Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Dust off that dehydrator and dry those bananas

I recently had a huge amount of quickly ripening bananas and as I went to toss them in the freezer for fruit shakes I noticed that I probably couldn't fit one more banana in there if I tried.

As I closed the freezer door I stopped for a moment and the thought to just throw them out actually crossed my mind. Shame on me!

Then I remembered my dehydrator!

Phew! I almost did a major unfrugal thing! The dehydrator had been gathering dust and so I went and rescued it from it's sorry state. A quick rinse and it was ready to go.

Have you ever eaten dried bananas? The so called "banana chips" you find in the store are simply terrible. YUCK! But bananas dried at home are simply DIVINE! Give it a try and you will be pleasantly surprised at the night and day difference.

It's super simple. Here's how :

Cut your very ripe bananas in half and then cut each half lengthwise. Lay each piece on your tray and then dehydrate at a low temperature (I do mine at 95 degrees). Mine usually take about 30 hours. When they are finished they will not be rock hard but should not be the least bit squishy. If you eat one it will be delightfully chewy and super sweet. The true banana flavor isn't lost when you dehydrate them this way. In fact the flavor will be intensified. And, dare I say it, they are such a treat you might be willing to skip the cookie someone offers you.

I have a friend who runs her dehydrator most days and she has managed to build up a good supply of all kinds of things. Her reasoning is that there is no sense in paying premium prices for dehydrated fruits and veggies when with about 15 minutes of work she can have 12 trays going. I also like another part of her logic. Her dehydrated food takes up a fraction of the space to store. And she's not waiting for the world to fall apart to use what she's dried. She uses dehydrated foods at least 5 days a week. Veggies rehydrate beautifully in soups and stews. The fruit is a quick and healthy snack for her children and all their friends. The list goes on.

So get out that dehydrator and reduce the amount of food that might be wasted.

Happy dehydrating!

Go check out Jamie Cooks It Up!

Every once in a while I come across a site and immediately grab their button and post it over here.

Jamie Cooks It Up is one of those spots.

All of you who know me know that I LOVE FOOD. And when I come across a site that has great ideas that I immediately want to try I just have to do a little shouting about it. I clicked through to her site from some where else and was so totally inspired by the picture of the cake she made for her daughter's birthday/baptism that I'm thinking of pulling out my decorating tips this very minute! It was simply beautiful! And when I saw the tutorial on how she did it I almost couldn't believe it.

So go check out her site and start producing beautiful birthday cakes for you and yours at a fraction of the cost of buying them.

I love frugal fun things!