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YYY

Big Can of Beans

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Hi Everybody,

 

I went to Big Lots today, and they had the 6 pound 12 oz cans of Ranch Style brand Beans for $2.50. There were only 2 of these left. I bought one, and the person I was with bought the other.

 

I’d like to open the can and divide it into smaller portions. How can I do this? Freeze them or what ???

 

Thanks in advance

 

YYY

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Have you thought about dehydrating them? Freezing them would work also, just be sure and make the date on the can on the containers you use.

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You can dehydrate prepared beans?!?!?!? Really???

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Is it safe??

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I have no idea if this is usda approved or not but it's an interesting thought . . .

http://bisonrma.blogspot.com/2009/12/dehydrating-beans.html

 

Friday, December 18, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

Dehydrating Beans

 

 

 

 

<a href="

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_-MY_sV0BLKM/Syuwp_sisOI/AAAAAAAAAJI/pDuHKlrUjfM/s1600-h/beans+1+dehy+bulk.jpeg" imageanchor="1" style="margin-bottom: 1em; float: left; clear: left; margin-right: 1em">beans+1+dehy+bulk.jpeg

Beans are obviously one of the main staples people store in their preps. They are very nutritious and very inexpensive, and they store forever.

 

Their main drawback is the amount of time and resources they take to prepare. While this isn't generally an issue if you have access to water from the tap, and gas or electricity from a utility company, in a grid down situation, this can be a major problem.

 

The traditional way of preparing beans first involves a pre-soak. You take the dry beans, throw them in a pot with triple the volume of water, and let them soak for 6 to 8 hours. You then pour away any remaining water, and add more water to cover the beans by an inch or so. They are then brought to a boil, then slow cooked for another 3 hours or so.

 

Lots of time and resources.

---

 

My local grocery store has a bulk foods section that had this ground mix labeled, "Refried Beans". The instructions said that you added 1 cup of boiling water to 3/4 cups of the mix, stirred it well, covered it for 10 minutes and viola! - refried beans. This bean mix cost $4.75 a pound!

 

We did our weekly meal using emergency prep foods on Wednesday (burritos using beans, spices and home-canned meat from our prep stores) . I doubled the amount of beans (a total of 2 lbs dry) so I could do this test.

 

I took what was originally about 1 pound of beans that had since been cooked as described above (no seasoning whatsoever), got as much liquid out of them by letting them sit in a strainer for 10 minutes, and put them in my dehydrator. I needed 4 trays in my American Harvest dehydrator, which I set on 140F degrees.

 

After two hours, I turned off the dehydrator, and moved around the beans that had clumped together - trying to ensure each bean was getting fully dried. I let it run another two hours. I'd estimate that a good 95% of the beans were done - quite dry and brittle. I stirred things up again, and let it go for another hour to ensure everything was fully dehydrated.

 

I wanted to do my test with the beans in their whole state and in a ground up state. I took 1/2 cup of each and put them in separate bowls. The part I ground up just went into a coffee grinder that I gave a couple of pulses.

 

 

beans+3+dehy.jpeg

 

beans+2+ground.jpeg

The whole beans kind of looked like dry roasted peanuts with the skins on. Most of them had developed cracks and splits.

 

I added about 3/4 cups of boiling water to each bowl, stirred them up and covered them. I set a timer for 5 minutes, and gave them a try.

 

Both the whole and ground beans were not yet fully rehydrated. There were little bits that had that undone-bean mouth feel.

 

I covered them for another 5 minutes and tried again. Still a bit underdone. Five more minutes, and they were perfect! Well, at least in flavor and mouth feel.

 

 

beans+4+whole+rehy.jpeg

 

beans+5+ground+rehy.jpeg

Here is a picture of the same batch of beans that had NOT been dehydrated/rehydrated -

 

 

beans+6+cooked.jpeg

 

Honestly, the taste and feel of the rehydrated beans was the same as the regular beans. As you can see, they don't look quite as pretty, but in a grid down situation, who cares? Also, if you were out camping, these would be a fantastic quick and nutritious meal for the trail.

 

 

I'm guessing that if they had been added to water which was then brought to a boil, taken off the heat and covered, they would have been ready in no more than 10 minutes.

---

 

These are absolutely going to become a part of my prep stores. While I won't make a special batch of beans to do this, I WILL do as I did with this batch - I'll double up the recipe and dehydrate half of it.

 

Also, my next batch will be with seasoned beans. No meats or fats, just vegetables, herbs and spices. That will make one less thing to have to worry about if we don't have access to all of our supplies.

 

Accept The Challenge

 

Give dehydrating cooked foods a try. We have done wheat (making bulgur wheat) in the past, and now beans. I'm going to be trying beef in the near future, as the price of the dehydrated/freeze dried stuff is obscene. Great tasting, but the price is just too high to have much on hand.

 

I have a near obsession with Just Add Water foods and meals that I can make myself. I'll share some of these main courses and soups in the future.

 

---

Copyright 2009 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates. www.BisonRMA.com

 

 

Posted by

Chief Instructor at

9:23 AM icon18_email.gif

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I have had excellent experiences with dehydrating canned beans...and chili....and split pea soup. The dehydrated beans cook up, or rather re-hydrated much faster than cooking dry beans from scratch and have been a standby of backpackers for years. In fact, at least one mail order house that caters to back packers carries dehydrated cooked beans in bulk! Just spread them out on a tray and dry until hard. They should shatter when struck with a hammer, like dried corn should. Or you can puree them in a blender, dry them like a leather, and grind up the dry chunks for a cooked bean flour that makes excelled 'instant' refried beans.

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This person says they will dry meat.... uh, I hope they know unless it is jerky done with enough salt that it can kill them.

Please, do not experiment with preserving foods !

You could dry beans if they were just plain cooked, or with just some spices added.

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Violet, is the temperature (145 degrees) correct? Should it be lower so the beans do not "case harden?" Also, my dehydrator came with both plastic netting and little plastic trays to dehydrate with. The trays were intended for making things like fruit roll-ups. When dehydrating beans, do you use the netting or the plastic trays?

 

So sorry for all the questions! I just want to be sure I do this right. :)

 

Thanks, y'all!

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Violet, you are awesome. :) Thanks!!!! And thank you, YYY, for asking the question that brought all of this up!

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Yes, I must confess, I do things not approved by the USDA, like canning butter and cheese, and canning in 1/2 gal jars occasionally. But I do use tender quick in my jerky, and salt...lots of it. I use Morton's recipe; and I also freeze my hamburger rocks for longest storage. The dehydration is more of a space saver than anything as they don't keep unfrozen or unrefrigerated all that long due to fat content. But I and my prep buddy are the only ones eating these (and she has been warned that it is not approved food and why...)so we accept these risks.

 

BUT...!

 

Violet is most knowledgeable about approved methods, so you should stick to her directions for safest results, especially if anyone other than yourself will be eating the grub. If you have children, stick with the approved recipes, there are soooo many good ones in the Blue Book alone. But the little fellers systems are vulnerable to bugs, so don't risk them, please.

 

Sorry Vi - I'll keep my controversies down in the Edge.

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I know you do. You are a big girl and have to make your own decisions. I do appreciate you telling others that children and even elderly and those like myself, with diabetes, that we should truly not take any risks.

I can my meats instead of drying them. Other than some jerky for my dh. Cannot make enough of it to last even a few days. Hope there is a sale on again soon for jerky meat. It is so expensive !

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