I love bananas.
I love how inexpensive they are to purchase. I love how easy they to just throw in your bag for a healthy snack on the go. But I especially love the fact that my children will eat them and ask for me instead of pitching a fit over a healthy food.
So when I discovered that you could dehydrate bananas, I was ecstatic.
The fun doesn’t stop there. There are multiple different ways to dehydrate bananas and some don’t require any fancy equipment. Which means the next time you see bananas on sale, you can stock up because you now have a way to preserve this healthy and tasty treat.
1. Sun Drying
Dehydrating bananas by sunlight is a great and natural way of preserving food. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment to get started either.
So you’ll need to be sure that you have bananas, a rack to dry them on, and some lemon juice. Next, you’ll need to peel the bananas from their skins as they are not what we are after here.
But if you are looking for ways to utilize the banana peels, here are a few ideas for you so you don’t waste anything in this process.
Then you’ll need to slice the bananas in to thin slices. How thin you want to go is your preference, but I will recommend to make them as thin as possible so they will dry faster.
Your next step will be to dip them in the lemon juice briefly. This is to keep your bananas from turning brown during the dehydrating process.
Finally, you’ll place them on a wire drying rack and place them in the direct sunlight outdoors. You could use a solar oven to get the job done, or if you have a screened in porch that gets sunlight that might be a good place for this too.
Basically, you want them to get sunlight but not be devoured by bugs either. When the banana chips are crisp then you know it is time to bring them in.
So you can preserve these bananas by storing them in an air tight container, putting them in Ziploc bags and freezing them, or by vacuum sealing them.
2. In the Microwave
Who knew that you could use your microwave for dehydrating foods? Well, you can! It is a quick and easy process and one that you’ll definitely be glad that you knew about.
You’ll begin by peeling the bananas, as we did in the previous method. Next, you’ll want to slice the bananas.
Again, this is about your preference, though a recommended slice would be between a ½ centimeter and 1 centimeter.
Next, you’ll place the bananas on a microwave safe plate and make a single layer. If you are dehydrating a lot of bananas, then you’ll need to repeat this step multiple times.
Then you’ll put the microwave on defrost and defrost the bananas for 10-15 minutes. This time may vary by microwave so when your bananas feel sticky when you touch them, know that they are good to go.
Finally, you’ll pull them out of the microwave and place them on a baking rack. Let them sit on this rack for 24 hours. They should be fully dehydrated by this time.
Then you can store them as mentioned in method one.
3. Fruit Leathers
I love fruit leathers. I know most people are only familiar with the store bought kind but making your own homemade fruit leathers is super simple and healthy.
So I should note that there are actually two ways to make these fruit leathers. I’ll tell you the difference when we get there, but the beginning steps are the same.
You’ll begin by peeling your bananas. Next, you’ll slice the bananas. This time it doesn’t really matter how small or big you cut the pieces.
The next steps is where this process begins to vary. If you decide to finish this process in the oven, you’ll need to spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Then use a spatula to spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheet. You will bake it on 175 degrees Fahrenheit until it is turned into leather. This usually takes around 2-2.5 hours.
However, if you notice that the outside edges are getting done first, then cut them off and allow the center to continue to cook.
When finished, you allow them to cool, then cut, and store in storage bags or containers.
If you decide to use a dehydrator, you’ll need to place parchment paper inside your dehydrator and spread the banana puree over the sheets. You might want to build up the edges a little thicker than the center.
You will then follow the instructions of your dehydrator for drying times. It usually takes about 6-12 hours. When you can peel the mixture off of the parchment paper, then you will want to lay it flat on the dehydrating screen so it will dry faster.
When it is completely finished dehydrating, you can cut your fruit leathers into the desired size and then store in bags or air tight containers.
4. In the Oven
Just because you want to dehydrate bananas, doesn’t mean that you have to own a dehydrator. In fact, if you have a working oven, you can dehydrate bananas all day long.
So you’ll begin by peeling the bananas and slicing them into thin slices. If your bananas are turning mushy when you slice them, then place them in the fridge for about 10 minutes to make them firm and try it again.
Also, if you like your chips to have flavor, then you might want to consider sprinkling some salt, cinnamon, or other spice on the chips before they enter the oven.
Next, you’ll place them on a baking sheet that is either lined with parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick cooking oil. You can also place them on a cooking rack by themselves. If you choose this option be sure to place a baking sheet under them when in the oven so it will catch drips.
You will want to set your oven on the lowest temperature it has available in order to dry the bananas low and slow. Allow the bananas to cook until crisp. If you cut them into chips then it should only take about 2-3 hours for them to be dry completely.
However, be sure to keep a close eye on them for safety reasons. After they are completely dry, be sure to store them in bags or a container.
This is the method I use most frequently because it is so simple. If you have a dehydrator, then you know how wonderful they are.
My husband built us a huge dehydrator that we use for drying fruits and making jerky on a regular basis. So if this is your preference, then you’ll begin like the other methods by peeling and slicing your bananas into the desired size.
You’ll want to add any desired seasonings next. This step is totally optional, though. Then you’ll need to place the bananas on the drying racks inside the dehydrator. Depending upon the size of your dehydrator will greatly depend upon drying time.
If you are doing a small batch, I’d say give it 5 or so hours to be completely dry. If you are doing larger batches, it might take longer. Follow the instructions on your dehydrator for clarity.
But basically, if you watch them, then you’ll know when they are completely dried and ready to consume.
After the drying process is complete, you’ll want to store them in a bag or container to make storage easier.
Recipes for Dehydrated Bananas:
It shouldn’t be surprising that you can make a ton of varieties of dehydrated bananas. So if you like dehydrated bananas and would like to make different varieties for healthy, frugal snacks, then you might find these recipes interesting.
So here are 4 recipes to help you make a variety of dehydrated bananas:
1. Peanut Butter Banana Chips
This recipe sounds so delicious. I love peanut butter, and I like bananas too. So it makes since to combine the two even when dehydrating.
The ingredients are few, and the recipe does use a dehydrator. But I’m sure if you wanted to adapt it to another method mentioned in this article, you could.
2. Baked Cinnamon Banana Chips
If you like cinnamon then you might want to follow this recipe and add it to your banana chips. The recipe calls for very little ingredients and is pretty simple.
This recipe calls for the baked method, but again, you can adjust it to a different method if desired I’m sure.
3. Chocolate Banana Fruit Roll Up
This recipe would be a great variation for the fruit leather method. If you like chocolate and bananas, then why not form them into a delicious fruit roll up?
So this method does use a dehydrator, but again, you could use a different method with some tweaking, I’m sure.
4. DIY Larabar Banana Bread
This recipe looks delicious. It is also a great way to utilize dehydrated bananas. This recipe appears healthy too.
So if you like banana bread and need a way to utilize all of those banana chips, then you might want to check this recipe out.
Well, now that you know all of these different methods do dehydrate bananas, you should always have a healthy snack on hand.
Also, if you follow the 4 recipes listed above, then you shouldn’t get bored with the same flavors either. So it is great that you can have a frugal, healthy snack with so many variations.
But I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter. What is your favorite way to dehydrate fruit? Do you have a specific fruit that you enjoy dehydrated more than others? Is there any fruit that you feel dehydrates better than others? Is there a fruit you don’t recommend dehydrating? If so, why?
We are all here to learn and would love to hear any insight you care to share with us. Just please leave your comments in the space provided below.