May
09

And Now We Dehydrate Dry Beans

by , under Uncategorized

No, you didn’t read that wrong. I dehydrated dry beans. Well, kind of.

I’ve spent a lot of time on YouTube lately. I kept finding videos about meals in jars. Now that’s nothing new, and I’ve done a few. But then I ran into some about something I’d never even considered doing. Or to be honest, never thought it was necessary. But now that I’ve dehydrated dry beans a few times, I’ll be doing it a lot more.

Let me clarify something. You take dry beans and then cook and dehydrate them. You might be wondering why anyone would do that. I know I did. The answer is a simple one: to save time. When cooking the dehydrated beans, you’re not really “cooking” them. That’s already been done. You’re just rehydrating and reheating them. Which brings up another plus, at least in areas (or houses) prone to power loss. Rather than cooking from their dry state, having dehydrated beans means all you need to do is add water.

Of course I had to try it. After all, I eat a lot of beans, and almost always in soup. So my first project was bean soup.

Bean with carrots, leeks, and kale

I already had leeks, carrots, and kale dehydrated, so all that was left were the beans. I selected Great Northern because that’s my favorite for this kind of soup. I cooked them in water and added no seasonings. I poured the cooked beans into a colander and let cool. Then onto the dehydrator trays. I let them dehydrate overnight. I’m not sure, but I think it took about 10 hours to dehydrate at 110 degrees. When cool, I put them in the jar, layered with the other soup ingredients.

In retrospect, I would have seasoned them when cooking or at least cook in stock. I could have added dry bouillon, either commercial or homemade to the jar as well as any other spices or dried herbs I might want for the soup. But the thing is, I don’t always know how I’m going to want the soup to taste before actually making it. But I have options.

When it came time to make the soup, I just dumped the entire contents of the jar into my soup pot. It took about 20 to 25 minutes for the soup to be ready after the stock came to a boil. And it was mighty tasty.

Chili

One of my favorite foods in the entire world–let alone soups–is chili. I decided to do a mixture of the beans I love in my chili. So I cooked a pot of kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans. This time, though, I added some seasoning; my O Chili Mix, of course. Like the first time, I cooked, drained, and cooled the beans before putting them in the dehydrator.

It took about the same amount of dehydrating time for these as for the Great Northerns. But as I put them in the jar, there was an additional problem. These beans make a mighty tasty snack! Nevertheless, I summoned the strength to get them in the jar, and last night, I used them to make chili. I used my usual chili recipe, such as it is, but I used some of these beans. I also used dehydrated red bell peppers, dehydrated button mushrooms, and dehydrated jalapenos. After reaching a boil, it took about 15 minutes until it was dinner, though I let it simmer longer. It was fabulous. Seriously. I’m thinking I might do a few jars of dehydrated everything I need for chili, except maybe the tomatoes.

After these successes, I did some black beans I hope to use for a salsa soup.

As for storage, I vacuum sealed them in jars. They could also be vacuum sealed in bags.

Give it a try. It’s not as weird as you might think.

© Copyright 2017 Ida Walker, All rights Reserved. Written For: The Enabling Cook
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