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Old 12-31-2012, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
Kbud
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Bananas Brindando Banana Chips and Fruit Rolls

If you have a dehydrator, you will find that there are plenty of things to do with your bananas. Dehydrating bananas into chips helps preserve the harvest of one of your rare specie and concentrates the flavor so every bite gives you a burst of banana goodness! I use a Nesco FD-80 Square Food Dehydrator because of its easy use, great quality, and great price: Amazon.com: Nesco/American Harvest FD-80 Square-Shaped Dehydrator: Kitchen & Dining. However, any dehydrator will work. Nesco makes great, affordable dehydrators: NESCO® Dehydrators, Jerky Seasoning | Official NESCO® Store. Even if you don't have a dehydrator, you can still join in the fun. Read on so you can preserve the harvest.

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The following info is copied from "Making and Using Dried Foods" by Phyllis Hobson. Copyright 1994 by Storey Publishing, 210 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA, 01247
Originally sold in 1983 as "Garden Way Publishing's Guide to Food Drying," by Garden Way Publishing

* *indicates a note by me, not in the book*

Select firm, well-ripened bananas, but flecked with brown. Peel and cut into thin slices. Dip in ascorbic acid, undiluted pineapple juice, or a mixture of 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 cups water. *When I made banana chips, they did fine without pretreatment, just get them in the dehydrator quickly* For crisp slices, pretreat in honey dip.

Dehydrator: Spread slices on dehydrator trays one layer deep, without overlapping slices. Dry at 115 degrees until leathery or at 125 degrees F until crisp. *I used the fruit setting on my dehydrator, 135 degrees F, and they turned out fine*. After 3 to 4 hours, peel slices from trays and turn over. Rotate trays front to back, side to side, and top to bottom once during drying. *Most dehydrators today don't require rotating, but check your unit's instructions.*

Sun: Spread pretreated banana slices one layer deep on drying trays lined with cheesecloth. *If you are drying your bananas in the sun, they HAVE to be pretreated.* Top with cheesecloth propped up to keep it from touching fruit. Dry in well-ventilated area in full sun. At the end of the day, turn slices by flipping bottom cheesecloth and take trays inside at night. They will take two or more days to dry.

Oven or homemade dryer: Spread slices in single layer over drying trays, taking care not to overlap slices. Dry at 115 degrees F for 8 to 10 hours until leathery or crisp, according to preference. Turn slices and rotate trays once during drying. *Rotating is nessacary and I don't think you need to pretreat if you are using this method, just be quick.*

To use: Eat banana slices as a confection or combine with dried or fresh apricots, peaches, or pineapple. These slices may also be added to cake or cookie batters without being refreshed (*put in boiling water until they are rehydrated, around 60
minutes*) One cup yields about 1 1/4 cups refreshed bananas or 3/4 cups mashed bananas.


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Who doesn't like fruit roll-ups? With a dehydrator, you can easily make your own and with your own bananas. According to the same book, to make banana fruit roll-ups, "Select ripe or overripe bananas. Mash well or puree. Spread on plastic or paper covered trays and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans or walnuts and dry. For long storage, omit nuts, as the fat in the nuts tends to go rancid."

For Christmas this year, I got Nesco Fruit-Roll Sheets to make fruit roll-ups, powdered milk, and soup mixes. I haven't gotten to try it out yet, but this makes less mess and is reusable. Again, just puree it in a blender or food processer, if you want, add some sugar, and dry. I will dry mine at the fruit setting, 135 degrees F. This process can also be used for other fruit roll-ups as well. Talk about a fun way to preserve the harvest!

If anyone has anything to add here or wants to share about this, please comment it below.


Thanks,
Kbud
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Hi! My name is Spekter! Hopefully I can be of some help!

I grow tasty/useful tropical plants and carnivorous plants!

Check out my tasty tropical plants blog: http://spektersplants.wordpress.com
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