Last updated on October 22nd, 2023 at 02:34 pm
Dehydrating bananas is a great way to make a batch of nutritious and delicious fruit snacks. Not only do the bananas taste good, they are also full of all the nutritional goodness of bananas in their fresh state. Learn how to make dehydrated banana chips, and stock your pantry with this tasty nutritious treat.
Making homemade banana chips is a great cost saving way to have these delicious snacks on hand, as they tend to be fairly expensive if you purchase them ready made.
Dehydrating bananas is a great way to prevent food waste by using up those fresh fruits and extra bananas to keep them for later.
The dried banana chips are great to pack as a portable and healthy snack, and you can take them with you on the go. Just throw them into ziploc bags, and take them with you on a walk or a hike.
Dehydrated fruit, including banana chips, also stores very well.
Are Dehydrated Bananas The Same As Banana Chips?
Dehydrated bananas are the same as banana chips. Dehydrating is just one ways to make them.
Freeze drying is another method for making crunchy banana chips.
As well, some bananas that are cooked in the air fryer on higher temperature settings are also called banana chips. These chips are crispy and cooked on the outside, however not dried through like the dehydrated versions.
Cooking banana chips at higher temperatures causes a loss of some nutritional value through the cooking process.
Dehydrated chips on the other hand mostly maintain their nutritional value, as the moisture from the fruit is the only thing that has been removed.
In fact dehydrated banana chips can have an increased amount of some nutrients, such as vitamin K, Vitamin B-6 and carbohydrates, and a slight decrease in others such as vitamin C.
Check out the nutrition of bananas versus dehydrated bananas at livestrong.com.
How To Make Dehydrated Banana Chips
There are a number of different ways to dehydrate bananas to make dehydrated banana chips.
We will have a look at three methods to make the chips:
- Dehydrating In The Dehydrator
- Oven Method For Dehydrating
- Dehydrating In The Air Fryer
All three methods are great choices, and depending on availability and amount of chips that you plan to make, some methods may be preferred over others.
Tools You May Need:
To dehydrate bananas for making banana chips, there are just a few tools that you will need. These include:
- a sharp knife
- a cutting board
- and either an air fryer, a dehydrator, or just your oven
- Fresh bananas
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Sea salt (optional)
To dehydrate fruit, including the bananas, the ideal temperature for the dehydration process is 135°F.
Your oven temperature will likely not go this low, so just use the lowest temperature setting, and you can open the oven door slightly on occasion if you wish, to reduce the heat inside the oven.
My oven goes down to 170°F, so this is the oven temperature that I used.
The air fryer may not have a dehydrate function, so if this is the case, do not use the unit for dehydrating. If your air fryer has the dehydrate setting, then you are good to go, and you will be able to set the temperature to 135°F.
Preparing The Banana Slices
Try to use firm bananas for dehydrating, for easier cutting and better results. Choose bananas that are ripe, but not overripe bananas, avoiding those with lots of brown spots.
Cut the bananas into evenly sized slices using a sharp knife. The reason of having the slices all one size is that they will dry at the same time, and be finished at the same time.
Uniformity is key for even drying of the slices.
This makes the drying process much easier.
Slice bananas approximately 1/4 to 1/8 inches thick.
Remember to try to make them all the same size, so choose one size, and go with that.
The thinner the slices the crispier the chips will be.
Using Lemon To Prevent Oxidation (Optional)
Some recipes use lemon juice to help prevent oxidation on the surface of the bananas. This can help to prevent them from turning brown.
This is totally optional, and in my experience, dehydrated bananas tend to turn brown anyway.
The chips will still taste good no matter what the colour, so you can decide if this step is for you in the preparation of your banana chips.
To use the lemon juice mixture, place the chips into a bowl of water with some lemon juice, and soak for about ten minutes. Alternately you can spray the surface of the banana slices with the lemon juice.
Sprinkle With Sea Salt (Optional)
Sprinkling the banana chips with sea salt prior to dehydrating is another optional step.
I personally love the taste of the sweet and salty.
The salt tends to bring out the sweetness in the chips, and helps to enhance the flavour.
Spray the Drying Surface With Cooking Spray (Optional)
I would recommend using an anti-stick cooking spray on the surface of the baking racks or dehydrator trays, such as olive or coconut oil, before placing the banana chips for dehydrating.
The bananas are sticky and can sometimes be difficult to peel off the trays once they are finished dehydrating.
The cooking spray makes removal of the final product much easier, in my experience.
How Long Does It Take To Dehydrate Banana Chips?
The length of time it takes to make dehydrated banana chips is variable, and dependent on a number of factors.
These factors include the ambient temperature, the dehydration method used, the humidity in the air, the size of the banana slices, as well as the moisture level in the fruit.
The timeframe for dehydrating can range from six to twelve hours, or even longer.
Enjoy the smell during the dehydration process, as it smells quite delicious. You dehydrating space and likely your kitchen will be filled with the wonderful aroma of drying bananas.
Different Methods For Dehydrating Banana Chips
We will be reviewing three different methods to dehydrate banana chips. These methods include using:
- a food dehydrator
- an oven
- and an air fryer with a dehydration setting
How To Make Dehydrated Banana Chips In The Dehydrator
Using a dehydrator to dry bananas is so easy, and is probably my most favourite way to make banana chips.
Dehydrators are so simple to operate, and generally come with multiple trays that are stackable upon each other. Food dehydrators provide quite a large area overall on which to dehydrate your banana chips.
The dehydrator works by warming up the air inside the unit, and then blowing the warm air with a fan. The banana chips get dehydrated by the warm air movement across the fruit over time.
Dehydrating In The Dehydrator
- Place the evenly sliced banana slices on a dehydrator tray that has been sprayed with a nonstick coating.
- Place the sliced bananas in a single layer, making sure that the pieces are not overlapping or touching each other.
- Set the dehydrator to the vegetable and fruit setting, which is 135°F.
- Stack the trays together and place the top on the unit. Plug it in.
- Dry fruit for 6 to 12 hours or longer, until the banana chips are dry.
- Check on the chips throughout the process to help determine if they have dried.
- Thin slices will be done earlier. Thicker slices will take longer.
- If the pieces are not as crispy as you would like, dehydrate for longer. The chips also have a tendency to become firmer when left out on the counter, after the dehydration process is over.
- Once the banana chips are dehydrated, turn off the machine and allow them to cool to room temperature.
- Once cool, store in an airtight container.
How To Make Dehydrated Banana Chips In The Oven
If you don’t have an air fryer or dehydrator for dehydrating, your oven is certainly an option.
The key to making the banana chips in the oven is to have the oven at the lowest temperature setting, otherwise you may end up cooking your banana slices rather than dehydrating them.
It’s important not to cook them if your plan is to dehydrate, as cooking will interfere with the preservation of the nutritional content.
Our oven goes as low as 170°F, so that is the temperature that I have used to successfully dehydrate many fruits. To bring the temperature down even lower, you can crack open the oven door slightly to allow some heat to escape.
Dehydrating In The Oven
- To dehydrate the banana chips in the oven, it’s a good idea to place the chips on a wire rack over a baking sheet.
- Getting them up off the cookie sheet will allow the warm air to circulate around the banana pieces during the drying process.
- If you have a convection oven this will also help with the air flow.
- Spray the baker’s rack with a nonstick coating before placing the pieces in a single layer onto the rack.
- Place the banana slices into the oven and dehydrate at the lowest oven temperature for six to 12 hours.
- Once the pieces are dry, remove the baking tray from the oven and allow the banana chips to cool down to room temperature.
- Once cool, store in an airtight container.
How To Make Dehydrated Banana Chips In The Air Fryer
Air Fryers are another great option for dehydrating fruit, as long as the unit has a dehydrate function. If there is no dehydrate function, you will not be dehydrating, but rather you will be cooking your banana chips.
Not to say that cooked banana chips aren’t good, they are just not dehydrated, and will not have the same nutritional value. They will also not be able to be stored like dehydrated banana chips can.
I find that the air fryers tend to have less volume to make large batches of dehydrated fruit in general, however they are still good for a small batch.
If you have several baskets within your air fryer unit on which to place your banana chips, that is a bonus.
Some air fryers also have room for stacking units that can be purchased separately. When placed inside the main air fryer basket, the stacking unit will increase the surface area to be used.
As with the food dehydrator, set the air fryer on 135°F for dehydrating fruit, including banana chips.
Remember to spray the air fryer baskets with a nonstick spray to prevent sticking.
Dehydrating In The Air Fryer
- Using the air fryer on the dehydrate setting is a great way to dry a small amount of fruit.
- Place the banana slices in the air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Place the basket inside the unit and turn on the dehydrate setting, with the temperature at 135°F.
- Dehydrate for six to twelve hours, depending on the thickness of the slices.
- Check on the slices throughout the process, every couple of hours or so, to determine dryness.
- Once you get to know your machine’s timeline for drying certain foods you won’t have to check as often.
- Different brands of air fryers can have different cooking and drying times, so it’s important to get to know your own machine.
- The banana chips will be done when they are dry to the touch and crispy. They may also be slightly chewy, depending on the thickness of the slices.
- Once done, remove the chips from the air fryer and allow them to cool down.
- When completely cool, store in an airtight container.
Dehydrated Banana Chips Recipe
- A bunch of fresh bananas
- Lemon juice (optional)
- Sea salt (optional)
- Cut the bananas into evenly sized slices using a sharp knife. The thinner the slices the crispier the chips will be.
- You can use lemon juice to help prevent oxidation on the surface of the bananas. This can help to prevent them from turning brown.
- To do this place the chips into a bowl of water with some lemon juice and soak for about ten minutes. Alternately you can spray the surface of the banana slices with the lemon juice. These are optional steps.
- Sprinkling the banana chips with sea salt prior to dehydrating is also an optional step. The salt helps to enhance the flavour of the chips.
- Use an anti-stick cooking spray on the surface of the baking racks or dehydrator trays, such as olive or coconut oil, before placing the banana chips on the trays for dehydrating.
- Dehydrate in a food dehydrator, an air fryer with a dehydrator setting, or in the oven at the lowest temperature setting.
- To dehydrate fruit, including the bananas, the ideal temperature for the dehydration process is 135°F. The oven temperature will likely be a bit higher.
- The timeframe for dehydrating can range from six to twelve hours, or even longer.
- Check on the banana chips during the dehydration process.
- Remove from the dehydrating unit when dry.
- Allow to cool, and then store in an airtight container such as a mason jar.
- Store for up to six months in a cool dry place.
Banana chips are easy to make. Not only are they a delicious snack, but they are also jam packed with goodness. Timeframe for dehydrating depends on a number of factors, including the method of dehydration, the brand of machine used, and the thickness of the slices just to name a few.
How Do You Dehydrate Banana Chips So They Are Crispy?
Crispy banana chips are possible with the dehydration process.
For best results, consider thinner banana slices.
Thinly cut banana chips will become quite crispy when dehydrated.
Thick slices tend to create more chewy banana chips, especially if they are not dried out completely.
The longer you leave the banana slices in the dehydrator, air fryer, or oven, the crispier they will become.
How To Store Dehydrated Bananas
- Dehydrated banana chips are easy to store in any airtight container.
- I usually use mason jars or glass jars to store dehydrated fruit, as they display so nicely, and the fruit pieces contained inside are easy to identify.
- Make sure to label with the date of drying for safety and expiration considerations.
- Dehydrated food should be stored in a cool and dry place for best storage options and a long shelf life.
- The snacks will be good for up to six months, that is, of course if they last that long.
- In our house, they have never lasted that long.
Banana chips are a great choice for dehydrated fruit, and a great snack to have on hand in the pantry.
These fruit snacks are made with simple ingredients, with your own bananas, and are easy to make.
Not only are they a delicious snack, but these tasty little morsels are also jam packed with goodness from the banana fruit itself.
Banana chips are easy to store, and a great way to preserve leftover fruit to eat much later.
They are a great on the go snack to take along with you in your travels, and are easily packed and carried.
See if you can pack them away after drying them without eating a few. They are truly hard to resist.
Have you ever tried to dehydrate banana chips using any of these methods? Be sure to leave a comment below to share your experience!