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#156589 - 11/01/11 09:27 PM Beans in the backcountry
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
I love beans. Black beans, pinto beans, chili beans, red beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, baked beans... I love them all. (Not peas, for some reason... just beans.)

I eat a lot of beans, with rice, because they are cheap and filling.

I have rice in the backcountry figured out. Now I need to figure out how to do beans.

I'm not sure how to do dried beans. At home, they take several hours of soaking followed by several hours of cooking. The alternative that I'm familiar with is canned, which isn't as tasty as scratch-made, but is easier. It's also darn heavy to tote a can of beans up and down hills, and there is still a can to tote out when I'm done eating. So that's a no-go.

So then. How do I do beans in the backcountry cheaply and easily?


Edited by Bear (11/01/11 09:28 PM)
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#156599 - 11/01/11 10:34 PM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: Barefoot Friar]
thecook Offline


Registered: 10/03/08
Posts: 541
Loc: Minnesota
Cook the beans at home and dehydrate them, either in a dehydrator or in your oven on lowest setting with the door left cracked.
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#156600 - 11/01/11 10:41 PM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: Barefoot Friar]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
I'm completely guessing here, but its something I've been planning to try. I've read that you can make your own "instant rice" by mostly cooking, then dehydrating the rice. I've been wondering if the same would for for beans. I would assume that IF it works, it would work better with the tougher skinned beans so that they wouldn't mash up too bad.

EDIT: The cook posted that while I was posting this. Looks like my guess was right.

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#156617 - 11/02/11 05:25 AM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: james__12345]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Taste Adventure dehydrated refried beans are pretty good. Add some dehydrated onions and season with cumin and they make a good soup.

You can google dehydrated beans and find a lot of sources. When pricing dehydrated food, I think in cost/3,000 calories. I don't eat anything that costs more than about $7.00 for 3,000 calories.


Edited by Gershon (11/02/11 05:28 AM)
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#156621 - 11/02/11 10:36 AM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: Barefoot Friar]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
Cook and dehydrate whatever you want to take - beans and rice do real well as dehydrated meals.

I use jasmine or basmati, and dehydrate Indian lentil or bean dishes to add to it. Lentils also dehydrate really well - I'm still working through a pot of lentil soup I made earlier in the year, one portion at a time.
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#156624 - 11/02/11 11:12 AM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: lori]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1718
Loc: Napa, CA
The best dehydrated meal we take on our trips is a Super Burrito from Tanya's, the local taqueria. We slice it like a loaf of bread and dehydrate it, then re-hydrate and serve it as a casserole.

It would be REALLY hard to take uncooked beans on a backpacking trip for just the reasons you describe.
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#156661 - 11/02/11 08:18 PM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: thecook]
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
Originally Posted By thecook
Cook the beans at home and dehydrate them, either in a dehydrator or in your oven on lowest setting with the door left cracked.


How do I know when they're "done"?

ETA: And how do I reconstitute them in the backcountry?


Edited by Bear (11/02/11 08:20 PM)
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#156671 - 11/02/11 10:22 PM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: Barefoot Friar]
james__12345 Offline
member

Registered: 10/06/10
Posts: 189
Loc: Tennessee
I'm not sure if you mean done cooking, or done drying. As far as done drying goes, from what I've read its suggested you put some in a closed jar. If they're not done drying, you will get condensation in the jar. If they are done, then you wont. Others here with more experience may have some more detailed answers, but thats the technique I've used so far, and its worked for me with other things.


Edited by james__12345 (11/02/11 10:23 PM)

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#156672 - 11/02/11 10:28 PM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: james__12345]
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
Originally Posted By james__12345
I'm not sure if you mean done cooking, or done drying. As far as done drying goes, from what I've read its suggested you put some in a closed jar. If they're not done drying, you will get condensation in the jar. If they are done, then you wont. Others here with more experience may have some more detailed answers, but thats the technique I've used so far, and its worked for me with other things.


Yes, sorry... I did mean "finished dehydrating".

That's a pretty nifty trick. I'll have to try that.
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#156700 - 11/03/11 03:43 PM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: Barefoot Friar]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
http://www.trailcooking.com/dehydrating101 That will get you going on the basics smile

Anyhow, you can dry at home nearly any bean or legume you could desire! And yes, you can use an oven as well.

You can also just cheat and buy them ready to use.... http://www.harmonyhousefoods.com/Dehydrated-Beans_c_2.html All their products are cooked and dehydrated, ready to use.

And yes, with rice, you can cook and dry rice at home so you can have more exotic types. I bake my brown rice and then dry. I use the Alton Brown Good Eats method with no oil added. Easy!!
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#156701 - 11/03/11 03:45 PM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: Barefoot Friar]
sarbar Offline
member

Registered: 07/15/05
Posts: 1453
Loc: WA
To know if a bean is done, break one in half with your fingernail. It will be...well...dry inside. Yes, beans will split when drying. It isn't a huge issue, they are still very edible. You can also easily powder dried beans this way to make a thickener for soups. If you have a watery soup sprinkle a Tablespoon or two on and let cook.
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#156726 - 11/03/11 08:16 PM Re: Beans in the backcountry [Re: sarbar]
Barefoot Friar Offline
member

Registered: 01/23/09
Posts: 175
Loc: Houston, Alabama
All hail Sarbar! All hail Sarbar!

Thanks for the link. I'll take a look at it.
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