Going Bananas? It just may be a good thing! Bananas tend to ripen quickly. So a good method to preserving them and still enjoy them is dehydrating them. Learning how to dehydrate bananas, is easy, a little time consuming, but well worth the effort. Did you know that commercially dehydrated bananas have a big chance of actually being deep-friend in oil? That is what makes those banana chips we all love to munch on so crispy! So now eating a handful of banana chips thinking its a healthy choice suddenly becomes unhealthy. Making your own dehydrated bananas is a healthier alternative as the only two ingredients are the bananas and lemon juice, or any citrus juice that you like. Food dehydration is safe because water is removed from the food. When water is removed, mold and bacteria cannot grow on it and it will not spoil. Chances are, though, that the dehydrated bananas will be long gone before being considered for the trash can!
There are two basic ways to make your own dehydrated bananas, a food dehydrator or oven can be used. The oven method takes a little longer, but you will still get the same results by using a store-bought food dehydrator. Try both ways to see which works best for you.
Slice the bananas into equal slices about 1/4 inch thick or slicing them in circles of the same thickness. They should be soaked in lemon juice, or any citrus juice to keep them from turning brown. The lemon juice, or citrus juice will not affect the taste once dehydrated. Pineapple juice is another alternative to soak your bananas in. Soak them for about 5 minutes. The bananas, at this point, can be set on a mesh sheet or cookie cooler to allow the lemon juice to drip off. For the oven method of dehydration, place the bananas on a cookie sheet or baking sheet, making sure they do not touch to prevent them from sticking together. Drizzling a little honey, gives a sweet taste. The oven should be preheated to 125 degrees. Put the bananas in the oven for about 18 hours. Turn the oven off after the 18 hours allows them to become pliable at this point. Done this way they will turn a little crunchy, but nothing like the store bought ones!
If a dehydrator is the method choice, soak the bananas and place in the lemon juice. Allow the lemon juice to drain off. Arrange on the dehydrator’s trays. Most dehydrators have several trays that can be utilized to hold the bananas. Turn the dehydrator to its medium heat and let them dehydrate for 12 to 24 hours. At this point, turn off the dehydrator and let the banana slices cool slightly before storing.
Bananas are one of nature’s perfect food sources. Two bananas eaten a day produces enough of an energy boost to do a 90 minute workout! Not only are they high in Vitamin B, they also are rich in potassium and iron. They can help calm nervousness and neutralize stomach acids. Amazingly, bananas have so many health benefits that are not realized by most people. They can help with anemia, morning sickness, hangovers (yes, hangovers!), PMS and constipation.
Now that the bananas are dehydrated, how should they be stored? The best storing method is in a container that can be tightly sealed so that no moisture enters. Storing them in freezer bags works well too. Store the dehydrated bananas in a cool, dark, dry place.
Now that you have dehydrated bananas, what can be done with them? You can break them up into pieces and use them in cookie recipes or bread recipes. You can put them in cereal. or use as a topping on your favorite yogurt or ice cream. There really is no limit to what a dehydrated banana can be used for. Use your imagination and enjoy!