Learn how to dry bananas at home.
You have two choices to turn bananas into chips. Most commercial manufacturers fry banana chips. Frying bananas are unhealthy. You’ll get additional saturated fats for about 8 grams. Drying bananas at home is healthier than frying. It doesn’t need oil to make banana chips.
SEE ALSO: 6 Amazing Health Benefits of Banana Chips
How to Dry Bananas – Beginner Friendly Methods for Drying Bananas
Make sun-dried bananas if you have plenty of banana trees in your backyard. You need no food dehydrators or oven to dry bananas. You just need an adequate space with abundant sunlight. Resealable plastic bags or airtight containers help sun-dried bananas that last for several months.
- Make a drying screen to layout sliced bananas. You cannot just put the sliced bananas under the sun. Create a frame of your desired size. Nail together wooden slats that will fasten the screen. Choose a non-sticking screen made of fiberglass, stainless steel, or plastic mesh.
- You will need something to hold the four corners of the frame and raise it for about four to six inches. This process creates air circulation from the bottom side of the sliced bananas.
- Select ripe and firm yellow bananas and peel off the skin.
- Slice into thin coins or strips.
- If you want to prevent the bananas from turning brown, dip the sliced bananas into fruit juices that are rich in vitamin C. You can use lemon, pineapple, or cranberries.
Arrange the bananas per slice on the screen rack and place them over a sunny spot. Turn the bananas from the other side every two days until the bananas have completely lost moisture.
Drying bananas in a food dehydrator
It may take 8 hours for bananas to dry in a food dehydrator. Bananas with little brown freckles have a sweet and rich flavor. When sealed in an airtight container, it should stay fresh and crisp for months.
- After peeling the bananas, slice them into thin coins or strips. That’s about ¼ or 3/8-inch thin. Thicker bananas take longer to dry.
- Dip the slices of bananas into lemon, pineapple juice, or ascorbic acid solution to prevent them from turning brown. Shake of the extra drops of solution/ juice before placing them on dehydrator trays. You can add chopped nuts, almonds, or coconut flakes before drying.
- Fill the trays with banana slices separated evenly.
- Put the trays with banana slices inside the food dehydrator and set the temperature to 150°F. This temperature should go for the first 2 hours.
- After two hours, lower the temperature to 130°F. Flip the banana slices from the other side for another two hours. Keep that temperature for 6 – 8 hours until fully dried.
- Test the bananas’ dryness. A leathery and crispy texture is enough.
Let it cool before removing dried banana chips from the trays and before packaging.
Drying bananas in the microwave
Unlike sun-dried bananas, microwave-dried bananas won’t last long. It could be the fastest way to dry bananas but you’ll have to consume them within the day.
- After peeling off ripe bananas, slice them into round chips of about ¼”.
- Spray some olive oil on a microwave-safe plate.
- Place the sliced banana chips one by one to avoid overlapping. Sprinkle some flavors before microwaving if you want. Thin slices can burn easily.
- Microwave the bananas in defrost mode to prevent burning. Set the microwave on high for one minute.
- Flip the bananas to the other side. Add more sprinklers.
Flip the bananas every thirty seconds until you achieve the desired crispness.
Drying bananas in the oven
Unlike drying bananas through the microwave, drying bananas using an oven allows you to keep the bananas for several months. You have the choice to make wedges or chips. And you also don’t have to flip it every thirty seconds to avoid burning.
- Preheat the oven from a low-temperature setting. When you preheat at a higher temperature, it can leave a scorched banana outer layer with not fully dehydrated banana chips or wedges from the inside.
- While preheating, prepare your banana chips or wedges. Peel off the banana skin and slice it to desired thickness either in round shapes or strips. While chips dry faster, wedges dry for about 12 hours.
- If you will dry lots of banana chips or wedges, soak them in lemon juice or pineapple juice to prevent discoloration.
- Place the banana slices on each rack. Do not put the slices on top of each other.
- You can add additional seasoning if you want to.
- Put the baking sheet inside the oven. Place the rack with banana slices in the preheated oven. Watch out for the bananas. They may slip from the rack.
- Chips will take 1 to 3 hours before drying completely. Wedges may dry after 12 hours. Flip it from the other side when the slices are halfway done.
Cooling dried bananas in a wire rack make them even crispier.
Storing Dried Bananas
Except for microwave-dried bananas that you should consume after one day, dried bananas can last for several months. Ideally, you can use an airtight container or resealable plastic bags that allow no air to come out. Store it in a cool and dry room like the pantry or the kitchen. When you open the jar or plastic bag, make sure to seal it close quickly to prevent losing crispness.
Drying bananas is one way of preserving the fruit without losing its nutrients and flavor. Home-dried banana chips are healthier snacks than those banana chips sold in the market. Keep your dried bananas in an airtight sealed container to keep its crispness longer. This way, you can always have some healthy snacks to munch anytime you want.
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