Having nearly instant beans allows you to eat better meals on the trail, get much needed protein and if you eat vegetarian or vegan have more choices. While you can get a good choice of commercially cooked and dried beans from Harmony House Foods there are varieties you won’t find there. It also allows you to use the many varieties of organic beans on the market.
The basic directions start either with freshly cooked dried beans or canned beans. In either case, drain well. Spread on either fine mesh lined or parchment paper lined dehydrator trays. Have the beans in a single layer.
Black beans, one 15 ounce can worth:
White Kidney Beans (Cannellini Beans), one 15 ounce can worth:
Dry at 135° till dry. The beans may split open, this is normal though. You can dry them at a lower temperature as well, this seems to help with splitting. When dry the beans will be dry all the way through. You can test them by breaking a bean in half with your fingernails or a knife and making sure it is dry inside. Once dry, let cool then package up in freezer bags for storage.
On average your dried beans will be about half the size of their fresh counterpart. A 15 ounce can of beans dehydrated weighs in at 2 1/2 – 3 ounces on average.
Rehydration ratio is 1:1 of beans to boiling water. 1-2 Tbsp of dried beans works well for adding to a 1 person meal. Beans work well in rice, couscous, Quinoa and pasta dishes. Not only do you get healthier meals but you can do it for little cost and the beans have a great shelf life of at least a year.
A tray of of canned black beans. I used lower sodium beans well drained and rinsed, then spread on a fruit roll lined tray.
A tray of canned black eyed peas, rinsed and drained. They are on parchment paper.