14 September 2015

How to Dehydrate Bananas

Dried banana chips, cooled and ready to be stored in an air-tight jar
We were blessed with five kilos of bananas this week. That's a lot of bananas!

I kept some in the fruit bowl to eat, put some in the freezer to use for banana cake, banana bread, banana muffins, banana smoothies - you get the general idea.

And the rest I sliced, soaked in a citric acid bath and then put them in the dehydrator to make banana chips to add to the stockpile.

Drying, or dehydrating is the technical term, is a great way to preserve excess produce for long-term food storage. And it's easy to do too. It can be done in most kitchens, you don't even need any special equipment, although a dehydrator does leave your oven free for other things.

The hard part is waiting till their ready to try them.

Make a solution of 1 teaspoon of citric acid dissolved in 3 litres of cold water. This will stop the banana from going brown.

Cut your bananas into chips. Aim for even slices, not too thick, not too thin - I like them about 6mm (1/4 inch) thick. You can also slice them lengthwise too if you want longer "chips".

I've been told that if you chill the bananas for 30 minutes before you slice them they're easier to slice. I haven't tried chilling them, I just slice each one and put it straight into the citric acid bath.

Once you've sliced all your bananas, put them in the citric acid bath. Let them soak for at least 10 minutes. Drain.

Banana slices soaking in citric acid bath - this helps stop them going brown during the drying process

Dehydrator method:

Lay the banana chips on the trays of your dehydrator, making sure they're not touching.

Turn your dehydrator to 55 degrees Celsius.

Dry the bananas for 6 - 12 hours, rotating trays every two hours to ensure even drying.

On the trays in the dehydrator ready for 12 hours of drying!

Oven method:

Turn the oven to 60 degrees Celsius.

Lay the banana slices on a baking sheet, leaving space between them for the air to circulate.

Place the trays in the oven. Prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon.

Bake for 6 - 12 hours, rotating trays every two hours.

Once your banana chips are dry, turn the heat off.  Let them cool completely before packing in jars to store.


5 comments:

  1. Thank you for this recipe Cath. I am just wondering whether lemon juice can be substituted for the citric acid? I think I read somewhere about using lemon juice.

    I am happy today because hubby made me an outdoor fruit/veg dryer. Just the finishing touches tomorrow and it is ready to go. I will be drying the quandongs first up as I have so many I don't know what to do with them all. My freezers are full so I have had to think of something else to do with them. Later we will have nectarine and apricots also. I do own a dehydrator but with all the free heat and sunshine we have, I think I would prefer to use the outdoor one. Maybe I will need to use both!

    xTania

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  2. Hi Tania, I love my solar dehydrator, it gets used a lot in summer here. I prefer it to using the power too.

    Yes, lemon juice is fine - 3 tbsp lemon juice to 3 litres water. I don't have a lot of lemons so I save the juice for cooking.

    Quandongs - can they be used to make a cordial? I know they make delicious jam and pies and have some very strong medicinal uses, the tea made from the leaves is very good for arthritis.

    You'll love your new dehydrator, they are amazing.

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    Replies
    1. Okay, so lemon juice mixed in water. I would have put straight juice on them lol. I am glad I asked now.

      Good question about the quandongs Cath. I don't know whether they can be made into cordial. You have sparked my curiosity so I am going to try and find out. I did not know that the leaves were also good for health. Thank you for that information.

      I am going to try some quandong fruit leather and see how that goes :)

      I will be wanting to dry everything in sight lol!

      xTania

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  3. Hi Cath
    What kind of jars do you use?
    I have not been having air tight successwith my storage of late. Recommends are greatly appreciated

    As is the arthritis info above! Got it bad in my hands. Do you happen to know how to make the leaf tea?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lisa-Michelle,

      I have a variety of jars. Some of them are recycled pasta sauce jars, the old fashioned type of preserving jar with the spring/lever and rubber ring, some are recycled coffee jars, some are Lock'n'Lock style with the rubber gasket and levers on the side.

      My canisters are either Tupperware or Lock'n'Lock - I'm slowly getting more of these wonderful food storage containers by watching when they come on sale and asking for them for birthday/Mother's Day/Christmas :) I'm also always on the lookout in op shops and at garage sales too, I rarely pay more than $2 for a Tupperware item.

      I can't help you with the tea, I've never made it, I don't have access to quandongs sadly :)

      Delete

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