Friday, December 7, 2012

Lima Beans? You Dehydrated Lima Beans?

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.


























  1. So glad I came over to take a look at your blog , and saw this post , I have a # 10 can of them and didn't know what to do with them now I do lol,don't know why I didn't think to dry them lol.

    1. Until recently, I had not made the quantum leap to dehydrate COOKED dried beans. But boy, am I glad I did! Now it will be much easier to use them in dehydrated one-dish meals that don't take several hours to cook!

  2. Just a thought, if you use a pressure cooker to cook your beans (any kind of beans) then they will cook much faster, in at least a third of the time it normally takes, then you can dehydrate them as you normally do.

    I do this with pinto beans, I pick and clean them, rinse and soak overnight, drain, then place in the pressure cooker, I use beef stock to cook the beans, I don't add meat or oil or salt, I do add other seasonings, a minced garlic clove, fresh ground pepper and such. What would have taken hours to cook (or all day in a slow cooker), it now takes less than 10 minutes, it takes me longer because I live at high altitude.

    you can cook lots of foods that normally take all day or hours and hours in a pressure cooker and save lots of time.


    1. Good point Wretha, I just don't happen to have a pressure cooker. I used to, but lost it when my house burned down. Oh well, REgardless, dehydrating cooked beans makes a lot of sense to me!

      Ten minutes??!!!!! Sheesh, just goes to show! I'm thinking I need to invest in another pressure cooker. I live at 7,000 feet and that definitely takes longer to cook things.

  3. Wow, 7000 feet! You have us beat, we are at about 5760 feet. When I got my dad to start using a pressure cooker to cook pintos, he lived in Ft Worth and it would take him about 5 minutes to cook the beans, mine take 10-15 minutes, it's difficult to cook pintos in the normal way at our altitude, especially if the beans are old, do yours take a LOT longer than average to cook conventionally?

    When you do buy a pressure cooker, be sure to get a stainless steel one, the aluminum ones are not good to use, especially for higher acid foods. Fortunately they aren't that expensive, especially if you look online. There are also those electric ones, I can't use those because I'm all solar powered and don't have the extra power to spare. :)


  4. I just found your blog and am enjoying all your information! I, too, am a Wyomingite

    1. HI April,

      So glad you fond the BlogSpot. Keep me posted on what you are doing. I'm in Dubois, where are you?