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Friday, November 4, 2011

In praise of my dehydrator and 50 FREE pounds of bananas

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18 bananas=2 full quarts dehydrated
Both quarts were very full until I took some out for a snack to take to MRI and some to give to Charlie. Plus, I spilled a few which became chicken food. I have no idea why all this text is centered since I know how to change alignment! Somehow, I lost all the pictures of the heaps of bananas. So, this is what I took on other days. 
3 bananas fill one tray

I filled six of nine trays. My frugal self does not want one of the fifty pounds of bananas to go to waste. So, I started dehydrating them. I ate one. I gave some that had split to the hens. I am still working on them! UGH!

                                                     (pictures of funny, grayish bananas would have gone here)

The pictures I took would have shown funny, grayish, yellowish, greenish bananas. If bananas  look funny with a grey tint, they were allowed to become too cold. If you find a banana that does or does not look grayish, you can take your thumbnail and lift the tiniest bit of the skin. The produce manager taught me that. I had complained because I got bananas that looked okay and were horrible and turned grayish. If the skin is grey, the banana will never ripen. Some of these were that way. After letting them sit around, I dehydrated them, and they are perfectly fine now, very sweet.

As I sad, three bananas can fit on one Excalibur Dehydrator rack. I used six racks. So, I dehydrated 18 bananas, three of the bags I received. That made about 15 lbs dehydrated. Some of the bananas spoiled, split wide open and were attacked by hoards of fruit flies, so the hens got those. Some will be frozen if I don't get them on the racks tomorrow. I made one recipe of banana bread. I dehydrated one of the lemons I received free last week.

It took me forever to get the bananas cut and on the rack because I could only stand to fill one rack. That's right. I cut three bananas in slices and had to retreat to sit. I put some in water with lemon juice and will never do that again. I could tell absolutely no difference in color between treated bananas and untreated bananas. I should not have used the water. I know!

It has been ages since I made banana bread, so I did.

Four banana bread muffins

Then, I decided I would make several cupcakes./muffins for exbf to take to work. The pan is probably as old as I--estate sale find.  I only made four in the muffin tin. I decided to sample one since they bake faster than a loaf of bread. Then, they were all gone! I just won't tell him about the muffins.  Nest day: Want a slice of banana bread? Just a taste? Worried about your diabetes? No, no, and no. I forgot he cannot stand bananas.

Dehydrating banana tips
For these bananas, when I sliced them this thin--(), that is width from side to side, they turned out paper thin, so translucent.  I could practically read though them. They were not bad, just not what I wanted. When I sliced them this thin-- (    ), they still turned out thin, but what I wanted. I have a feeling that the ripeness of the banana has something to do with how thin they become after drying. But, I have no idea what the correlation could be...lol. I add nothing to these, nor do I pretreat them with lemon, at least not after the several bananas.

I had a round Walmart dehydrator that I used and thought was miraculous, even though bananas dried at different rates from inside to outside of each round tray. Then, I broke all but one rack. So, I bought a bunch of dehydrator trays at a yard sale, praying that they fit. They did. I sold that "new" dehydrator. The Excalibur, the model I have, is wonderful. You can even make yogurt and use it for dough rising. My yogurt maker was a freecycle deal, so no cost.

Your turn
Do you like bananas and banana chips as much as I do? Do you ever dehydrate bananas? Are you also  turned off by the additives in store-bought banana chips?

8 comments:

  1. Linda - jambaloney looooves dehydrated banana and apple chips and every other thing under the sun. i mostly prefer fruit leathers - like apricots, figs and dates.

    sadly to say - our bradley smoker/dehydrator hasn't come out of storage since we got here. and i don't think it will be seeing much use this winter. there's always next year.

    but kudos to you on the bananas. and thanks for the tips about when they are ripe or not.

    jambaloney likes his fresh bananas to be bright yellow and hard - bleck. me, i like them to sit on the counter a few days, get a little bruised and mushy. i like most of my fruit at the over-ripe stage.

    but anyway - great post and kudos for getting all those bananas done. i know it is hard for you to stand and cut them all at once. but never forget - what you can do is pretty impressive!

    your friend,
    kymber

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  2. kymber, I have one requirement for the outside of the banana--no green. Inside the banana must be stiff enough to stand up. If it flops over, it is too ripe for anything for but banana bread. I won't eat bruises and I won't eat a banana that smells green.

    Maybe I did not make myself clear. I was talking about the outside and also the inside. My test is to see if a banana in the store has been kept too cold and will never ripen or taste right. The lifting of a miniscule part of the outer skin also does not extend to the banana. You just get a look at what is under the hard, tough banana exterior. If it is gray, don't buy because it won't ever get yellow.

    Jambaloney has good taste in fruit. But, do you--both are good to me.

    I intend to dehydrate more fruits and vegetables.

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  3. I think I almost lost my G rating!

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  4. bahahahahahahahhaahha! that's it - just bahahahahahah!

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  5. I dehydrate bananas alot. These don't get stored because the kids love them. I send them packages of dried fruits. Just once, I dipped bananas in watered down honey and didn't really notice a differance at all. They don't need anything extra. I hate store bought dried fruit- all that sulphur!

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  6. Sulfur, sulphites, sugar, all sorts of additives are what drove me to dehydrating! Yes, I can understand that with children things disappear. But, that is understandable. Dried fruit is so much better for snacks.

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  7. Hi Linda.. Thanks for posting on and visiting my blog. I have been crazy busy at work and my son just came back from Iraq, so we have been spending some quality "family" time.
    Have a Fabulous and Frugal weekend

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  8. I am so glad he is back, Deete. I know you have lots of catching up to do.

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