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In this article, I experiment with canning both frozen and canned green beans. I wanted to see which type of green beans dehydrate best.
I have never dehydrated canned food before, and to be honest, I was kind of hoping that the frozen would turn out better than the canned. The reason is that canned food has already lost so many of the nutrients, so I wasn’t crazy about the thought of losing even more nutrients through dehydrating. But there are times, especially around the holidays, when I see those huge, #10 cans of green beans for less than $3 a can. Always wanting to save money, I thought it was worth giving dehydrating a try. In addition to the money saving potential, since I have a small pantry, being able to reduce the amount of space that my food storage requires appeals to me. I have a lot of cans of green beans, and dehydrating them would save a ton of space.
The Process of Dehydrating Canned and Frozen Green Beans
Here’s what I found out when I dehydrated canned and frozen green beans.
First, let’s talk about the process.
I started out by adding 1 16-oz can of green beans to the bottom tray:
I then added 1 12-oz bag of frozen green beans on each of the top 4 trays.
I Started at 145 degrees for the first 2 hours. According to the Nesco manual you can use a higher temperature for the first couple of hours since the moisture in the food reduces the temperature.
I set a timer on my phone to remind me to reduce the temperature to 135 degrees after the first two hours.
How the Dehydrated Green Beans Looked after 8 Hours
After 8 hours most of the frozen green beans were still bendy, but some were completely dry. I picked out the dry green beans and put them aside.
The appearance of the canned green beans was very different. They looked very dark, almost black. They were still very soft, which wasn’t surprising, considering they were on the bottom tray.
At this point, I went to bed and ran the dehydrator overnight.
The End Result of My Dehydrating Canned and Frozen Green Beans Test
Here’s what the green beans looked like after being completely dehydrated. On the left is the dehydrated frozen green bean, and on the right is the dehydrated canned green bean. It’s obvious that the frozen green bean that has been dehydrated has a much better color and appearance than the canned one.
Rehydrating Dehydrated Canned and Frozen Green Beans
Since appearances can be deceiving, I reserved my final judgment for how they green beans would look and taste after being rehydrated.
On the top is the dehydrated frozen green bean after being rehydrated. It started to plump up right away, as soon as I put it into hot water. The one on the bottom is the dehydrated canned green bean that had been “rehydrated.” I put rehydrated in quotes because as you can see, it never really rehydrated properly.
The bottom line is that I will indeed dehydrate frozen green beans again, but even if you gave me a truckload of canned green beans, I would not bother dehydrating them. Canned green beans have a place in my pantry, but I’ll leave them in the cans rather than dehydrating them.
Here are some of my favorite dehydrating tools
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you strive to stock your pantry with delicious home-dehydrated food! Here are some tools that I use that I’m hoping you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. Please know that these are the tools that I recommend and believe in 100%!
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator was my first dehydrator, and still one of my favorites. I actually have two of them! If I was only going to buy one dehydrator and was on a strict budget, this would be it. I love it because it’s very reasonably priced, and is expandable up to 12 trays. I recommend starting with the basic system that comes with 5 trays. Then expand by buying additional trays, fruit leather sheets, and mesh screens.
The Cosori Premium Dehydrator is my most recent dehydrator purchase. In many respects, it’s superior to the Nesco since it is constructed with stainless steel, which is always a winner. I love the ease of use, and how precise it is when it comes to setting the temperature. It’s also versatile in that you can remove some of the racks. This makes it possible to use it for more than just dehydrating. As an example, you can use the Cosori dehydrator to make yogurt, something you definitely can’t do with any of the stackable dehydrators.
Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – I’ve had my eye on this dehydrator for a LONG time. I don’t have space for another dehydrator, so I’m just waiting for one of my dehydrators to die so I can buy this one! What I really love about this dehydrator is that it expands to up to 30 (yes, 30!) trays. At 1,000 watts, it’s more powerful than the two dehydrators listed above. If you only have the means to buy one dehydrator, and have limited space to dehydrate, I recommend this one since you can dehydrate a huge amount of food at a time.
The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing Machine is a great way to preserve the food you’ve dehydrated. The machine I use is no longer available. I chose this one because it’s a great price and includes a port that makes it possible to use the accessory kit linked to below. Since I store all my dehydrated food in mason jars, the jar sealer attachments are a must. But with this device, you can also use food storage bags if you’re short on mason jars, or prefer to seal you dehydrated food in bags.
The FoodSaver Handheld Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer is a great option for those with limited space. I keep mine charged up in my kitchen, so I can easily reseal jars every time I use some of my dehydrated food. While I still love my larger FoodSaver, from a convenience perspective, this one can’t be beat.
The FoodSaver Accessory Kit is a must if, like me, you store dehydrated food in mason jars. You can use this kit with either of the vacuum sealers linked to above. If you can’t get the one I linked to on Amazon, check out this selection of options available on Walmart.