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Chewy dried bananas

Bunches of blotchy and bruised bananas.

Sadie was working in the barn the last Saturday when I came to pick up my summer fruit order. She was sitting at a table with several bunches of blotchy bananas. They didn’t look very good, but when Sadie peeled one, the flesh was perfectly ripe and ready to eat. Because the skins weren’t pretty enough, the bananas would be used in another way.

The drying rack filled up with sliced bananas as Sadie cuts up more.

Sadie trimmed bruised spots, and cut thick slices, almost a half inch thick. Those were laid on a dehydrator drying rack spaced about an inch apart. When the rack was full, it went inside the large dehydrator humming in a corner. It already held several racks of bananas and star fruit in various stages of dryness. The fruit will take several hours to dry. Then it will be put in the Fruits of Summer dried fruit mix that Bee Heaven Farm sells at farmers markets in the winter.

Sadie showed me a plastic bag full of dried banana slices and offered me some. “I think it tastes like banana bread,” she said. The thick slice was chewy and sweet and had an intense flavor. “I like thick ones. Thin slices dry up too crispy,” she continued. I reached for another slice and chewed slowly. Yeah, it tasted something like banana bread, only better — there weren’t all the other ingredients to dilute the flavor.

If you have a dehydrator, making dried fruit is easy to do. All it takes are a few hours or overnight. Dried bananas and other dried items keep well sealed in a plastic bag and refrigerated.

Halfway dried banana slice hot out of the dehydrator.

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