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Friday, October 5, 2012

Dehydrating Green Beans

Original Article

photo by codepro8
Green beans are the garden gift that keeps on giving.  If you can keep up with the picking about 1-2 times per week, green beans will just keep on making beans until they freeze.  What to do with all those green beans?  One of my favorite methods of preserving green beans is dehydrating.  The main reason I like it so much is that it shrinks a grocery sack full of fresh green beans into a quart jar of dehydrated beans.  And I’ve always lived in a house without enough storage room, so making something take up less space is ideal.  Dehydrating saves freezer space and lengthens the shelf life of your preserved green beans over canned beans.
I know you’re itching to get started, so here’s how to dehydrate green beans:
1. Pick, wash, and snap or cut your beans into the size you want to eat.  My pieces are usually 1-1 1/2 inches long.  If the kids are snapping, they’re all random and that’s okay–they all taste the same.
2. Once you have your green beans prepped, you’ll need to blanch them.  Get a pot of water to boiling and put your bean pieces in it.
Keep the beans in the pot for 5-7 minutes.  They’ll turn brighter green.
3. Cool the beans by taking them out of the boiling water and putting them in cold water.  I use a basket in my pot of water so I can get all the beans out quickly.  If you don’t have something to get the beans in and out, you can also put all your beans in the pot at the same time (if your pot is big enough) and just drain the whole pot when the blanching time is done.
4. Place the cooled beans on the dehydrator trays and dry.  I dry mine in my Excalibur for 5-8 hours at 125 degrees.  You want them nice and brittle when they’re done.
Before . . .
That’s it.  I like to store these in a jar.  Suck the air out with a FoodSaver Jar Sealer attachment to store them long term.  They are so hard, they’re kind of sharp and like to poke through products like Foodsaver bags.  For reference, a standard plastic grocery sack of green beans fills a quart jar when they are dried.  Enjoy!

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