It has been one busy garden season around here! We usually put up our excess produce by either canning it or freezing it. However, sustaining a freezer can be difficult at times when you live in a hurricane zone. I can not tell you how many freezers, full of food, people around here have lost, because of a lengthy power outage. We do have a generator, which helps, but they can be expensive to run - and that's assuming you can find the gas to do so, when the need arises. So this year we invested in a dehydrator. It takes a little longer to get to the finished product, but the machine does most of the work, so it's really not that bad. Dehydrated food is shelf stable, and requires very little effort to keep long term. I found myself trying all sorts of foods in the dehydrator this year. Enter this recipe...
It came about as I was filling the dehydrator with garden veggies and found myself with a couple of empty trays to fill. (I was going to be running it for several hours and didn't want to waste the space.) I had some bananas that were needing to be used, and I knew my daughter liked banana chips - so I thought, "Why not make some at home?" Now any of you that know me well, know that my knife skills are not exactly stellar. In fact, Hubby proudly proclaims his role as my sous chef when he's home. Of course Hubby wasn't home, so I sliced the banana myself - into about 1/4 inch slices. (Some a little more, some a little less - like I said, mad knife skills over here.) Then I gave the banana slices a quick dip into a bowl of orange juice, so they wouldn't turn brown as badly, and loaded them onto the bottom trays of the dehydrator (that way the juice didn't drip onto the veggies in the other trays).
Well, as you might have guessed, in order to get banana chips, I should have cut them a lot thinner (again, knife skills). They took longer than I expected, and they did not come out as 'chips' - but they were SOOO much better! It was what I like to call a happy accident. They turned out like banana candy - almost a taffy consistency! And the flavor is so intense - the dehydrating process really amps up the banana flavor! I'm telling you, I have found my new favorite snack! And believe it or not, I don't care for banana chips. But these Banana Chews are absolutely fabulous! If you have a dehydrator, you should really give them a try...
- Orange Juice
- Slice the ripe bananas into approximately 1/4 inch slices. (see note above)
- Dip each slice in orange juice and shake off any excess.
- Arrange the slices onto the lower trays of your dehydrator.
- Dehydrate for 30-36 hours. They will be a little sticky, and still have some moisture in them (similar to raisins).
- Remove the banana chews, and store in an air tight container. (Periodically roll and check the container for the first few days, just to make sure that no moisture has collected.)