The fruit are just starting and I was only able to find enough for one dehydrator load. Over the next week there will be more fruit reaching that perfect ripeness. The fruit do not last long, there is only a few days for any given fruit before it spoils. Fortunately not all the fruit ripen at once, each visit to the tree finding a few more ready.
With this sort of bounty the fruit must be used quickly. I will give some away, taking them into work. Much of the harvest will go into the dehydrator, saved for later with a little processing.
Actually we get a couple mango seasons in our back yard. The trees I have are a different variety than the huge tree that overhangs our yard from the neighbor’s. It is just showing small starts right now, it will be later in the summer before those fruit are ready.
Three bunches in two weeks. Yes, bananas seem to all ripen at once, as I have noted in the past, it is feast or famine with these things.
This time I am ready, the dehydrator is ready to go and I have worked out the process. Thus the fifth load is in the dehydrator now, starting an overnight run. Tomorrow morning we will peel the banana chips off the racks and bag them for storage.
Prepare a dip of 1 cup citrus juice (lime, lemon, or grapefruit), add several tablespoons honey or agave syrup, add one cup water.
Slice the bananas into 1/4 inch slices
Allow to soak in the dip for a few minutes while you slice more
Spread on the dehydrator trays
Run the food dehydrator for 8-10 hours on medium heat, until the fruit is the desired dryness
The results are pretty good, quite nice to snack on. I use grapefruit by preference, I like the slight tangy taste it imparts to the results and I have a grapefruit tree. If no fresh citrus is available the commercial juice works fine. The same recipe works quite well for mangoes and some other tropical fruit. I prefer the dried fruit to be somewhat leathery, not dried until crisp.
Our mango tree did not have a heavy crop this year, but has produced far more than we can use in the week or two they ripen. The food dehydrator has been in heavy use, three batches done and one underway. The end results are pretty good, better than some stuff I have bought at the farmers market. Perfect for snacking on in the middle of the night next to a telescope.
Between me and the birds, the tree is now picked out. I have enough mangoes on hand for at least one more go…