Cook and Dehydrate Your Dried Beans
Well of course! Why not? Think about it. First, you must soak your dried beans overnight, or boil them for thirty minutes. Then simmer them for two to three hours. It takes a long time to prepare dried beans, any kind of dried beans.
By cooking and dehydrating your dried beans, you can save a lot of energy when you cook an extra large quantity.
- It doesn’t take any more energy to cook five pounds of beans than it does to cook one pound of beans.
- Take all those beans you can’t eat right away and dehydrate them. When you are ready to use them, they can be rehydrated in twenty to thirty minutes.
Cooked and Dehydrated
My goal is to have completely dehydrated meals.
I had some recipes I was experimenting with that called for lima beans. So, I bought a few bags of lima beans to try. Since my dehydrators were full of onions at that time (I had just purchased 50 pounds of onions to dry) I didn’t have any space in my electric dehydrator.
I used my FoodPantrie air-drying machine. It took about five days to get the cooked beans dried, but at least it didn’t take space needed for my onions, which were getting older by the day!
Linda’s Note: When cooking beans with the intent of dehydrating them, do not add oils, fats, or such to the cooking. Fats will go rancid, so you don’t want to use them.
- Instead, learn to season with onions, garlic, herbs, and spices. You will be surprised at how tasty they can be.
- If you want to use some sort of fat to season, try adding it to the already cooked beans. Serve up just enough beans for your family’s meal and add the fat to it, not to the whole pot.
- If you want a meatier flavor in your beans, add some instant bullion to those you put on the table. Be careful, though, bullion is quite salty, so don’t overdo it.
Volume About The Same
The volume for cooked, dehydrated beans is about the same as for the uncooked dried beans. That makes it easier for measuring in your recipes.
Add Boiling Water
For the sake of testing, I simply took ¼ cup of cooked dehydrated beans and covered them with boiling water. Then set the timer to see how long it takes to rehydrate them.
In about 35 minutes, they were warm and al dente. A little firm in the middle, but perfectly edible at that point. However, I wanted them tenderer. I was in a bit of a hurry, so I put them on the stove and simmered about ten more minutes. They were completely tender and ready to eat. What a difference between that and three hours of cooking!
What to do with cooked dehydrated beans:
- Rice and beans are just about the best way to increase usable proteins from both foods. They are just right for good vegetarian rice and bean one-dish meals you package for long-term storage.
- Rehydrate and serve them any way you would use your regularly prepared beans.
- Use them in soups, stews, and casseroles.
Linda’s Note: as I continue to experiment with fully dehydrated meals, I will post the recipes that worked best.