How to Air-Dry Green Beans, or “Leather Britches”
Although blanching green beans before air drying them is not required, the resultant product’s color is significantly altered. They won’t turn green when you ultimately rehydrate them if you blanch them beforehand.
If not, they deteriorate and nearly become black. In such a situation, they are still safe to eat, but they seem less appetizing on the dish.
Using this technique, you may dry sweet peppers that have been finely cut as well as yellow wax beans.
Clean the green beans first. Cut or snap the stem ends off.
If you decide to blanch the beans, start a big pot of water to boil. Green beans should be added and boiled for 3 minutes. To stop the remaining heat from continuing to cook them, swiftly move them from the colander to a large dish of ice water. Drain them one again after three minutes in the cold water.
Thread dental floss that is unflavored and unwaxed onto a big needle, such as an embroidery needle. Nearly an inch down from each end of a green bean, prick it with the needle. Draw the thread through the first bean to secure it, leaving a 2-inch tail. Make a knot at the connection between the tail and the main thread.
Leaving a gap of half an inch between the second and first green beans, thread the third bean onto the string.
Continue stringing beans onto the string, leaving a 12-inch gap between each one and poking them approximately 1 inch down from each end. Remove the needle after nearly all of the string has been used, then knot the end of the thread to the primary thread (around the last bean).
Hang the string of green beans in an area that is dry and has excellent airflow. In
Hang the string of green beans in an area that is dry and has excellent airflow. The beans will have significantly reduced in size and a texture that falls between leathery and brittle after approximately a week.
Place the “leather britches” in jars or other food storage containers that are clean, dry, and covered firmly.
Rinse them in cold water before using them. After that, place them in a basin and cover them with boiling water. Let them soak until they become softer, but keep in mind that they are still raw.
Add them to casseroles and soups after simmering them in water or stock for a while, or try the time-honored and delicious method of frying the cooked shoestring beans with some bacon.
Green Beans or “Leather Britches”: How to Air-Dry
Back in the days of the pioneers, air-dried green beans were a mainstay food and were sometimes referred to as “leather britches” or “shoestring beans.” The wacky titles are a result of the reality that dried green beans indeed shrink and resemble strips of leather or even worn-out shoestrings.
I am aware it doesn’t make them seem like the sexiest pantry ingredient. However, the method for producing them is simple, they last for a very long time, and the taste and texture of the cooked, rehydrated beans are wonderful (though totally unlike fresh green beans).
Tips for Drying Herbs
Drying is one of the finest methods to preserve most (but not all) herbs, whether you want to preserve some of the fragrant bounties from your garden or just don’t want to waste the remainder of that bunch of sage you purchased and just used a few leaves of.
Even the greatest store-brand herbs pale in comparison to home-dried herbs’ deeper hues, aromas, and flavors. Most herbs have essential oils that give them their fragrance and flavor; a herb used in cooking that lacks aroma will also lack flavor.
The greatest results come from immediately drying the herbs while exposing them to the least amount of light and heat possible since these oils are extremely volatile and readily evaporate.
The simplest method, in my opinion, is to simply let them to dry at room temperature, finishing them briefly, if required, in a very low oven. Herbs can be dried in a dehydrator, but I think the flavor is diminished.
By securing eight to ten sprigs of leafy herbs with a rubber band, leafy herbs may be dried. Avoid becoming crafty and tying them with yarn or raffia: As they dry, the stems will shrink and separate from such charming connections. Use rubber bands only. The herb bundles should be hung away from sources of intense heat or light.
The herbs should be dry enough after a week to readily crumble off the stems when crushed. You may have to bake them to finish them off in areas that are really humid. To do this, place herbs that have been dried for a week in your oven and bake them for no more than 5 minutes at the lowest temperature setting.
Before putting them in jars, let them cool for an additional five minutes at room temperature. Don’t put them to jars until they have cooled for a further five minutes. Any longer than this will cause them to reabsorb moisture from the air.
Non-leafy herbs, such as flowers, roots, seeds, and barks, may be dried in paper or cloth bags or in one layer between two horizontally stacked, finely mesh window screens. The same rapid oven procedure as previously mentioned may be used to complete them.
Some leafy herbs should be maintained in other ways since drying results in a significant loss of taste. Among the herbs that don’t dry well include cilantro, chives, parsley, basil, and chervil (coriander leaves). Salts, butter, oils, and vinegar may all be used to preserve these plants.
After a year, dried leafy herbs and flowers lose the majority of their flavor. When stored whole or in large pieces, roots, barks, and seeds will remain fresh for much longer than when ground to a fine powder, which will only extend their shelf life by a year.