When it comes to dehydrating foods I have got to be one of the biggest experimenters in the nation. I am a firm believer that if it can be eaten it can be dehydrated. Over the years I have dehydrated eggs, milk and an assortment of other unusual meal items.
Our recent experiment with dehydrating baked beans proved to be a total success. We took a common inexpensive, “Save-A-Lot” can of baked beans and placed them as they were into our food dehydrator. We turned it on to approximately 175 degrees and let it run overnight (about 8 hours or so). The exact time is not important as long as the finished product is completely dried.
When we checked the dehydrator tray the following morning we found the beans had successfully dehydrated and were now ready for breaking up to place in jars. With a kitchen glove covering our hands we broke the clumps of dried beans up until we had an assortment of individual beans. Do not grind them up or you will have bean powder and not baked beans.
With this step completed it was now time to reconstitute some of our beans to see how well the process worked. It does no good to dehydrate a food if no one will eat it. We took about one cup or so of our dried beans and placed them into a container. After which we covered the beans enough water to completely cover every bean in the container. You may have to add a little more water as the beans start to absorb it. After 4 or 5 minutes we tasted them. They were okay but my wife thought they were rather bland.
Not to be put off by the blandness I whipped up a batch of dehydrated baked beans and hot dogs. While they were cooking I added a dash or two of Worchester sauce and some of my favorite BBQ sauce. Exact amounts will vary with taste. After the mixture had warmed up properly, I tasted them and believe me the difference in taste was fantastic. Feel free to add any type of spices which you would normally feel comfortable using in your usual beans. Keep in mind that you could very well add dehydrated hamburger or sausage to them in order to enhance the flavor.
In view of the success of this experiment, I will now dehydrate our complete supply of canned baked beans. You should be able to place approximately four or five cans of dehydrated beans in one pint jar. I am sure you will agree that is a considerable savings in space.
Copyright @Joseph Parish