Banana Bread Fruit Leather ~ Gourmet Edition ~
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Oh lord have mercy on my lack of will-power soul! When it comes to banana bread, my mouth immediately begins to water. When I find myself in its presence, I linger, I inhale deeply, my eyes roll back into my head, I get a little weak-kneed and I literally just stop to smell the bananas! (forget roses). So, with that being said, when I created a recipe that tastes just like banana bread I have to lock it up in Fort Knox just to keep from eating it all in one sitting! When I started out with this recipe, banana bread was not in my visions so once it came out of the dehydrator and I took a nibble to check the end result, well fiddle sticks, I was knocked back in time to the days of making homemade banana bread.
I am always one to drill into others the importance of eating ripe bananas. They are so much easier on your digestive system and they taste much sweeter. If you look at the photo below, I took a snap shot of the bananas that I use… they are heavily freckled in brown poka-dots. When they get this ripe and you can’t use them quick enough, peel them, wrap in cling wrap and freeze. They will keep for a long time in there and work beautifully in smoothies or in making banana ice cream.
I hope that you try this recipe and if you do, please let me know. Blessings, amie sue
Ingredients:3 cups puree – 1 tray
- Select RIPE or slightly overripe bananas that have reached a peak in color, texture, and flavor. (use bananas with brown speckled peels)
- Puree the bananas, lemon juice, vanilla bean seeds and stevia, in the blender or food processor until smooth. Taste and sweeten more if needed. Keep in mind that flavors will intensify as they dehydrate. When adding a sweetener do so a little at a time, and reblend, tasting until it is at the desired taste. It is best to use a liquid type sweetener. Don’t use a granulated sugar because it tends to change the texture.
- In the food processer, fitted with the “S” blade, add the almonds and coconut crystals. Pulse until the almonds are broken down into small pieces.
- Add almonds to the blender with the puree and hit the pulse button 2x, or just enough to mix everything together.
- Spread the fruit puree on teflex sheets that come with your dehydrator. Pour the puree to create an even depth of 1/8 to 1/4 inch. If you don’t have teflex sheets for the trays, you can line your trays with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Do not use wax paper or aluminum foil.
Dehydrate the fruit leather at 145 degrees (F) for 1 hour, reduce temp to 105 degrees (F) and continue drying for about 16 (+/-) hours. Flip the leather over about half way through, remove the teflex sheet and continue drying on the mesh sheet.
- Lightly coat the food dehydrator plastic sheets or wrap with a cooking spray, I use coconut oil that comes in a spray.
- When spreading the puree on the liner, allow about an inch of space between the mixture and the outside edge. The fruit leather mixture will spread out as it dries, so it needs a little room to allow for this expansion.
- Be sure to spread the puree evenly on your drying tray. When spreading the puree mixture, try tilting and shaking the tray to help it distribute more evenly. Also, it is a good idea to rotate your trays throughout the drying period. This will help assure that the leathers dry evenly.
Storage: to store the finished fruit leather…
- Check for dark spots on top of the fruit leather. If dark spots can be seen it is a sign that it is not completely dry.
- Press down on the fruit leather with a finger. If no indentation is visible or if it is no longer tacky to the touch, the fruit leather is dry and can be removed from the dehydrator.
- Peel the leather from the dehydrator trays or parchment paper. If it peels away easily and holds its shape after peeling, it is dry. If it is still sticking or loses its shape after peeling, it needs further drying.
- Under-dried fruit leather will not keep; it will mold. Over-dried fruit leather will become hard and crack, although it will still be edible and will keep for a long time
- Allow the leather to cool before wrapping up to avoid moisture from forming, thus giving it a breeding ground for molds.
- Roll them up and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.
- Place in an air-tight container, and store in a dry, dark place. (Light will cause the fruit leather to discolor.)
- The fruit leather will keep at room temperature for one month, or in a freezer for up to one year.