Beans are a wonderful way to add high-quality, plant-based protein to your diet. They are high in iron, B vitamins and fiber, and are versatile enough that you may never tire of them. Beans stay fresh longer when stored in a cool, dark place (rather than on your countertop). Don’t use beans that are more than a year old, as their nutrient content and digestibility are much lower. Also, old beans will not soften, even with thorough cooking.