Dehydrated green beans are a healthy alternative to potato chips—they're low in calories, fat and sodium and high in fiber. Pack them for camping or long road trips, or add them to soups, stews and casseroles. They're available at many grocery stores, but they're actually surprisingly easy to make. You don't even need a food dehydrator; an oven works just as well but takes longer.
Wash the green beans in cold water.
Cut off the ends and cut the beans into 1-inch pieces.
Steam blanch the beans. Place a few inches of water in the bottom of a pot; place the steamer pan or wire basket into the pot and make sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the steamer pan. Bring to a boil. Place beans in steamer pan and steam 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove beans from the steamer and plunge into cold or ice water for 5 minutes to stop the cooking process. Strain the beans.
Place green beans on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Freeze for 45 minutes.
To dehydrate the green beans in the oven, place the cookie sheet of beans in the oven at 140 degrees Fahrenheit until crisp and all moisture has been removed. Cooking times vary and may take 8 to 14 hours.
If using a food dehydrator, place beans on the dehydrator tray and cook at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 12 hours until crisp.
Conventional ovens may not maintain consistent temperatures at low settings. Use an oven thermometer placed directly on the oven rack or tray and check every two hours. You may need to prop the oven door open to achieve a consistent oven temperature and to allow moist air to escape.
Store dehydrated green beans long-term in an airtight container placed in a cool, dark area.
To rehydrate, soak beans in cold water for two hours or in hot water for one hour.
If adding to soups, stews or casseroles, add a little extra water or stock to the recipe.
Amy Kestly began writing professionally in 2010. She is a contributor for various websites, specializing in culinary arts, travel, marketing and advertising. Kestly has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Tulane University in New Orleans.