Dusted Off


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I dusted off this.

Grey Dehydrator machine next to knife rack

It has been ages since I had dehydrated anything.  Probably almost a year.

With the chillier weather and a craving for something warm, last night I fired up the hot box.

Being that it runs for hours and hours it’s not the type of appliance I’d run in the summer since my small kitchen tends to get extra toasty when it’s on, but in the winter, I’ll take the “free” heat without turning on the heater.

Open dehydrator with multiple shelves

I dehydrated bananas.  Ground-breaking indeed.

Dehydrated banana slices

I don’t really “love” bananas just to eat.  I like them in banana-containing recipes but I am not one to just chomp into a banana for a snack.  Something about them plain, as is, that I just don’t care for all that much.

But give me warm, dehydrated bananas slices and I could single-handedly make the prices of Dole stock rise.

Dehydrated banana slices

They are not pretty creatures in their wrinkly post-dehydrated state.  And night-time photography in an already dark kitchen is not a pretty experience either.  Gah, hate the shorter and shorter days.

But these ‘nanas are so good.  Chewy, sweet, warm little discs.

Stacked Dehydrated banana slices

Dehydrating removes the water and therefore concentrates the flavor of whatever it is you’re dehydrating and in this case the banana slices get sweeter and richer tasting.

So perfect.

Stacked Dehydrated banana slices


1. What have you revisited or dusted off lately?

I dusted off my nifty fifty.  I still don’t “love” it but I’m liking it more.   I’d like a prime lens for food photography.  If anyone has one you love for food photography, holla.  Canon 35mm f/2.0 or 35mm f/1.4 anyone?  50 mm f/1.4  or 1.2?

I’ve also revisited these bars after not having them for about six months.  Happy I did.

2.  Do you own a dehydrator?  Want one?

As I’ve said in this post, I do not use my dehydrator much at all.  Nearly a year could go by in between uses.  I find the oven to be much quicker, more efficient, and dehydrators are very bulky and take up a fair amount of precious countertop real estate.

For the person who just wants to make cheezy kale chips or chocolate coconut kale chips you can make them in the oven, and I do make them in the oven with decent results, i.e. low oven 200F, door ajar if you wish, and wait and flip, wait and flip.

You’d be doing the same thing with a dehydrator, more or less.

chocolate coconut kale chips on wood and white plate

That said, if you just have to have one, or you own one already and really adore yours, awesome!

I would personally spend $250 on a good food processor, a refurbished Vita-Mix, a Kitchen-Aid Stand Mixer or other appliances before I’d allocate resources to a dehydrator.   Because those are some pretty pricey banana slices if you average it out based on how (in)frequently I use mine, but it’s fun when I do dust it off.

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  1. do not forget, one can also make yogurt, jerky, fruit roll-ups, granolas, dry flowers from the garden or make popouri and many, many other things. so many ideas, so little time. but i do leave mine on the counter. i live on a farm in costa rica and have all the bananas and pineapple and papayas that i could possibly want. ps try watermelon in hot box. yummy. excaliber is the best market can offer…. thanx

  2. I don’t own a dehydrator, but I do love dehydrated foods, and I would like to get one when I have more room to store it.

  3. Simple real estate issue solved. I just keep mine in the laundry. And I know plenty of people that keep theirs in bedrooms or spare rooms whilst in use. It’s not like you need access to it in the kitchen. Love my dehydrator and can’t see me living without it now. :)

  4. I think once a get a bigger kitchen I will definitely get a dehydrator. I think making something as simple and yummy as banana chips and kale chips would make me super happy. Thanks for sharing!

  5. The bananas look super tasty. I don’t ever just bite into a banana either. I really like their flavor in recipes, but something about just eating a banana doesn’t get me that excited. Unless I’m out and about and they are the only option.

  6. I recently dusted off my food processor to make peanut butter again, and I wonder why I don’t do that more often – easy, quick, and sooo much tastier than the store bought stuff!

    1. This is crazy but I don’t own a food proc! Only a Vita. Glad to hear you’re making your own nut butter!

  7. I love dehydrated bananas… I put peanut butter on a few before I dehydrated them and they were amazing!

  8. I used to pine for a dehydrator, but since I did some research into the ‘raw food’ thing in my graduate courses and discovered that food enzymes are denatured by stomach acid anyway, I’ve been less obsessed. I make kale chips, dried fruit, macaroons and essene bread in my oven on low heat – it’s probably a little hotter than a dehydrator, but also doesn’t take as long, and that’s good because I have the patience of a two year old. With kale chips or any dried vege crisps, I really have to be in the mood to make them. The thing that annoys me is that it takes soooo long to wash them, dry them, cut them up, massage them, season them, lay them out, wait for them to dry with multiple inspections.. and then it takes .. one minute to eat them all. :D

    1. everything you just described is EXACTLY why I dont use mine much…the time involved!! and then the meticulous coating, laying, arranging, flipping, repeated flipping…and it takes….37 seconds to eat :)

  9. I really would love to try a dehydrator, just to see how often I would use it. I love the idea, but I am not good at meal planning, so not sure if I would like having to wait for my food to cook.
    Oh, and you know what, I did a cleansing/detoxing thing for 10 days and I totally feel why you don´t like salt!! I am soo sensitive now and often would not use salt at all. If you would have told me that before my cleansing… I used salt on pretty much everything.

    1. Salt is my arch enemy…interesting field report and observations from you post cleanse. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Yes, I want a dehydrator. If you happen to dust off a spare you don’t want, just let me know. I’d be happy to take it off your hands.

  11. I am so glad I got a dehydrator! But then, we only have a toaster oven, so anything with big surface area, I’d rather dehydrate. Interesting that you use it so seldom now–also great for when you have a lot of anything–save for later without taking up freezer space and power.

    Why do you have the nanas on teflex? I haven’t thought it necessary.

  12. I love, love, love home dried banana chips. They are the best. I hate the hard one’s in the store. Gross.

    TV is dust free.
    No dehydrator. Someday.

  13. Funny, I use mine more in the summer. MOstly because the only things I make are dried zucchini and other summer squashes and tomatoes….basically I dehydrate anything from my garden. I prefer kale chips in the oven – they get crispier. Also like you, I don’t like bananas plain, but they are much better dehydrated. But banana chips (ie baked or fried in oil) like what you get in dried fruit mixes? BLECH. They ruin the whole mix for me because everything tastes like banana.

    1. yeah banana chips, i.e. the things in trail mixes, are NOTHING like dehydrated banana slices. When I used to have a CSA in the summer with an abundance of veggies, i.e. zukes and such, I didn’t have a dehyd. But it would have come in handy.

  14. I love bananas in any way, shape, or form but I STILL want a dehydrator so I can make bananas like yours! YUM!

  15. Oh gosh! I’ve missed you! I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to check your blog. SHAME on me and now you’ve renewed my desire for a dehydrator! That would be SO perfect for our fam. *please Santa, pleeeease get me one for Christmas?*

  16. I am using my 50mm a lot right now; I have a 35 and LOVE it, but it’s for my small camera, it doesn’t fit the D300.

    breakin’ out the Excalibur – awesome! I love banana chips. I made something with banana in mine recently… SO good. maybe I’ll post it tomorrow… ;)

    1. ok so you’ll have to LMK what you like better and why…35 mm or 50mm. But it sounds like it’s an apples and oranges comparison since you can only use the 35mm on your smaller camera. I need something that’s good for food but that is a prime and I don’t have to stand 3-4 feet back. Too far!

      1. haa – yeah, if you don’t like standing back then get a 35! I love it for that, and have been thinking of getting one for the 300. Tomorrow I am going to try my 18-200 – I think I might REALLY like that one! (I haven’t used it much with food photos). I DO miss using my 35!

  17. Averie, I need your help!! So, I had never heard of the full moon effect on electrical things until I read it on your blog. The last 4 full moons, something electrical has broken! Major things too like my ac and the computer in my fridge! Today, my direct tv went out and can’t be fixed. Is there a moon dance I can do or something?!?

    Back to food… ;) I love my dehydrator! I make applesauce “bread” every week to smear raw almond butter on, my fav! I love your cheesy kale chips so they make an appearance in there often too. This week I made raw corn chips that were awesome too. I wish that sucker wasn’t so big so I could leave it out, but it takes up way to much expensive real estate in my kitchen!

    1. So sorry about your tech issues and things breaking. And it’s a full moon. That’s awful! Not sure what you can do about it :(

      And your applesauce bread sounds fab. Off to check that out on your site and glad to know you’re still rockin’ the cheezy kale chips!

  18. I would love a dehydrator but there are so many things I would buy first (like a big girl food processor, my mini one limits my quantities of dough balls!) that it just doesn’t make sense.

    1. Agreed. Lots of things *First* before resources$$ are allocated to that…in hind sight, I realize this more now. You learn as you go and build your stash :)

  19. Gosh, you make the banana chips sound amazing. I want a dehydrator so badly. I keep thinking of all these things to do with one!

  20. i am not really a banana fan, either. can’t remember the last time i ate one. but, like you, i do love bananas in baked goods, like muffins.
    i’ve never used a dehydrator! they look pretty nifty!
    not really “dusting off,” but i did just dig out all my winter hats, mitts, etc yesterday – sob sob. but that’s the reality of what is ahead, weather-wise!

  21. Mmmm I love banana chips! I do have a dehydrator and was addicted to it for awhile, but it, too, has been on the shelf without use for a long time. I go through phases with my kitchen toys, though. I know I’ll pull it out again & use it in future, just not right meow. Toys I use daily are my blender/food processor. The bread maker also seems to be making guest appearances lately, too!

    1. they have a flavor that’s awesome & being that you already love bananas, try them in the hot box.

  22. Would love to own a dehydrater. Definitely something I see in the future!
    How nice it would be to dry my own cranberries, and mangos and spices!

  23. I’ve been thinking about getting a dehydrator, but like you said, I’m not sure I can spare the counter space in my small kitchen. I already have a kitchenaid stand mixer, vitamix, food processor, microwave…these older kitchens were not built for so many appliances!

    1. older or urban. My kitchen is the size of my master closet, I swear. There is soooo little storage and room!

  24. Dehydrated bananas are my absolutely FAVORITE. Do you think you could do bananas in the oven?? We don’t have a dehydrator, so just trying to think of other options. I also love dehydrated apples with a little cinnamon sprinkled on them. Yum!

    1. anything you do in the dehyd, you can of course try in the oven. low oven. bananas take a good 4-5 hours in a 160F dehyd. They’re going to take nearly as long in a 200F oven, just be patient and give them a whirl I’d say!

  25. I love bananas in their natural state, but those golden little dehydrated disks look like an incredible snack!!

      1. Will do, dear!! Can’t wait to bake some cookies from it! – those thin mints are on my radar. I wish we lived closer so we could bake through the whole dang book together.


  26. I just dusted off my dehydrator too! But I did apples with cinnamon instead of bananas. I was lucky and got my 3 tray Excalibur for $40 off Craigslist, it belonged to this guy’s roommate and left it there when he moved out a year earlier. He didn’t know it was worth so much more than that!!

  27. Ok the photos alone make me hungry. I just want to reach through the screen and grab one of those chips. I now feel like I need a dehydrator ;-)

    1. Oven girl, oven.

      Bananas take a good 4-5 hours in a 160F dehyd. They’re going to take nearly as long in a 200F oven, just be patient and give them a try I’d say!

  28. I need to request a dehydrator for xmas. There is so much I could make with it. Bananas/plantains would work great I imagine.

  29. mmmmm coconut kale chips sound unreal! I just made some smoky kale chips using TJ’s new african smoked sea salt and they were awesome…I highly recommend it!

  30. Those bananas look so awesome! they’re probably a lot less filling than eating an ordinary banana. Great idea. I would love a dehydrator, it’s such an unusual appliance.