So glad you asked that question! There are a variety of reasons:
One Pound Can of Green Beans
Reasons for Dehydrating Commercially Canned Foods:
- Canned foods usually have a lot of moisture in them, making them heavy to move about. In addition, they take up a lot of space. If, like me, you live in a small mobile home, storage space is at a premium. A one pound can of green beans will dehydrate down to abound ½ cup of dried green beans.
- If you have a limited income, it is far more economical to buy in bulk than one or two at a time when needed. For example, instead of paying $1.85 per can for red kidney beans, I found them on sale for 55¢ per can! I bought a whole case and brought them home.
- If you are traveling or camping, it’s easier to take dehydrated food than water-packed food.
- If you are packing lunches for yourself or your family, again, it’s easier to bring a dehydrated meal that won’t be at risk for spoilage. Depending on what it is, simply add water and microwave.
- Speaking of those carry-in lunches, you can toss an assortment of your favorite veggies and seasonings into a thermos bottle. Add hot water and seal. Give it a few shakes to make sure everything is completely wet. By lunch time, you have a piping hot meal ready to eat.
- This can be a major time saver for a busy homemaker. You can store a variety of dehydrated foods and when you have enough, combine them for wonderful soups, stews, and casseroles.
- Think in terms of crock-pot meals with all the ingredients for one meal (including seasonings) in one bag. Imagine, open a bag, plop the ingredients into the pot, add water, and Voila! By supper you have a complete meal ready to serve. What can be easier than that? And BTW, it is profoundly cheaper than buying those commercially prepared ones!
Some Tips on Dealing With Commercially Canned Foods:
- Read your labels carefully. Make sure they are not prepared with fats. Fats go rancid very quickly and will affect the taste.
- Try to buy only real foods. Make sure there are no chemical additives or extra sugars and such. Water and salt or just plain water is the best.
- Watch for those “loss leaders” at your grocery store. They usually are fantastic buys just to draw you into the store. Take advantage of them. Don’t worry about storage, dehydrating will deal with that.
- Use your salad spinner to remove extra moisture from your canned food before dehydrating. Save that broth! It’s rich in nutrients. Use it as a seasoning in sauces or gravies, add a few spices and use it as a v-8 kind of beverage, add it to your latest batch of soup. It’s good for you!
- If it’s something thick that you might use in a specific recipe, measure out portions and separate them so you’ll know how much goes in each bag. For example, with applesauce, I measure out ½ cup portions and plop them onto my fruit leather trays. That way, when I am eating a snack, I know exactly how much I’m getting for my diabetic diet. With loose things like beans and such, use one rack per can or divide and separate two cans on one rack with a space between them. If you need smaller portions, simply measure out ½ or 1 cup portions with spaces between them.
- Just about any plain vegetable
- Plain vegetables
- Plain beans
- Fruit canned in its own juice, pear juice, pineapple juice
- Fruit cocktail
- Cranberry sauce – please avoid those with high fructose corn syrup. You may have to make your own… and that’s pretty easy, too!
- Pumpkin pie filling – the plain canned pumpkin is best