I am just picking the first few fruit this weekend, there is a lot to come on the tree. I will be eating and drying mangoes for the next week.
The dehydrator is loaded and running as I type. There were not quite enough ripe mangoes to fill it just yet. No problem, I have ripe bananas as well, two trays are banana chips. Both were dipped into grapefruit juice for sealing, the grapefruit are also from the backyard.
A tray of bananas and a tray of mangoes are sprinkled with li hing mui powder. The result is a tangy sweet flavor that is a favorite in the islands. I have come to enjoy the flavor as well, adding it to my dried fruit for years now.
I also have an experiment running… Half a tray of bananas are sprinkled with chili powder. My idea, I suspect Deb will not partake of these chiliban chips.
Sitting in front of the computer eating a little dessert before bed. In this case that is a little ice cream and pineapple. The nice part is that this the first pineapple we have grown. The pineapple has been a strikingly attractive ornamental plant in the corner of the lanai and now a source of a very nice fruit.
I understand there is chance for another fruit from the plant. Deb has also prepped the top for rooting. Perhaps another plant? There is plenty of room for another plant on the lanai.
Another experiment in growing tropical fruit… Deb had sprouted a pineapple using the top to one she had bought at the farmers market. With roots showing she asked me to set up a more appropriate home for the plant. That came in the form of a large pot on our front lanai. I was surprised when the pineapple not only survived but thrived. the plant is an attractive pot plant just outside our front door. I have shared some photos of the geckos and anoles that call the plant home.
Then the first signs of blooming appeared… In place of a new leaf a little spiky ball appeared at the center of the plant. This has developed into a very nice looking fruit, a recognizable pineapple covered with little purple blossoms. It is another tropical fruit I never imagined myself growing, one of the interesting things about living in Hawaii.
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.