Hi, I'm Karen!

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Assistant Cook
Nov 4, 2021
I'm joining because I want to learn about preserving food.
Currently I am able to use a steam juicer, that has been a lot of fun so far. I made pumpkin juice Harry Potter style with the pumpkins I steamed. The pulp is currently frozen and awaiting the pumpkin pies and pumpkin bread I am soooo looking forward to making. The juice was a bonus!

As for why I'm here, I of course need some help. I'm having trouble drying beans and corn, as they tend to get moldy after I shell the beans r de-cob the kernels.

I had been taking dried beans out of pods and placing them on a napkin for a day or two, then into a jar with parchment paper rubber banded around the mouth. Last time I opened it to add beans, I noticed mold.

The popcorn I de cobbed four weeks ago didn't pop when I tried to stovetop pop it. They were more like corn nuts and were actually pretty tasty. So I set the other unused kernels aside to toast lightly and grind into flour later. I checked them today, thinking I'd have time to do that, and aww man. Three pounds of corn contaminated with mold. I grew these things myself and was looking forward to making use of the harvests.

I am clearly doing something wrong to contaminate the food I'm trying to save. Is there an existing thread or article about that?

Thank you so much in advance for any help anyone has to offer!
Welcome to Discuss Cooking Karen. Have you considered getting a dehydrator? I have dehydrated a few things, but I'm not an expert by any means. I'm pretty sure someone will have some suggestions.
Welcome to the forum!

I can't tell you about the corn - someone on here can help you with that, I'm sure, though I know that corn dried completely on the cob, before removing it, should have no problem with molding. And the same with beans left in the pods until the pods and beans are totally dried, come out with no problem, and neither of these should need a dehydrator to dry them enough. Unless you are in a very humid area, there should not be moisture for the mold, and at this time of the year the humidity is going way down, in most areas.
there's a lot more information on keeping dry goods and dehydrated goods on a group for dehydrating foods.

The beans need to dry much longer at room temperature. After dehydrating or drying food not seed, they must be conditioned. This is a testing process, that lasts a week, to test if they are dry enough for storage or long term storage. It is listed on the nchfp website. It is also found on preserving and dehydrating groups where this is discussed.

Use google, or nchfp website, or university extension websites, or groups on facebook, to find the information you are looking for.
If you're in a dry (10-20% humidity) climate, then leaving beans and corn kernels out for a few weeks, in well-ventilated spot, should dry them sufficiently for storage. Spreading them out in the sun speeds up the process.

Storing them in slightly porous containers (cloth or paper bags, cardboard boxes) might also be good. If you live in a moist spot, you might have to dry them in a dehydrator or super-slow oven, then store them in sealed containers. Saving the little silica gel packets from bottles of pills and popping one into each container might help keep them dry.

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