I brought home over the weekend two pounds of green beans, just picked, from my favorite farm. Originally I was thinking to pickle and can them, instead I dehydrated them for long-term storage. Green beans do take a few extra steps, easy to though and once on my L’Equip Food Dehydrator, I ignored them till dry. Do not skip blanching, it is needed. It preserves the flavor, texture and taste. Drying raw beans isn’t advisable. And yes, you can dry frozen green beans. They are blanched and ready to use. But frankly, when it comes to taste nothing is quite as good as field fresh. The smell is deep after you dry them.
Dried Green Beans
Take fresh green beans, wash and sort, tossing any shriveled or limp ones. Cut off the tips on both ends, then slice into bite size pieces.
Bring a large pot of water to boil, preferably a pasta or stock pot with a pasta insert. If you have an insert, use it. Add the beans to the pot and blanch for 6 minutes.
While they are blanching, fill your sink with ice and cold water. If using an insert pull up and drain into the pot, quickly submerge in the sink. If not using an insert drain into a colander, then submerge the colander into the ice bath.
Once cooled, take out and shake off. Spread the beans on mesh lined trays. Dehydrate at 135° for 10-14 hours, until completely dry. Let cool down before packing into glass container for storage.
Check a couple of hours after packing and then over the first days to make sure you have no condensation in the jar. If so, they were not dried long enough.
Store in a cool spot, in a dark area (a pantry with doors for example).
To use, soak in boiling or very hot water for 15 to 30 minutes, 1:1 ratio, then use as you wish in meals. You only need 1-2 Tablespoons dried for a meal, a little goes a long way.
Wondering about the weight difference between fresh and dry?
Two pounds of beans trimmed and dehydrated brought me 3.4 ounces of dried beans. Break that down to per pound and it is amazing – 16 ounces=1.7 ounces.
Dehydrating can be a wonderful adventure! For more see our Dehydrator 101 pages on TrailCooking.