Dehydrating123: How To Dehydrate Legumes For Backpacking Meals
What are legumes?
Legumes (you may also hear them called pulses) are plants that have pods with tidy rows of seeds inside. You know them better as peas, lentils and various types of beans.
Why legumes are good?
Legumes are cheap, tasty and good for you. They are low in fat and do not contain cholesterol. Beans and lentils are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. After meat and fish, they provide more protein per serving than other foods. As legumes also contain complex or “good” carbohydrates, they quickly can make us satisfying and keep us feeling full longer.
The only one drawback is that they take a long time to soak and cook. By cooking and dehydrating them at home, you can save your time and fuel on the trail. Dehydrated beans are lightweight, take up little space and can be rehydrated easily for a hot and nutritious backpacking meal.
How to dehydrate legumes for backpacking meals
Step 1. Soak legumes (pulses) in cold water for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Step 2. Drain them to remove the excess water.
Step 3. Put legumes in a pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil.
Step 4. Reduce heat to low and simmer until soft. The cooking time varies depending on sort of legumes from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours.
Step 5. Remove from the heat. Season to taste, cover and let sit for another 10-15 minutes.
Step 6. Drain water off and leave to cool.
Step 7. Spread cooked legumes on dehydrator trays covered with non-stick sheets or parchment paper.
Step 8. Dry at 130F/55C for 4-6 hours.
Step 9. Put dried pulses into vacuum-sealed containers, jars or zip lock bags. Store in a dry, dark place at room temperature.
Home cooked dried beans can stay hard and don’t rehydrate as quickly as canned beans. Canned beans split open when dried, but rehydrate better than home cooked beans.
What do you think about rehydrating dehydrated beans, lentils, and pasta using *cold* water? What are your recommendations as to timing?
Hi John! Usually rehydration with cold water or cold water soaking takes much more time (apx/ 2 times more than with hot water). Timing also dependson ingredients used (size of food, level of dehydration etc).
Do I need to cook canned legumes prior to dehydrating them, or can they just be rinsed then dried?
Just rinse and dry 🙂
Hi. I just dried some rinsed canned black beans on my Excaliber dehydrator for 4 hours (125 degrees) and they are kind of crumbly and separated into lots of pieces. What did I do wrong?
That’s absolutely fine for canned beans. They have tendency to split during dehydrating process.
If I want to take dehydrated puree to reconstitute on the trail into a kind of hummus, could I go ahead and make the completed puree — seasoned and possibly oiled — and then dehydrate that?
I’m asking because I’m trying to recreate (and, frankly — improve) a commercial hiking product, dehydrated hummus. The commercial product seems to not be seasoned; but that said — it’s reconstituted with room-temp water, not heated water.
Yep. You can make a puree, then dehydrate it. But do not add oil until youļl be ready to eat it. Otherwise your food will go rancid.
Would pressure cooking the beans prior to dehydrating them help with the rehydration process? Would they stay whole or break down
Home cooked beans will break down or crack after dehydration. I don’t know how rehydrate beans that were pressure cooked. I never tried. However, dehydrated canned beans rehydrate faster.
Does there tend to be a kind of “normal” ratio for how much water or stock to use to re-hydrate a certain amount of dried legumes?
Looking for some golden rule like 2:1 ratio water to legumes, etc. Thanks!
It depends on consistency you would like to get. I always start with 1:1 ratio and than add more water, if needed.
Hi, where can l get a suitable dehydrator for cooked legumes intended for commercial purposes? Any brand you would recommend?
Another thing, after dehydration so it doesn’t need any presavatives right?
Hi Marion! You can read about how to choose dehydrator here:http://www.trail.recipes/blog/choosing-a-good-food-dehydrator/
You do not need to use artificial preservatives, just keep your dehydrated food in vacuum-sealed bags or airtight containers in dark, cool place.
Is there any way to dehydrate beans without a dehydrator?
Hi Alex! You can try dehydrate beans also in the oven if it works in low temperatures (around 160F/70C degrees). Place the trays with pre-cooked beans inside the warmed oven, prop the door open for a few inches, and wait for about 12 hours.
This is what I was looking for, thank you for posting the guide.
I am not a hiker, so I am curious how you bring these lentils back to make a meal?
Thank you for the comment. It’s easy and comfortable to cook with dehydrated legumes even at home. You can add them to the soups or stews, or even just rehydrate in cold or hot water and put into salads…
How long will dehydrated legumes, spagetti sauce
and pasta last if placed in closed unsealed mason jars in a cool dark place?
Hi Lisa! Dehydrated legumes and pasta can be stored even in jars up to 1 year. As for dehydrated spaghetti sauce, better to keep it in a vacuum-sealed bag or container in a freezer, especially if you are not planning to use it in 1 month period.