Home Ec Project: Preserving Bananas

Usually the fruit of the banana tree is eaten fresh; however, it can be preserved in other ways such as drying, freezing, and canning.

Note: before participating in any canning activity, I highly suggest you complete the project on canning safety at http://www.easyfunschool.com/article2178.html



Drying Bananas #1

Choose any large, slightly brown-speckled yellow variety. Peel and cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Dip in undiluted pineapple juice. Dry the slices until they are pliable to crisp.

Freezing Bananas

Freeze leftover bananas that have turned brown and use them for cakes and breads. Whole bananas will hold their shape, even when sliced, but will darken when frozen. Freeze fruit in the skin or peel it. If you freeze bananas with the peels on, allow them to thaw fifteen minutes before peeling. Use a blender, food processor or fork to mash the bananas if you freeze them as a puree. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to each cup of mashed fruit. Dry pack. Seal, label and freeze.

For a special treat in summer, cut ripe bananas in thirds, roll them in a mixture of carob powder and orange juice, then in unsweetened coconut or chopped nut. Insert a Popsicle stick in each banana, tray-freeze, then transfer to a plastic freezer bag. Eat frozen. Frozen bananas also add smooth, thick texture to ice cream in the blender or food processor.

Bananas Dried #2

Vary the flavor of dried bananas before drying them by sprinkling them with flavored gelatin powder or dipping them in lemon juice or a lemon juice and honey mixture. After dipping, they may be rolled in chopped nuts, sesame seeds or shredded coconut. Bananas should be solid yellow or slightly brown flecked with no green on the peel. Avoid bruised or over-ripe bananas. Bananas which are slightly brown flecked will have the sweetest, most pronounced flavor when dried. Peel and slice bananas to thick crosswise or lengthwise. Dry at 150F for one to two hours, then at 130F until dry.

Banana Leather

Peel and puree fruit. You can combine with: apple-berry, lemon-walnut, orange-pineapple. Spices, flavorings, sweetening: cinnamon, cloves, coriander, lemon, nutmeg, orange, vanilla, white corn syrup, honey, brown sugar.

Banana Leather Chips

Dry fruit leather until brittle. These can be eaten as a snack, chopped to make toppings on cereals and puddings or reconstituted to flavor yogurt, ice cream, milk shakes, and baby cereal. Store dried chips in airtight glass or plastic contaners.

Special Pink Banana Butter

Ingredients:
3 pounds ripe bananas (4 c. mashed)
1 c. raspberries
c. lemon juice
3 c. sugar
1 t. butter

Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a hard, rolling boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Pour into hot sterilized half-pint jars and seal. Process for 15 minutes.

Banana Flour

6 Ripe Bananas

Slice and dry full grown bananas. Use only the fruit that is full grown as green bananas contain too much starch. After drying, grind or pound in a mortar, then pass the powder through a sieve. This flour can be used in equal parts with regular flour in making desserts where a starchy substance is used.

Banana Sherbet

Ingredients:
1 env. unflavored gelatin
c. sugar
c. water
2 c. fruit puree
1 (13 oz.) can evaporated milk
2 egg whites
c. sugar

In large saucepan combine gelatin, c. sugar, and salt. Stir in water; heat and stir till gelatin dissolves. Stir in fruit puree and evaporated milk. Turn into a 9" x 9" x 2" pan; cover and freeze till firm. In small mixer bowl beat egg whites till soft peaks form (tips curl over); gradually add cup sugar, beating till stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Break frozen mixture into chunks; turn into chilled large mixer bowl. Beat till fluffy. Fold in egg whites. Return to pan; cover and freeze till firm. Yield: 1 quarts.

Banana Ketchup

Ingredients:
1/2 c Golden raisins
1/3 c Coarsely chopped onions
2 lg Garlic cloves
1/3 c Tomato paste
1 1/3 c Cider vinegar
4 lg Very ripe bananas, peeled-and cut into chunks
3 To 4 cups water
1/2 c (packed) dark brown sugar
1 1/2 ts Salt
1/2 ts Cayenne pepper
1/4 c Light corn syrup
2 ts Ground allspice
3/4 ts Ground cinnamon
3/4 ts Freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 ts Ground cloves
2 tb Dark rum

Combine the raisins, onions , garlic, tomato paste and 1/3 cup vinegar in the container of a food processor., Process the mixture until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a large, heavy saucepan. Add the banana chunks and another 1/3 cup vinegar to the food processor container. Process the mixture until smooth. Transfer the banana mixture to the saucepan. Add the remaining 2/3 cup vinegar, 3 cups water, brown sugar, salt and cayenne pepper. Bring the mixture in the saucepan to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and cook the ketchup, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/4 hours. If the ketchup threatens to stick to the bottom of the pan at any point, add some of the remaining water, up to 1 cup. Add the corn syrup, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and cloves to the ketchup. Cook the ketchup over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes longer, or until it is thick enough to coat a metal spoon. Stir in the rum. Remove the ketchup from the heat and let it cool a few minutes. Force the ketchup through a fine sieve to strain it, pressing down hard on the solids. Remove the ketchup from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Store the banana ketchup, covered in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.


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