Dehydrating bananas is a surprisingly easy and versatile process. Soft or crunchy, healthy or greasy, chipped, sliced or leafy fruit - you can make many kinds of snacks using virtually any heat source available. You may not get tired of this flavor, but if you do, there are instructions for adding sweet or savory spices.
- Bananas (ideally they are ripe, with few brown spots, but no ugly spots or bruises).
- Lemon juice or other acidic juice (optional).
- Salt, nutmeg or cinnamon (optional).
Method 1 of 5: Crispy or Oven Sliced Bananas
Step 1. Preheat the oven to the lowest possible temperature, usually between 50°C and 90°C
A temperature higher than this carries the risk of browning the outside and not drying out the inside
Step 2. Peel and slice the bananas
To make chips, cut bananas into slices of about 60 mm. To make slices less crunchy, slice the banana lengthways and cut the slices to the desired size later.
- NOTE: slices can take up to 12 hours to dehydrate! Start the preparation in the morning so you don't run the risk of starting a fire by leaving the fire on overnight. Chips will dehydrate much faster.
- To make the chips super crispy, cut the banana into 30mm slices. It may be easier to do this with a slicer.
- If the bananas are soft and difficult to slice, harden them in the refrigerator for five to ten minutes.
- You don't even need a knife to make thick slices! Run your finger over the tip of the peeled banana and it should break into three pieces. It's okay if the banana breaks in the process, after all you'll cut it into smaller pieces.
- If you have a lot of bananas, soak them in lemon juice for a few minutes before slicing; this will save preparation time, but will make them wetter and increase dehydration time.
Step 3. Dip the pieces in the lemon juice
Doing so will add flavor and vitamins, but the main goal is to keep the bananas from turning brown.
- If you don't mind the chips turning brown, skip this Step.
- Brushing lemon juice on both sides of the banana pieces will also work.
- Use pineapple, lemon or any other citrus juice and you will get the same result. Even crushed vitamin C capsules mixed with water will work.
- If you don't like the taste of the juice, dilute it one to four (one part juice to four water) and soak the bananas for three to five minutes in the solution.
Step 4. Place the bananas on a cooling rack
The grill will expose all sides of the banana to the air and allow excess moisture to drain. Place a baking sheet under the grill.
- Bananas should be in a single layer, not on top of each other. It's okay if the ends of the slices touch each other.
- If you don't have a cooling rack, cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or butter and add the bananas. This method will be less effective at removing moisture and may take longer (especially for thick slices). You can get around this effect by leaving the oven door open just a little to let the moisture out.
- An electric fan placed near the half-open oven door will also help circulate the air.
Step 5. Season, if you like
A pinch of salt adds a lot of flavor, making banana chips perfect to enjoy on their own.
Step 6. Place the bananas in the preheated oven
Use the central grill and be careful not to drop any banana slices in the oven.
If using a cooling rack, place the pan in the oven first to catch the liquid that runs off, then the rack on top
Step 7. Bake until they have the desired shape and texture
Chip preparation will take from 1:00 to 3:00. The thickest slices will take from 6:00 to 12:00. The longer they are baked, the crispier they will be.
- Turn the bananas about halfway through the cooking time. This will let both sides dehydrate evenly and is especially important if the slices are directly on the baking sheet.
- The bananas will be crispier as they cool, so take them out of the oven when they're still a little softer than desired.
Step 8. Cool the bananas completely on the cooling rack
They won't be completely dry or crispy until they reach room temperature.
If you don't have a cooling rack, a drying rack can do the job. A common dish also serves
Step 9. Store the bananas in an airtight container
If they are completely dehydrated, they should remain good for consumption for months.
Method 2 of 5: Dehydrator Chewable Chips or Slices
Step 1. Prepare the bananas
The start of preparation is similar to the oven method. Pay attention to the size of the slices.
- Peel the bananas and cut them into 60mm slices to make chewy leaf fruit or cut into 15 to 30mm slices to make crispy chips.
- The chips will take up to 24:00 to dehydrate, while the fruit leaf should be ready by 12:00. Plan according to the preparation time.
- Slices thinner than 60 mm tend to stick together when stored together.
- Dip the pieces in the lemon juice to keep the chips from turning brown. This Step is optional.
Step 2. Add spices if you prefer
Grated nutmeg is very good mixed with the natural sweetness of bananas.
Step 3. Apply a little oil to the grill of your dehydrator
It is not mandatory, but it will prevent the banana slices from sticking together. It is possible to oil bananas directly as well.
Step 4. Place the slices on the dehydrator grill
Do not place the slices on top of each other. It's okay if they touch each other at the ends, as they'll shrink a little as they dry out.
Step 5. Set the temperature to 57°C
Making the fruit leaf will take between 6:00 and 12:00. Crispy chips will take longer, until 24:00.
- If your dehydrator model comes with banana-specific instructions, use the temperature and time listed on it.
- Check progress every 2:00 or 4:00 and rotate the grid so that dehydration is even.
- If you decide not to add lemon juice to the bananas, the caramel brown color is a good sign that the bananas are done or almost done. Otherwise, get a slice to try after it's cooled to room temperature.
- If you leave the slices chewy for too long and you don't like the harder texture, continue dehydrating them to make them crunchy. Doing so may not work if the slices are very thick.
Step 6. Allow bananas to cool to room temperature before eating
If stored in an airtight container, they will remain good to consume for months.
Method 3 of 5: Fruit leaf in dehydrator
Step 1. Peel the bananas
You can leave them whole or cut them in half lengthwise.
Step 2. Place whole bananas between two sheets of parchment paper
The bananas should be at least 7 cm apart.
Step 3. Use a heavy board to crush the bananas
Try to apply even pressure to bring the banana puree to a smooth consistency.
- It is also possible to use a noodle roll to do this.
- The aim is to leave the mashed bananas to a thickness of 30 mm. If you don't want to measure, just make it as thin as possible.
Step 4. Transfer the parchment paper to the dehydrator grid
Remove the top sheet before starting to dehydrate.
Step 5. Set the dehydrator to 57°C for 7:00
Check in after 4:00 and after 6:00 to see how your progress is going.
- When done, the top should be firm but not sticky.
- If the bottom is still wet, turn it halfway through.
Step 6. Allow to cool and cut into strips
They can be rolled up and stored in an airtight pot for months.
Method 4 of 5: Microwave Crispy Bananas
Step 1. Peel and slice the bananas
Try cutting 60mm slices or a little smaller. If they're thicker, the slices won't cook well; if they are too thin, they will burn easily.
Step 2. Grease a microwave safe dish
Use a generous amount of a pleasantly flavored oil such as olive oil or coconut oil. Place the banana slices on the plate leaving space between them.
Step 3. Heat in microwave on high power for one minute
The bananas will start to soften and release moisture.
Step 4. Turn all slices over
You can also season them now. A pinch of salt gives a nice salty taste, while grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon will be good with the sweetness of the banana.
Step 5. Continue heating in the microwave in 30-second turns
This may take a few minutes depending on your device.
Step 6. Serve immediately
Unlike other dehydration methods, microwaved bananas will only stay good for one day.
Method 5 of 5: Sun-dried Chips
Step 1. Check the weather forecast in your city
To successfully dehydrate fruit in the sun, you will need at least two days of sunny, dry and open weather (at least 32°C with low humidity). The ideal would be to let it dehydrate for seven days, especially if the temperature is below 38 ºC.
Step 2. Make or buy an external dehydration screen
All you need is a rectangular wooden frame with a canvas that can be used with food stretched over it.
The best screens are made of stainless steel or plastic. DO NOT use aluminum, construction, or fiberglass mesh (unless the fiberglass mesh is labeled food grill)
Step 3. Prepare the bananas
Since you're going to use a much lower temperature than the other methods, it's better to slice it much thinner.
- Peel the bananas and cut them into slices of 30 mm or maximum 60 mm.
- If you want to keep them from turning brown, dip the slices in lemon juice.
Step 4. Season if desired
Cinnamon powder gives a strong flavor if you want to keep the snack sweet.
Step 5. Place the slices on the drying screen
Arrange in a single layer, without overlapping. The edges may touch as they will shrink a little when dehydrated.
Step 6. Cover the slices with an insect screen or cheesecloth
This will keep the dust out of the bananas.
Step 7. Place the drying frame in direct sunlight, away from cars or the reach of animals
Leave it at least slightly above ground level (eg placing on top of cement blocks).
- Your roof is a great option for receiving sunlight and will keep bananas away from most of the pollution in the environment.
- A concrete driveway will reflect heat off the ground, dehydrating bananas faster.
Step 8. Bring the drying screen indoors at night
Even if it's hot, the cool will increase the moisture in the bananas. Put it out again during the day.
Step 9. Turn the bananas around halfway through the drying process
This doesn't have to be accurate; turn at any time on the second day.
Step 10. Continue drying for up to seven days
Check daily to see if the bananas are ready for consumption.
If you're not sure, cut a slice or bite into one to check for moisture
Step 11. Store the bananas in an airtight jar
If they are completely dehydrated they should last for months.