Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dehydrating Bananas for Banana Chips

Dehydrating bananas is easy to do and costs less than buying them. Make this snack recipe for a healthy treat that kids and adults enjoy! 

homemade banana chips next to bunch of ripe bananas

Dehydrated fruit is a healthy snack because it’s got all of the nutrients without any preservatives. Plus, it’s easy to take with you anywhere!
 
If you’re unfamiliar with store bought banana chips, you may not know that they are deep-fried and coated in a sugar solution. 

For this recipe, we simply dehydrate bananas with a spritz of lemon juice to prevent browning.
This way, they are naturally sweetened, making them a healthier snack. 

You can easily make all kinds of dried fruit this way - dried pineapple rings, apples, pears, and many other fruits as well.

Tips and tricks for dehydrating bananas

Level of ripeness 

Use ripe bananas with peels that are fully yellow, but with few to no brown spots.  

While overripe fruit has a sweeter overall flavor, it can be difficult to cut into clean slices. Also, the slices can break apart easily when you transfer them to the baking tray. 

In the oven  

If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can make baked banana chips in your oven.  

Prepare the fruit as instructed, but place the slices on a wire rack set onto a baking sheet instead. 

Another option is to place them directly on a baking sheet that is well coated with cooking oil.  

To dehydrate the fruit, place the pan on the center rack of a preheated 125°F oven for 12 to 18 hours, or until dry but pliable. 

Create different flavors Use spices and seasonings to add variety to your banana chips. Add cinnamon for something sweet or make them spicy with a dash of cayenne or chipotle chili powder.

How to make banana chips


1. Peel the bananas  

First, peel the bananas and use a paring knife to remove any brown spots.  


2. Spritz with lemon juice 

Next, spritz the fruit lightly with lemon juice to prevent additional browning. I like to use lemon juice concentrate, but a mixture of lemon juice and water in equal parts, or up to a 1:4 ratio, also works. 

Note: You can omit the lemon juice if you prefer. The flavor will be the same; just know that the color of the banana slices will be darker. 

several peeled bananas laying side by side on counter

Next, slice the fruit into 1/4-inch thick coins and place them in a single layer on a dehydrator tray. 

banana slices on counter for dehydrated banana snacks

If you want to dry them in an oven instead, place them on a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet. Spritz again with lemon juice.

spritzing banana slices with lemon juice for baked banana chips

Dehydrate 

Follow the manufacturer’s directions for your appliance, but generally speaking, dehydrating bananas takes about 8 hours. 

Once done, the fruit should be pliable, but not hard or crunchy. 

dehydrating bananas for banana chips

Remove the dried fruit with a spatula, or peel them off with your fingers. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

making banana coins in a dehydrator

Uses for dehydrated bananas 

Of course, you can enjoy these on their own, but here are some other ways to incorporate them into healthy snacks throughout the day:
  • Homemade trail mix - Combine with nuts, chocolate chips, or other dried fruits for an energizing snack.
  • Topping for yogurt or ice cream 
  • In cookies or energy bars - Chop and mix into the batter at the end.
  • Double banana bread - Use a combination of fresh bananas and chopped banana chips for double the flavor.
  • Garnish for cupcakes - Stick a slice in the top of piped frosting for a cute and edible topper.

Go savory or sweet, depending on your mood! Because these have a neutral but slightly sweet flavor, they go with just about anything. 

Any dried or fresh fruit tastes great in Sweet Lemon Yogurt Fruit Dip. It’s light, refreshing, and healthy too. 

Replace tortilla chips with dried fruit for dipping in salsa or guacamole. 

Or, for something more indulgent, swipe your banana chips through Simple Peanut Butter Fudge Dip or Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip.


Click here for a printable version of this recipe - The Slow Roasted Italian.com

10 comments:

  1. looks wonderful i don't have a dehydrater looks wonderful i usually fry

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  2. Nice. You might be interested in how I do cheese and crackers. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/cheese-and-crackers.html

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  3. I don't know of ANY oven that runs that low... mine gets to 170 and its about the same everywhere else I look

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    1. Hi Sarah, mine actually goes as low as 100 degrees. I have a Magic Chef. However you can still dehydrate at your lowest temperature setting and keep an eye on your bananas. Does that make sense?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. Is that Celsius or Fahrenheit? My oven run as low as 40°C ... I'd be surprised if your regular Celsius oven didn't run below 170°, because that's actually pretty high. You could barely make meringue or something like that in such an oven.

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  4. The dried banana coins looks wonderful.

    Magi

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  5. Nice. What kind of dehydrator do you use and how do you like it? I'm thinking about purchasing a BIGGER one than my initial purchase from the box store years ago. How do the bananas compare to the ones that are usually sold in bulk at the health food stores? Thanks!

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    1. Hi Cathy,

      We have the Excalibur 3900. We tried the smaller dehydrators first, but found that it was so worth the investment.

      The bananas at the health food stores are actually deep fried in coconut oil and then coated in a sugar solution. These are simply a dehydrated banana. Fantastically delicious! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Yum! Those look like a great, healthy snack!

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  7. Great recipe! Will be linking back to this in my post tomorrow.

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