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Freeze Dried Bananas
One of our family favorites is freeze dried bananas. This is also one of the fruits that we recommend doing first with the freeze drier. If you’re new to freeze drying, start with bananas. They’re phenomenal, hard to mess up, and very versatile for use.
What Can You Do With Freeze Dried Bananas
I think the better question is what can’t you do with freeze dried bananas. We do so much with ours. I like to store bricks of the banana mash that you’ll see below for banana bread and home made banana pudding. You can also use it for baby food and to powder and take in capsule form for magnesium and potassium. Although, I have no idea why you’d take it in capsule form. I adore bananas and wouldn’t need to hide the flavor.
Basically, whatever you would use fresh bananas for, you can use freeze dried bananas for. We even take the slices and eat them like candy. So good for you and delicious too.
How Do I Freeze Dry Bananas At Home
The best way to freeze dry bananas at home is to use a Harvest Right freeze dryer. I have a medium and I love it.
I prefer to do banana slices, but I also do the banana mash when I have a TON to get through and not enough time to sit there and slice them ALL. And yes, there are some phenomenal tools you can use to make prep time faster, but I’ve been in between houses and living out of boxes for the last year so my tools are hard to find. What I can do with a knife and cutting board tends to be what I focus on right now.
Can You Freeze Dry a Banana
Absolutely! And you’ll be glad you did.
How Long Do Freeze Dried Bananas Last
They’re reported to last as long as 25 years. I’ve got some that I did almost 5 years ago and they’re still good. So as far as my science goes, 5 years. I’ll update this as more time goes by.
Freeze Dried Bananas Are Healthy
Since their nutritional makeup doesn’t change through the lyophilization process, bananas freeze dried are just as healthy as the fresh ones. You just need to add water or drink water when you eat them because they have no water content in any of it – mashed, sliced, or otherwise.
Can you bake with freeze dried bananas
DEFINITELY! I included some links to some fun recipes you could use freeze dried bananas in. My favorite is to use them in banana bread. I add 4 cups of powder and 3 cups of water to a bowl and mix it to replace the banana mash in the bread recipe. Adjust water amount as needed. Sometimes you like it wetter and sometimes drier.
I also like it in my pancakes, muffins, trail mixes, granola cereals, cereal toppings, ice cream toppings, milkshakes, smoothies, brownies (SOOO GOOD), cakes, cookies, and puddings. I would keep listing, but I think you get the picture!
how do I rehydrate freeze dried bananas
Well, if you’re just eating the slices, you eat them like candy or like crackers. I like them dipped in chocolate when I’m in the mood for something crunchy and sweet. But if you’re going to use them in a recipe, you’d want to do 2 parts banana powder to 1 part water to start with. This will give you a good starting point and you can adjust as needed.
That’s the most important thing to make note of. What consistency do you like? I like mine drier. You might like it wetter. That’s going to be something you need to figure out for yourself.
What kind of banana do you freeze dry?
I like them to be slightly browning. This way the banana has the most natural sugars without it being straight sugars. This is the point I start looking at making banana bread out of them. So this is the perfect time to put them in the freeze dryer.
Do you need to pre-freeze bananas?
No. You don’t need to pre-freeze bananas before they go into the freeze dryer. I do usually pre-freeze everything because I do my prep work in batches. This is so I can actually get stuff done and not prep food every day. I’m usually splitting my food storage time between canning, freeze drying, and dehydrating. I need all the time saving tricks I can use.
In the image below you can see I piled a bunch of bananas in the bowl. Peeled. The peels went into the compost bin.
Then using a regular potato masher, I mashed up the bananas.
The mash isn’t perfectly smooth. I like having chunks in mine, but you do what works for you.
The next think you’ll want to do is spread it out on your trays.
Now, if you have tray dividers or separators, I would recommend doing that, if you’re going to be doing mash. This is because it becomes extremely hard and it’s difficult to separate out for packaging.
When the banana mash came out of the trays, it came out easily. But it was difficult to break up. I’ll do dividers next time.
The sliced ways are my favorite. We slice them anywhere from 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch and put them on the tray. Go as close together as you want. They’ll break apart easily.
I’ve started layering them as well using parchment paper. I have been able to get three layers of bananas per tray per load into my machine and it’s not taking too much longer to complete the load.
You’ll package them in mylar bags or just eat them off the trays. I know we do!
First, you should understand that bananas are highly sugary and can stick to the trays. Keep this in mind for the preparation portion. To avoid this problem, cut bananas into equal-sized slices and line them up on the tray. Don’t worry. Bananas won’t expand like Salt Water Taffy.
Next, close the freeze dryer valve and ensure that the chamber is airtight. Once the process has finished, remove the tray from the freeze dryer.
Freeze dried bananas are delicious on their own, but they can also be added to your favorite desserts. They make an excellent substitute for banana chips and other high sugar candy. They can also be made into powder and used in smoothies. To add an extra flavor, try adding cinnamon to the mix.
Bananas are low in sugar, high in fiber and potassium, and a great source of carbohydrates. They are also known to reduce blood pressure and may even help prevent asthma in children. They are also rich in vitamin C, which is helpful in fighting free radicals. You can freeze-dry bananas at home with a special machine.
Bananas are great for snacking because of their high fiber content, low glycemic index, and creamy texture. They also retain a great deal of their nutritional value and are a great source of energy. Freeze-drying them is a convenient way to keep these nutritious foods for longer periods.
HOW DO I FREEZE DRY BANANAS?
Many people think it’s next to impossible to do the freeze drying for themselves. This is far from factual. Freeze drying at home is made easy by Harvest Right. They sell three different sizes of freeze-drying machines that do everything in the machine – except prep and package.
That’s up to you.
For all intents and purposes, here at Freeze Drying Mama we use the medium sized freeze dryer. You can check out the sizes offered at Harvest Right here.
What this machine does is first freeze the items on stainless steel trays to -41 degrees or lower. This takes about 10 hours or so.
Then a vacuum pump turns on and creates a vacuum inside the drum. This is the drying stage and will vacillate the heat of the tray up and down to a pretty warm temperature. This makes the frozen items release any water in them in vapor form. The vacuum sucks the moisture to the drum. This collects in ice form on the inner circle of the drum.
Then there’s the final dry which is essentially the same thing, but with a time associated with it and an end in sight!
WHAT SETTINGS DO I USE TO FREEZE DRY BANANAS?
On the Harvest Right freeze drier – this works on all sizes – after putting the trays inside the drum on the shelves, I put in the drum cover (if you don’t have a drum cover, no worries) and then tighten the handle as I lock it shut. On the computer touch screen, I selected START > NON-LIQUID > NOT-FROZEN > CONTINUE. After inputting the settings and making sure my drain tube is closed, I walk away.