Green, yellow and burgundy wax beans or bush beans are great candidates for dehydrating. Once dried, they’ll store for months if not years and can be easily tossed into soups and stews or re-hydrated for casseroles and other dishes.
I also like to include them when making homemade soup mix in a jar.
Right now gardens and farmer’s markets are overflowing with fresh wax beans; it’s the perfect time to dry some of these lovelies.
You may read that you can dry fresh garden beans without blanching. I wouldn’t recommend it. While the end result will be perfectly safe and edible – the color, texture and flavor won’t be as good. Take the extra 10 minutes to blanch the beans for best results. Here’s what to do:
Wash and trim beans.
Cut beans into 1 inch (2 to 2.5 cm) long pieces.
Blanch the beans in boiling hot water for 3 minutes. Cool in an ice water bath and drain well. For more details on blanching beans read Blanching and Freezing Beans.
Spread beans out on dehydrator sheets in a single layer to allow for plenty of air circulation.
Dehydrate at 125°F or 52°C until beans are brittle with no moisture left at all. Depending on humidity levels this can take 10 to 12 hours – check your beans at 6 or 8 hours to see how they’re progressing to help you judge timing better.
If you’re drying royal burgundy beans, you’ll see a magical transformation – they start purple, turn green when blanched and then turn purple again as they dry. How neat is that! When those dried purple beans get cooked, they’ll turn green again. Nature rocks!
Allow beans to cool thoroughly before storing in airtight jars. Just turn the dehydrator off and let them sit for another 3-4 hours. This ensures that there won’t be any condensation build up on the inside of the jars.
Store in airtight containers in a cool, dry, dark place for up to one year.
How to Use Dried Green, Yellow or Burgundy Beans
To use your dried beans either re-hydrate them in boiling hot water or add them directly to foods that have plenty of liquid and will cook for at least 30 minutes or more (eg. soups and stews).
Compared to other vegetables, I find dried green beans take a little longer to re-hydrated and the process works best with boiling hot water or extended cooking. Soaking in cold or warm water does not work well with beans.
To re-hydrate beans place them in a bowl and cover with boiling water for at least 15 to 25 minutes. Cover the dish to trap the steam. They won’t look quite like fresh or frozen beans, but they’ll do well in casseroles or other dishes.
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