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Home-dried Bananas

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

This snack came to life as a result of a nostalgic memory of dried bananas that were sold long ago back in Russia. It was made in China and was a popular addition to our not very plentiful diet. They used probably the smallest variety of bananas on Earth, and most likely dried them in the open air. Apple bananas would make a good comparison, but I didn't try them yet. Drying in the open air didn't seem attractive, so by trial and error, I made a similar product in my oven, with convection setting. Round slices do not work - bananas get too dry, whereas they should be dry outside but still meaty and soft inside, as many dried fruit are.  Slicing is key here. On average size banana you should have 8 lengthwise pieces: first cut in half across, then cut each half in half lengthwise, then cut  each half in half lengthwise again.  Uph.. Sounds a little confusing, but sorry I did not make detailed pictures yet. Let's do it!
What you need
Bananas! The kiddie size would work very well, but I used average size organic bananas, last time 5 of them.
Parchment paper (if you skip this, your bananas will stick to the tray)
Baking sheet
You need to have convection setting in your oven

Put oven on convection setting at 165 F.

Slice bananas as described: once in half across, once in half lengthwise , and again in half lengthwise. You will have 8 pieces that vaguely resemble those tiny bananas.

Line the baking sheet with parchment paper and place banana slices close to one another.

Put in the oven and forget about it for a few hours. Check once in a while, and turn over once or twice every few hours. All ovens are different, so you have to adjust the temperature in a way that it is very warm, but not too hot so your bananas will start baking. Optimal temperature in my oven is 165 F on convection.
Preparation time: approximately 10 hours (less or more depending on your oven).

The  result is very enjoyable dried fruit - chewy, sweet and flavorful.  It's like a candy, but a very healthy candy - a perfect guilt-free dessert for you and your kids.

It takes a lot of time to make so it is very advisable to make a lot at once. Believe me, it will disappear very fast...