How to Dry Bananas at Home
Long gone are the days when bananas were considered exotic and could rarely be found on store shelves. Today, these fruits are sold all the time, so it is not difficult to buy this delicacy. In this case, a logical question may arise - then why dry bananas, when everyone knows that fresh fruit is much healthier than processed fruit.
- How to choose bananas for drying
- How to prepare the fruit for drying
- How to Dry Bananas Properly
- In the oven
- In an electric dryer
- Air grill
- In the microwave
- In the sun
- How to Readily Determine Dried Food
- How to Store Dried Bananas Properly
- What is dried bananas good for?
- What to make with dried bananas
- Chocolate oatmeal with dried bananas and nuts
- Milkshake with banana
- Banana pie
- Cookies with bacon and dried bananas
Drying is one way to preserve vegetables, fruits and berries that are available for a limited time for a long time. In this way, the shelf life is extended and the nutrients are preserved and keep you healthy and in good spirits throughout the cold season. And here in the process of drying and preserving bananas also has its benefits:
- They make very tasty dried fruit, which can be used for snacking, making breakfasts and desserts.
- There are people who do not like fresh bananas, but they also want to get the useful substances contained in them. When processed, the product has an interesting flavor and aroma that a large number of people like.
- There are situations when it is necessary to save a large batch of fruit in order to use them in the future. For example, the purchase of products at a discount. Thus there is an opportunity to stock up on delicious treats, which can then be used in cooking.
The process itself of drying bananas at home is quite simple and almost no different from harvesting the same way the usual berries, vegetables and fruits.
How to choose bananas for drying
To get a high-quality and tasty product as a result, you need to choose the fruit correctly at first. For drying go only well matured bananas. It is better to refuse to buy green fruits, they will turn out tasteless. It will only be a waste of time and effort. But you can also buy unripe fruit in the store. You will just have to wait until they are in the right state at home. They cannot be stored in the refrigerator. Bananas will not sing faster, but they will quickly go bad. You need to wrap the stalks in foil and put them in a dark place to ripen at room temperature.
Choosing a product in the store, you should pay attention to its appearance. The skin should be evenly colored, there may be a small number of dark dots and stripes. The flesh of the fruit should be light, without darkening and damage, dense and fleshy.
Some housewives advise to take overripe bananas for drying. This is a logical choice. After all, such goods are often offered to buy at a great discount. But this is not a good option. The pulp by this time loses its flavor and aroma, it becomes loose. The result will be much worse than if you take the fruit of normal ripeness.
How to prepare the fruit for drying
- The first thing you need to do is to rinse the bananas well with running water. To remove excess moisture, they should spread out on a paper or cloth towel, give time for the liquid to absorb, and the fruit to dry, then peel. Some recommend not throwing away the peel, but peeling off the soft inner layer and drying it in the same way as the fruit. It is said that the powder from the dried peel is used to fertilize plants or added to dough in baking to enhance its flavor.
- The next step is to slice the raw material for drying. Here you should think about what you want to get as a result. If you want soft dried slices, the size of the slices should be larger. If you want to get dry chips, then the fruit is better cut into thin slices. Also the size of the bananas affects the slicing.
- In the case where you need dried product, and the fruits are small, such as the mini variety, they can be dried as a whole. But it should be taken into account that the drying time should be increased. Large bananas should be cut crosswise into two parts, and then each be cut into slices. The thickness of the slices should not be more than 1 cm.
- For potato chips, it is better to cut the fruit into thin, about 10 mm thick, round plates.
Bananas tend to darken quickly after slicing, which is due to the oxidation process. This has no effect on the taste, but it makes the appearance unpresentable. To preserve the light color of the flesh, you need to treat it after cutting in an acidic solution. Acid will stabilize the color. To do this, you need to dilute the juice of a lemon or lime in water, you can replace them with citric acid. The dosage is determined at the rate of 1 lemon juice or 1 tsp of citric acid per 200 ml of water. It is enough to soak the slices in an acidic solution for 10-15 minutes. Then be sure to dry them on a paper towel or napkin until the moisture evaporates completely. Now you can proceed to drying.
How to properly dry bananas
The flesh of these fruits is quite dense, during the drying period they lose 20% of moisture, so the process takes several hours. You can choose between several methods of drying and get a dried delicacy. Each of the methods has its own characteristics, the conditions that must be met, the temperature regime, the duration of the flow. Everyone chooses the one that suits him best, based on the availability of time, the amount of raw materials and preferences.
In the oven
This is one of the fastest ways to get the final result, which is a clear advantage of this method. But there are also disadvantages. No matter how big the oven is, the volume of raw materials to be processed here is quite limited. The method is suitable for those who need to get a small amount of dried product fairly quickly. Also the use of the oven requires periodic presence in the kitchen. To ensure that the slices do not burn, it is necessary to check them, turn them, stir them. It is worth losing vigilance, as bananas will begin to toast.
After preparing the fruit and slicing it, the strips or slices should be placed on a baking tray. It is recommended to put a sheet of baking paper underneath. Sweet juice will flow out of the bananas, which will then be difficult to remove from the bottom of the dish. To ensure good air circulation, the slices should be spread at a distance, also a knife in several places to pierce the paper. If there is a lattice, it is better to spread the fruit on it, and already lattice put on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. In this case, drying will be much faster.
Preheat the oven to 70 degrees and, if possible, turn on the fan in the oven or the convection mode. Place the trays in the oven compartment. To process a larger volume, you can use two trays and place them on both tiers of the oven. Then it is necessary to periodically change their places. The drying time will increase slightly.
The process will take about 2.5-3 hours. Every half an hour the trays should be swapped, and the slices should be overturned. Take the pieces out of the oven for a while and leave the door open to let the evaporated moisture out. Also, the entire process should take place with the oven door ajar. This will allow the steam to gradually come out, and the temperature not to rise, so that the bananas do not start to cook.
It is worth remembering that the slices dry out not evenly - some earlier, others later. Therefore, you need to remove those that are already ready. When the process is complete, leave the product to cool at room temperature. Before putting them in a container for storage, you should leave the finished slices in a cup on the table to allow the moisture of the fruit to equalize.
In an electric dryer
Using a dryer is probably the most convenient way to process fruits, berries, vegetables and herbs. The process takes significantly longer than using an oven, but the appliance has advantages that offset this disadvantage. Dryers are more economical to use electricity. They do not require constant presence, you only need to occasionally monitor what is happening. The product is gently blown with warm air, so this method almost does not lose the valuable properties of bananas. Many devices allow you to process the fruit much more than the oven.
Prepared slices should be placed on the racks of the dryer, be sure to leave a distance between the slices, so they do not stick together, so the air flow is better provided. Set the tiers by setting the temperature to no more than 70 degrees and start the process. If the air blows only in the upward direction, it is better to change the grids once every 1-2 hours - raise the lower ones, lower the upper ones. That way the drying process will go evenly. At the same time you can stir the slices. The entire process will take 10-12 hours. At night the device can be turned off and resumed in the morning.
After about 8 hours, individual dried fruits may appear among the whole mass, which are already ready, they should be removed from the dryer. If you over-dry the bananas, they will become tasteless.
After the end of the process, the finished product needs to stand. Slices should be poured into a deep bowl and let stand for 1-2 hours. Then you can put away for storage.
This appliance is an improved version of the dehydrator. It distributes the warm air evenly between the tiers, so food is dried simultaneously in each layer. There is no need to change the grids between each other. More expensive devices allow you to set the appropriate program. In this case, the process becomes even easier. In other respects, the process of drying in a dehydrator is almost the same as using a dryer.
Slices or slices of bananas should be placed on a grid, leaving a gap between the fruits. Set the temperature to 70 degrees. Since the dehydrator treats products more gently and the entire volume is dried at the same time, it slightly increases the duration of the process. It will take about 14-16 hours. But the use of this method does not require constant presence nearby, you can occasionally peek to remove those pieces that have already dried.
Those devices, which can be programmed, will work without human intervention and will signal readiness. Even so, do not leave the bananas completely unattended, occasionally checking the degree of readiness and stirring the pieces to ensure air circulation.
In an air grill
The air grill allows you not to turn the pieces in the process of drying. All devices use convection, which improves hot air circulation. Also, its use significantly reduces the duration of drying bananas. If you need to get dried slices, they will be ready in 2 hours. And finally the fruit slices will dry in 4-6 hours. Another advantage of the air grill is the possibility to control the process through the transparent glass of the bowl. There is no need to open the lid, take out the trays or grates, everything is clearly visible.
First of all, the product must be prepared in the same way as for other methods of drying. The slices are placed on all available racks. Usually there are two of them. Set the temperature to 85-95 degrees. Cover the bowl with a lid, leaving a gap so that the moist air does not have a chance to condense, but escapes. You can insert a wooden skewer or spatula.
Place the dried bananas in a checkerboard, let them cool, then they can be eaten or stacked for storage.
In the microwave.
This is the fastest way to dry bananas. It takes only a few minutes, which is not comparable to other methods. But it does have its drawbacks. First, the microwave does not allow you to dry large amounts of fruit. The device can be used if you need to prepare a delicious treat that you plan to use or eat in the near future. Also, the hostess will have to actively participate in it throughout the process and not go far away.
There are two ways to dry bananas in the microwave.
In either case, it all starts with preparing the product. The fruit should be washed, peeled, sliced, soaked in a sour solution, and dried to get rid of excess moisture.
The first cooking method takes 15 minutes:
- Arrange the slices on a microwave-safe plate, leaving space between the slices without piling everything up. You can use a grid if it comes with the oven.
- Put the plate in the oven. Close the oven door. Select defrost mode for 15 minutes. Make sure that the pieces of food do not start to brown. If they burn, turn off the oven, remove the product, let it cool and repeat the process again, setting a slightly shorter time.
- As the program ends, do not immediately open the door. Let the bananas stand for 10-15 minutes and cool down a bit.
- If drying in the microwave, the product will need additional air drying. Put the pieces on a rack and leave on the table for 3-5 hours.
The second method takes 5 minutes:
- Place sliced bananas on a greased, vegetable oiled microwaveable plate. The oil must be refined and deodorized.
- Place the plate in the oven, set the power to 750 W and the time to 1 minute. After the allotted time, take out the product, turn the pieces over, put them back in the oven and turn on again for one minute at the same power. Repeat this step about 5 times.
- After drying, place the almost finished treat on a rack and leave to dry at room temperature overnight. Afterwards, you can eat it or put it in a container for storage.
In the sun
This method is a natural one. At first glance, it may seem the easiest, but this is far from it. It has a number of conditions and limitations that make the job of drying bananas outdoors in direct sunlight much more difficult.
Not every region has the right climate. In order for the fruit to dry well, you need clear, sultry weather for 2-4 days. The temperature should be at 25-30 degrees and the humidity should be minimal. Sudden precipitation, rising humidity, and dropping temperatures can ruin the entire batch. Raw material, time and effort will be wasted.
To prevent the product from drying out at night, you need to bring the pallets into a dry and warm room. And in the morning, when the dew dries out, take them back.
The product should also be protected from dust and pesky insects. They can cause the appearance of worms, mold. To do this, you will need to cover the pieces with gauze and fasten it around the edges.
The method itself is very simple and does not require special skills and knowledge.
- Place sliced bananas on lattices, plywood, boards, trays or trays in a single layer. Cover the top with a piece of gauze and place in a well-lit place.
- Every 2 hours monitor the process, turning and stirring the slices. Bring everything indoors at night to protect it from dew.
- After 2-3 days, collect the dried fruit in a deep bowl, let stand for another 2-3 hours and you can put in containers for storage or consume.
How to determine the readiness of the product
The degree of readiness of the product depends on what the result is expected. In the case where you should get dried slices, bananas remain soft, slightly moist and sticky, but elastic and sticky. When broken apart, they pull slightly, resembling soft toffee. The flesh should not be loose like a fresh banana. When pressed, they retain their shape and are slightly springy.
If the goal was to get thin crispy chips, the slices should be completely devoid of moisture. To the touch, the slices are dry, hard. When you press the slices scatter in your hands. If they are still sticky and soft, it is worth to finish them.
Each method has its own peculiarities, and the definition of the readiness of the product may also vary. When drying in the microwave oven, the pieces do not dry out completely right away; after the process is complete, you need to finish drying the bananas on a rack at room temperature.
Underdried fruit will not keep for long and will quickly begin to spoil. But if you over-dry the bananas, the treat will lose its flavor and aroma. Here you will have to rely on your own feelings, preferences and experience.
How to store dried bananas properly
The type of storage will depend on whether these are dried bananas or dried chips.
Dried slices should be stored in a container with a tightly closed lid or a bag in the refrigerator. These are optimal conditions. In this way, the product can be stored for up to 6 months. Within a year, dried bananas will keep well in the freezer. They should be placed in a hermetically sealed bag.
Dry slices can be placed in a bag and stored on a shelf in the kitchen cabinet. The bag will protect from moisture in the air. If the room is warm and dry, you can use paper or canvas bags. In both cases, the storage period will be about 2-4 months.
Too long storage of banana dried fruit is not very necessary. Fresh fruit is always available in stores. When the stock starts to come to an end, you can buy a couple of kilograms of bananas and dried a new batch.
What are the benefits of dried bananas
Dried fruits are characterized by a high content of vitamins and trace elements, which are preserved after processing. The high nutritional value allows you to use the product for snacking between meals. A small portion of dried fruit is enough to get all the useful substances that have a beneficial effect on the functioning of the body systems.
- First of all, dried bananas are appreciated for their high potassium content. This mineral promotes the removal of excess fluid from the body, has a beneficial effect on the nervous and cardiovascular systems. Potassium deficiency has a negative effect on the heart rhythm, edema appears, and sleep is disturbed. Periodic consumption of bananas will have a favorable effect on your health.
- The vitamin B6 contained in the product helps to restore the normal functioning of all systems in the body and has a beneficial effect on the metabolic processes.
- Everyone knows that bananas contain a substance serotonin. It is also called the "hormone of happiness. Banana dried fruits also contain it. The use of such a delicacy is able to raise the mood and helps to survive stressful situations.
- The use of dried fruits has a beneficial effect on the stomach and intestines. They are recommended to eat for ulcers, gastritis, and intestinal obstruction. A beneficial effect appears due to the high content of dietary fiber.
- Bananas are also rich in ascorbic acid, which helps boost the immune system. The high content of iron helps in the fight against anemia.
- Consumption of this product has a favorable effect on the skin. It becomes cleaner, firmer and more moisturized. When eating a moderate amount of dried fruit or replacing sweets with them, this delicacy also helps in weight loss.
But bananas can also have negative effects on the body. Excessive consumption can lead to weight gain, as they are very caloric and contain a lot of sugar. It should not be eaten by those who have problems with high sugar.
What you can make with dried bananas
Dried bananas are also delicious just for fun. You can use this treat as a snack or make many delicious dishes with it.
Chips and dried bananas are added in the preparation of breakfasts, cocktails, compotes, desserts. They can be used to decorate cakes and pastries. In the cuisines of some nations dried bananas are added to meat and fish dishes, prepared on their basis sauces and salad dressings. Such a combination is quite unusual, but certainly interesting and quite tasty.
The most logical application of dried bananas is their use in the preparation of delicious, healthy and flavorful porridge. For example, oatmeal with the addition of dried fruit and cocoa will help to start the day in a delicious way.
Chocolate oatmeal with dried bananas and nuts
- 0.5 tbsp. oatmeal;
- 250-300 ml of milk;
- 40 g banana chips;
- 40 g of nuts, walnuts or whatever you like;
- 1 tsp. vanilla sugar;
- 0.5 tbsp. cocoa;
- salt and butter to taste.
- Pour milk into a saucepan, add vanilla sugar to it, heat over medium heat, bring to a boil.
- Stir in the oats.
- Stir in the cocoa and turn down the heat. Stir constantly and vigorously.
- Cook the porridge on low heat for 5 minutes, remembering to stir constantly so it does not stick. Season with salt.
- Remove the cooked porridge from the heat, add butter.
- Roast the nuts in a dry pan and chop a little. Banana chips break or cut into halves. All add to the porridge.
Such a breakfast is more like a dessert, so you can serve it in a nice vase or a creamer.
Milkshake with banana
Kids will love a milkshake with dried banana slices.
- 400 ml milk;
- 1 egg;
- 2-3 tsp. sugar;
- 3 pieces of dried bananas.
- Add the egg and sugar to 200 ml of milk. Whisk the mixture with a blender for a minute.
- Chop the dried bananas with a knife. Add to the rest of the mixture. Continue blending until the bananas are chopped.
- Then whisk in the rest of the milk and beat well again.
- Pour into glasses. You are ready to drink.
Baking with banana dried fruit has an amazing flavor and aroma. You don't need many ingredients for banana pie, but the result will make you wonder.
- 3 eggs;
- 1 tbsp. sugar;
- 2-3 fresh bananas;
- A handful of dried bananas;
- 1 tbsp flour;
- 1 tbsp. orange zest;
- 1 tsp. baking soda;
- pinch of salt.
- In a bowl, beat eggs and sugar until smooth and thickly frothy.
- Add orange zest to the mixture. Stir gently.
- Mix flour and baking soda and sift together through a sieve into a bowl with the egg-sugar mixture. Stir to form a homogeneous mass.
- Prepare a baking tin, grease the bottom with oil or cooking fat.
- On the bottom lay fresh bananas, cut into thin circles. Pour the batter on top. Then spread banana chips on the surface.
- Bake the cake in the oven for 25-30 minutes at 180 degrees. Check readiness with a wooden skewer.
- When ready, take the pie out of the oven, cool it, take it out of the mold. Can be served.
Cookies with bacon and dried bananas
You can also please friends and family with unusual cookies with dried bananas and bacon.
- 5 strips of smoked bacon;
- 60 g dried bananas;
- 1 tbsp. flour;
- 1 tbsp. sugar;
- 120 g butter;
- 2 eggs;
- 0.25 tsp. baking soda;
- 0.5 tsp. baking powder;
- pinch of salt.
- First, dry and fry the bacon so that it becomes crispy. Place the strips on a baking tray. Line the bottom with baking paper to absorb the fat that has been cooked. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Place the bacon strips in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Take out the dried bacon and place on a paper towel or napkin to soak up the excess fat.
- Shred the bacon when cooled. Also finely chop the bananas.
- Mix the flour with baking soda, salt, baking powder and sift.
- Pour the sugar in a bowl, cut the cold butter into cubes and add it to the bowl.
- With a mixer beat to whisk, then mix in the eggs, one by one, without stopping to mix. Add the sifted flour.
- In another bowl, thoroughly mix together the chopped bananas and bacon. Add this mixture to the dough and mix well.
- Roll the dough into balls of 40 g each, then place them on a baking tray, leaving a 10 cm gap between the bottom and the baking paper to prevent the dough from sticking. The cookies will spread and rise as they bake.
- Bake in a preheated 190 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until golden.
- Remove the baking tray from the oven, wait a few minutes, remove and cool on a rack.
Or you can make a delicious snack while the bananas are still drying. If you sprinkle the not yet completely dried slices with cinnamon, you get a flavorful treat. It can be eaten plain, sprinkled with powdered sugar, or used as a decoration for desserts and baked goods.
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