Dried banana chips are a high-energy snack full of natural, nutritious carbohydrates, vitamins and dietary fibre. They are also an excellent source of potassium. While this shelf-stable snack is sold in a variety of stores and through online speciality food websites, you can dry them at home. A food dehydrator simplifies the process even further, without using up space and drying hours in the kitchen oven.
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Things you need
- Food dehydrator
- 8 medium bananas
- Juice of 1 small lemon, strained
- Additional flavourings (optional)
- Air tight storage container or bag
Set up the food dehydrator on a heat-resistant counter or table surface. The dehydration process takes multiple hours, so make sure the unit is in a safe, out-of-the-way place that will not create a need to be moved.
Pick ripe bananas with no green skin. Refrain from using any mushy, overly ripe fruit with visible bruising. These are more ideal as a mixed ingredient in recipes such as banana nut breads; they will not hold up as well texture-wise during the drying process.
Peel the bananas and remove any visible brown or black bruises. Slice each banana to individual thickness specification. Thinly sliced chips will dehydrate quickly and assume an almost toasted texture, which works well in salads. Snack chips for trail mixes, on cereals or as a snack by themselves should be cut 1/4 inch thick or thicker.
Sprinkle lightly with lemon juice to discourage the chips from turning completely dark brown during the process. Do this by putting the sliced banana chips into a bowl and turning with a spatula while sprinkling with fresh lemon juice. The juice of one small lemon, around 1 tbsp, that has been strained of pulp should be adequate for eight medium sliced bananas. Sprinkle rather than adding all at once.
Line the trays in the food dehydrator with the sliced banana chips without edges touching. Follow the instructions for the specific dehydrator being used. While chips dried in an conventional oven at even low heat usually take only three or four hours to finish, a food dehydrator will dry the chips even slower because of the circulating drying process with some models taking up to eight hours. This allows for an ideal spongelike, but dry, texture and seals in the flavour.
Let the trays of dried banana chips set at room temperature for approximately 20 minutes to help minimise sticking when placed in a storage container. Make sure the storage container has an airtight lid or seal; you can leave the dried chips in this container at room temperature for a couple of days. If refrigerating for longer storage periods, make sure to remove all air from the storage container.
Tips and warnings
- Try flavouring with dry additives such as coconut flakes or finely chopped candied sesame.
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