Dehydrated Black Beans

So, I did­n’t even know you could dehy­drate black beans.  I sup­pose in the back of my mind, I knew it, but thought since I was jump­ing back on the band wag­on again, that I would try some exper­i­men­ta­tion as well.  That said, I used four cans of black beans, a colan­der to rinse the beans, and my dehy­dra­tor.  I start­ed with two cans, just in case they did not turn out the way I had antic­i­pat­ed.  Here were the steps:

  • Open the cans and dump them into the colan­der
  •  Rinse the sludge off the beans from the can, and drain them
  • Put them in the dehy­dra­tor on 125 — 135 degrees fahren­heit.
  • Wait about four (4) to six (6) hours

The goal of this exper­i­ment, is to do a cou­ple of things.  First, decrease the size of the beans and weight for stor­age (and poten­tial­ly trans­porta­tion).  If the exper­i­ment works, they could be used with hik­ing as well along side oth­er dehy­drat­ed veg­eta­bles for a trail snack or meal.  Sec­ond, to see how quick­ly I could rehy­drate them for con­sump­tion.  My hypoth­e­sis is/was that the dehy­drat­ed black bean (or oth­er legumes) will rehy­drate faster than a dry bean pur­chased at the gro­cery store that needs to be soaked for hours or to be set in boil­ing water for an extend­ed peri­od of time.  Note:  I do not want to dis­count the dry beans, I still believe they are good for food stor­age.  How­ev­er, for an expe­di­ent meal for myself and/or anoth­er, in a sur­vival sit­u­a­tion or on the trail, the rehy­drat­ed (dehy­drat­ed) beans could be a quick easy way to make a soup, or to cre­ate a quick meal or snack that is packed with fiber and pro­tein.

For trans­paren­cy, I used Goya brand 15.5oz canned black beans.   What I noticed, is that the black beans did­n’t look like dry beans in the plas­tic bags that you might buy in the gro­cery store.  They cracked and broke as they dried.  I’ll like­ly go to a slight­ly less expen­sive brand, as I spend on the black beans and con­tin­ue to dehy­drate.  My goal is to fill a five (5) or six (6) gal­lon food grade buck­et, cal­cu­late the nutri­tion­al val­ue and por­tion sizes based on a dai­ly caloric intake of 2000 calo­ries per day.  Then I will seal them up with oxy­gen absorbers… I’ll also seal some up in a Ball 1/2 gal­lon jar and keep them for use in oth­er recipes…

Rehy­dra­tion:  In in my attempt to rehy­drate the beans, I tried the microwave method first, in light of not being patient.  I put 1/4 cup of beans into a pyrex bowl.  I added 1/2 cup of water, closed the door and cooked the beans for two min­utes.  The water boiled, and the beans came out very hot.  I stirred the beans and water, and noticed that the bean itself looked like it part­ly dete­ri­o­rat­ed leav­ing a soupy sub­stance and the skins for con­sump­tion.  Kind of like a bean soup.  I stirred a bit more and the liq­uid began to thick­en a bit.  I added some salt, pep­per, gar­lic pow­der, and onion pow­der.  And of course, I con­sumed… It did not have the con­sis­ten­cy I was antic­i­pat­ing.  Rather, it had the con­sis­ten­cy of a slight­ly thick soup, and par­tial­ly filled black bean skins.  It was­n’t bad, but not what I was expect­ing.  The plus side is that they rehy­drat­ed very quick­ly.  And in a pot, I assume they would rehy­drate in boil­ing water in five (5) — 15 min­utes…

What’s next?  I am work­ing on dehy­drat­ing a tray of Gar­ban­zo Beans with the last tray of two black beans, and plan on dehy­drat­ing red beans, white beans, etc.  A thought I had was to dehy­drate two or three 2.5 gal­lon mylar bags full and seal them in a buck­et for vari­ety sake as well.

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