It seems that the more we are exposed to the benefits and vices of healthy eating and living, the more difficult it is to achieve that balance in life. The value of a good old home cooked hot meal is common knowledge by now. Avoiding greasy and overly spicy food too is gaining popularity. The value of hydrating oneself frequently with plain water over any sweetened and/or carbonated alternatives is also common knowledge. This is especially important in hot and arid conditions. Improperly dehydrated body is a host to innumerable ailments.
Smaller portions and frequent eating
Consuming smaller but frequent portions has it’s benefits. Carrying a full stomach is never a healthy habit. Bulging stomach compresses the diaphragm thereby leading to irregular breathing patterns, especially if one is even mildly active immediately after. Even sitting in a sedentary position makes for laboured breathing. Smaller portions means you have to accommodate for the possibility of experiencing more frequent pangs of hunger. This means that one needs to go about their daily activities with a snacking bag around. Not an ideal scenario in today’s day and age.
Dearth of healthy snacking choices
We are living in the “golden age” of packaged snacking choices. One just needs to visit the nearest store to find the shelves stocked with all kinds of branded as well as locally produced snacks. Most being the deep-fried variety is hardly surprising because with the help of preservatives they have the best shelf lives. Stocking considerations are driving our eating habits these days. Temptation is easier to give in to than ever before. As manufacturers are scrambling over each other to find that next formula to keep us addicted, we compromise the health and well-being of our next generations.
Dried fruits, nuts and seeds
Preserving seasonal foods for year long consumption must have driven our ancestors to experiment with drying or dehydrating. Dried fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, etc. have all been around for a long time. Dry fruits and seeds have always been valued for their various health benefits. Dates, pistachios, almonds, pumpkin seeds, figs, etc. are perennially popular gifting choice. People of all age love them and no one is discouraged from having them.
Attempts at dehydrating banana
Kerala, even with it’s abundant production of various varieties of bananas as well as it’s unique history of preserving food, has not found many methods to preserve them. It’s surprising that the land that is famous for it’s banana chips (made from mature but unripe plantains fried in coconut oil) doesn’t have much to show for when it comes to preserving the fruit in a healthy fashion.
Dehydrated banana strips
We have tried our hands at producing something unique. A particular variety of small banana which has a unique aroma and taste profile was chosen for this purpose. It was sliced lengthwise and placed in racks inside a dehydrator. The dehydrator was constructed using local artisans using locally available materials. More on this later. These slices were left in the temperature and humidity controlled device for more than a day to achieve the desired result . This is a much more hygienic option than the traditional sun drying.
The results we found were quite pleasant to say the least. The strips came out dry enough to maintain a good shelf life. The flavour was enhanced. The crunchy and chewy texture is something kids and adults enjoy alike. We hope that you may try some and share your opinion too. This product is now available in the shop Dehydrated strips of naturally ripened banana
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