Uses for Bean Bark:
How to Make Bean Bark:
Run a 28 ounce can of vegetarian baked beans through a blender until creamy. Use all the liquids from the can. Avoid using baked bean products containing bacon or pork because fatty meats will not dehydrate well and may spoil.
Pour puddles of blended beans on dehydrator trays covered with Paraflexx® sheets or parchment paper and spread thinly with a spatula. 28 ounces of blended beans takes up three 15 x 15 Excalibur Dehydrator trays.
Dry at 135° for eight hours. Unlike Potato Bark, which dries into a sheet, Bean Bark dries like mud… full of cracks. You can still use the “flip-trick” as described on other bark pages to thoroughly dry the bottom side of the bark.
Yield: 28 ounces of beans will bark down to three cups weighing seven ounces.
Variations: Bark other types of canned beans such as black beans, red beans, and kidney beans. Follow the steps above.
Bean Bark Stew
- ½ cup Bean Bark
- ½ cup Instant Brown Rice
- ¼ cup Dehydrated Mixed Vegetables (carrots, corn, peas, and green beans)
- ¼ Dehydrated Ground Beef
- 1 cup water
Variation: Beanie-Weenie Stew. Add Franks & Beans to your homemade backpacking food list. Just substitute dehydrated hot dog slices for ground beef. Because hot dogs are generally high in fat, you’ll have to blot off beads of grease with a paper towel throughout the drying process. Storing dehydrated hot dogs long term is not a good idea, but you’ll be fine if you use them within a week or two. Go for 100% beef franks, not pork dogs, as pork is never recommended for dehydrating. To dehydrate hot dogs, cut into ¼ inch slices and dry at 135° for approximately eight hours to the pliability of a Slim Jim.
For more information about drying ground beef and vegetables, see dehydrating meat and dehydrating vegetables.
Pack all dry ingredients in a 4 x 6 plastic bag.
On the Trail:
Combine all ingredients with water in pot, cover, and light stove.
Bring to a boil and cook for an additional minute or two. Total cook time using my homemade alcohol backpacking stove is seven to eight minutes.
Remove from stove and transfer pot to insulating cozy for another five or ten minutes.
Stir briskly before eating and the bark will dissolve into tasty gravy.
Bean Bark Soup
- ½ cup Bean Bark
- ¼ cup Instant Rice or Dehydrated Diced Potatoes
- ¼ cup Dehydrated Mixed Vegetables
- ¼ cup Dehydrated Ground Beef or Hot Dog Slices
- 1 ¼ cup Water
At Home and On the Trail:
Follow the same directions as Bean Bark Stew. Bark dissolves in hot water with a little spirited stirring.
Bean Bark Spread
- 1/2 cup Bean Bark
- 1/3 cup water
On the Trail:
Combine Bark with water in pot, light stove. When water starts to get hot, begin stirring until the mixture gets pasty. Three or four minutes of heating should do the trick. Be prepared to lift the pot off the stove with a pot gripper to prevent burning. Spread on pita bread or use as a dip for freeze-dried vegetable chips.
More Bark Recipes...
Click here for information about purchasing dehydrated vegetables and meat for these recipes.