting, require a little more care and consideration when they are being stored.

If it’s summer, or if warmer temperatures are consistent any other time of year, you may want to think about placing natto soybeans in the refrigerator. This can help maintain the germination rate that helps with sprouting.

Why try Laura® Soybeans

Laura® Soybeans have been produced in Iowa since 1987. But our family farming history reaches back even further.

In fact, the Chambers family has maintained a farming tradition that has lasted more than 100 years. All of our products are grown, harvested, processed and packaged on the same fifth-generation farm where it all began.

To put it simply, when you purchase our soybeans, you can trust that you are receiving quality, non-GMO, vegan-endorsed beans - all home grown from here in Iowa. Our beans are bred specifically to make the most delicious soy milk, tofu and other soy foods.

Place your order today to start cooking with the tastiest soybeans around.