Halogen ovens have grown in popularity since they first appeared around 10 years ago on shopping channels. Many first time users quickly become converts because of the speed they cook things and the cheap running costs. Drying bananas is usually a job that takes a long time on a low heat in a conventional oven, but crispy chips of fruit can be achieved a lot quicker in the glass bowl of a halogen oven that is powered by halogen bulbs and plugged into a wall socket.
The drying process
Select bananas that are not over ripe. A little hint of green still on the skin is the ripeness to aim for because they won’t hold their shape if they are over ripe and won’t be as sweet if they are under ripe. Cut them into slices no thicker than one centimetre thick so they are able to crisp up properly.
Prepare a bowl with lemon or lime juice mixed with water. About four parts water to one part juice is a good ratio. Soak the bits of banana in the citrus water for a few minutes – this will prevent the bananas going brown.
Take the cooking tray and place a small amount of oil on it to stop the bananas from sticking. Make sure you don’t overload the tray and don’t put any pieces on top of each other.
Put the oven on at 180 degrees Celsius (355 Fahrenheit) and put the bananas in for around 10 minutes. Keep checking them because they can turn very suddenly. When taking them out also bear in mind that they will continue to dry as they cool. Lay them on a cooling rack to do so.
When they are cool, store them in an airtight container such as a Tupperware box, a jar or a sealed plastic bag. Add them to cereal, deserts or eat on their own as a healthy snack.
Try thinner slices for quicker, crispier chips and try slicing the banana lengthways for different shapes.
Exercise caution when removing the banana from the oven and wear an oven glove.