Cooked beans can easily be placed into pre-portioned freezer bags for easy storage. Be sure to date the plastic bags with a permanent marker and consume within six months.
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Remove your frozen bags from the freezer and place directly in a saucepan with warm water. You can also run the bag under warm water in the sink. Toss some of the frozen beans into soups and stews, as they will immediately defrost due to the dish's high temperatures.
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Dried beans come in all different colors, shapes, and sizes, though their storage methods stay consistent across the board. Beans should be transferred to a food-safe container with a sealing lid. If beans are left in their original packaging, they'll dry out faster. Place the container in a cool, dry place that is away from any sunlight. You'll want to cook them within a year for ultimate freshness, though some beans have known to last for years.
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Next: How to Freeze Beans
Beans and cheese, a tried-and-true combination, star in these easy, classic tamales.
What to buy: Queso fresco is a mild white cheese that doesn’t melt when heated. It can be found in the refrigerated cheese case of most grocery stores or at specialty cheese shops or Latin markets.
Corn husks can be found at Latin markets.
Game plan: The dough (see our tamale masa recipe) and filling can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated in a covered container. Alternatively, you can form the tamales up to 1 day ahead and keep them covered in the refrigerator until ready to steam and serve.
To help you make the perfect tamale, see our step-by-step guide to forming tamales.
This recipe was featured as part of our Tamales for the Holidays project.