We’ve been enjoying our bananas this week – with a Roasted Coconut Banana Bread, banana smoothies, banana chocolate chip cookies and dried banana chips! The first batch my son helped me make – it was a super kid-friendly project. It took about 13 hours in the dehydrator – as we wanted them extra crisp and let me tell you, they didn’t even last that long!
I borrowed a food dehydrator from another preschool mom and I’m not sure I want to give it back.
Basically we just sliced bananas thin (and as uniform as possible) and dropped them into a mixing bowl with lemon juice. This helps keep them from turning dark brown. We started the dehydrator around 8 p.m. at night and let it do it’s thing until around 11 a.m. the next day. Every other recipe I read said 8-10 hours, but I wanted extra crisp banana chips, so we left them on longer.
We stored them in an air tight container – although that didn’t matter much since they were devoured in day.
A couple things I learned from this process:
- The super duper crunchy ones you find at the grocery stores, the ones in trail mix and fancy packaging. Um yea, they are probably not dried, but rather fried. Sad, but true.
- On the second batch I tried a tray without lemon juice – and they looked exactly the same. Doh! AND they seemed to stick to the tray less.
- They did stick to the dehydrator tray. I popped them off with a knife. Only lost one finger in the process.
- For the person who eats the most in the house (ahem, my handsome husband) – have him pull the banana chips off the trays on the second batch. He’ll see how much work they are and think twice before eating the entire container in one day. Haha.
- Your entire house will smell like bananas.
If you’re in the market for a dehydrator I recommend watching Craigslist, garage sales and thrift stores – they seem to be fairly common. If you prefer to go the new route, Amazon has some great dehydrator deals.
Like this one – Nesco American Harvest FD-37 400 Watt Food Dehydrator for $35.99 (Amazon prices can change at anytime).
Don’t forget Safeway has bananas on sale $0.39 cents a pound this week!
What is your favorite thing to dehydrate?
Just bought a dehydrator (a Nesco Snackmaster Pro from Amazon that was only $56 on one of their instant deals) and it is a great way to do healthy snacks for the kids. I agree that the ones at the store are probably fried; I have given up trying to replicate them. This is also a great way to avoid food spoilage, as I use those bananas that are about to be too ripe to enjoy (and probably won’t survive a trip in the lunch bag) instead of throwing them away. Moon has some great tips that I look forward to trying!
I tried parchment with my second batch of bananas. The stuck to the parchment paper and were harder to get off than popping them from the back of the tray with a small knife.
Katy Sudlow says
Thanks for the tips at the end! I have done mine for like two days on the same dehydrator you have pictured, and I was wondering if it was just the quality of the dehydrator that made them not hard and crunchy. Thanks for the tips!!! I would probably do them again knowing that they aren’t supposed to take days to dry haha.
To make crispy banana chips in a dehydrator, you must cut them very thin. My dehydrator have no temp setting but I pre treat with lemon juice and let it sit in the dehydrator for 12-19 hrs. Remember to flip half way so is easier to remove later. It would still be “bendy” until you let it cool down then place in a jar with a little salt to draw out any moisture that might still be there. Once cool you should be able to snap it in half like chips!
Somaly Man says
Would it be okay to put the bananas on parchment paper and then onto the dehydrater? I have a food dehydrator but have not used them for anything else besides making beef jerky.
Dee Wolters says
I think parchment paper would not work well, as it would not allow the air to flow throughout the layers. My banana chips did not stick much, just a little, and I did not do anything but cut and lay on tray. Going to make lamb jerkey next.
Celia Husmann says
We have this dehydrator. You need to try sweet onions, they taste so good dehydrated! Like chips.. it’s crazy but trust me because it’s true!
You can spray the trays with cooking spray to help keep them from sticking as much.