Dehydrating Dried Beans

Are you storing raw dried beans? Try cooking them first, then dehydrating them.

“Why should I bother to cook and dehydrate the beans? Aren’t they already dried?”
Yes, they are dried, but they are raw, in other words, not cooked. They were simply dried from their raw state. Once the beans are completely cooked and dehydrated, you have these benefits:

1) longer shelf life
2) takes less energy, time and water to rehydrate than to cook so they can be used when time, water and energy are limited
3) takes up less space and more portable
4) creates almost instant meals
5) you can season the beans before dehydrating (no dairy or oil). I use chili or taco seasoning.
6) cooking destroys harmful enzymes

I soaked, then cooked up 5 pounds of organic, dried pinto beans, cooked only in water. I drained and mashed them and added seasonings (no fat, no dairy!) and then dehydrated them. To dehydrate, I drain the cooked beans well, then spread them on dehydrator trays. Dry at 115 degrees until completely dry (crunchy!). Once dehydrated they can be made into powder in a blender or food processor, or stored in flat pieces known as “bark.” You do not need to mash them, you can simply dehydrate them whole (cooked). They will split and look like popped corn, but once rehydrated will look like beans again.

Dehydrated cooked black beans

Dehydrated cooked black beans

To rehydrate, cover with boiling water and a loose lid (to keep steam in) and let sit until soft – different thicknesses require different rehydrating times.
If you want to add nutrition to your food preps, powder the beans and add the bean powder to your foods such as soups, stews, baked goods, food for thickening and even desserts. If you’re going to use the powder for adding to foods, do not season before dehydrating. I use black beans for this purpose as the taste disappears in many foods.

Rehydrated black beans

Rehydrated black beans

Do not slow cook red kidney beans without boiling them for 10 minutes first, or you may experience a severe reaction.
FDA Warning on Red Kidney Beans




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About Vickilynn Haycraft

A student of health and nutrition for 30 years, Vickilynn Haycraft has over 25 years of actual hands-on experience reviewing and personally using different tools of the homemaking vocation, focusing on the areas of health and nutrition. Vickilynn is a magazine columnist, product reviewer, cookbook author and now radio talk show host, as well as being full-time wife and mom to 5 children. Read Vickilynn's Product Reviews and Family Preparedness Articles at She blogs at the Real Food Living Blog.