20160329-DSC_0017-croppedBananas are universally loved – but they have a short shelf life. However, if you have a home freeze dryer you can take advantage of sales or even salvage this universally loved fruit before it over-ripens. Bananas are high in fiber and potassium and are a healthy source of carbohydrates. Studies also suggest that bananas can help lower blood pressure (they’re a vasodialator), may reduce asthma in children, and are a good source of vitamin C, which helps fight free radicals that cause cancer.

Freeze drying bananas is so easy. Just slice them and place them on trays close together and freeze dry as normal. Try sprinkling cinnamon on them for a new twist. Put them in Mylar bags or jars with an oxygen absorber for long-term storage. Or, they will keep in an airtight container on your shelf for a  couple months even without an oxygen absorber. Your kids or grandkids will love to snack on these just and they will be a great substitute for high sugar candy or other processed snacks.

Freeze dried bananas are delicious by themselves, but they are also wonderful additions to trail mix, make great toppings for granola and ice cream, or can be tossed into a smoothie or turned into a powder to naturally flavor frosting or pancake mix.