Prepared ahead of time, this meal dehydrates well

These are not your average beans. Homemade slow cooked black beans are the flavourful, fresh, equivalent of canned fare and worth the prep work to bring this versatile meal base on your adventures.

“I love so many things about this recipe,” says Sydney Badger, from Taste + Balance who hosted a food workshop with Power To Be staff to help redefine our camping menus. “This dish could be a key player in so many dishes.”

A mix of fresh flavours and good quality fats, these beans are savoury with a nice green bite to them thanks to the spinach and cilantro. Cook and dehydrate before your trip to cut down on packing space, allowing you to focus on bringing  rice or taco shells with you.

This recipe dehydrates and freezes well.

Setup and equipment
  • Large pot with a lid
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Can opener
  • Zester/rasp
  • Fork (for juicing citrus)
  • Tasting spoon
  • Container to collect your compost waste in while cooking
  • Container for your finished beans

(Portion size depends on how much you eat. Make lots, then dry or freeze it!)

  • Black beans, 4 regular sized cans
  • Baby Spinach, 1 large bag
  • Cilantro, 1 bunches
  • Limes, 3
  • Onion, 2
  • Garlic, 1 head
  • Chili powder, 3 tbsp
  • Cumin, 5 tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Approx. ¼ cup olive oil


  1. Open black beans, dump into a colander, and rinse with cold water.
  2. Dice onion, chop garlic, and add to a pot with a generous splash of olive oil (enough to coat). Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt.
  3. Heat and cook at medium heat, stirring until slightly browned.
  4. Add black beans, cumin, chili powder, and many pinches of salt and pepper. (start with some now, we can adjust later).
  5. Add enough water to the pot that the beans are loose to stir in the liquid. Turn up the heat until bubbling, then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Cover and cook for a long time. As long as you have the patience for. (Minimum 30 minutes, ideal is two hours. Stir frequently.)
  7. While there is still some liquid in the pot, dump in the bag of baby spinach. It will wilt within the cooking liquid.
  8. When spinach is soft, and the beans have started to thicken, have a taste.  Probably add more salt and pepper.
  9. Add lime zest, lime juice, chop and add whole bunch of cilantro.
  10. Taste again. There is so much flavour waiting to happen. If it still tastes bland, it’s because the flavour needs to be brought to life! Four cans of black beans is begging for salt and pepper. Go for it.
  11. Enjoy!