Bananas are a strange fruit. Unless you grow your own, in your backyard, your bananas are picked green and hard. They ripen over time, slowly. You can speed their ripening if you store them near apples. Apples give off ethylene as they ripen, which speeds the ripening of bananas, as well as other fruit. Around here, over a thousand miles from any banana trees, bananas arrive in the store a chartreuse colour and in most cases that how we have to buy them, inedible as is. They must be ripened at home. On a rare occasion I may find one or two bananas that have reached that magical colour of brown flecked, golden yellow that signals perfection. More often than not, I’m stuck with hard, green fruit. When I find a brown bag of “over ripe” perfection in the supermarket, it is usually discounted and I love that. Imagine, perfectly sweet bananas and discounted prices, too.
Take advantage of the discounts on ripe bananas.
Recently I found so many discounted brown bags of perfectly ripe bananas that I couldn’t resist. I brought home 4 – 5lb bags. I sliced them, and dried them in my dehydrator. And now I have sliced, dried bananas for winter. 20 lbs of bananas, dehydrated, fit in 4 quart jars, in case you wanted to know.
Dried bananas, on the other hand, are dehydrated fruit, with no additional oil or sugar. They are somewhat pliable when dried, rather than crunchy. They are a healthy and nutritious snack.
To make dried bananas:
1. Peel the bananas.
2. Slice thinly.
3. Dip the slices in lemon juice. Drain.
4. Place on dehydrator trays in a single layer.
5. Dry in the dehydrator for half the time called for in your manufacturers owner’s manual.
6. Turn the banana slices.
7. Dry for the remaining time, until fully dry.
8. Allow to cool and place in jars with a tight fitting lid.
Banana slices when fully dry will be:
- Not cool to the touch.
- Firm with no soft, mushy areas in the centre of the slice.
- Evenly dry.
If you don’t yet have a dehydrator or you are ready to upgrade, check out my tips on choosing a dehydrator.