Banana Chips: An Easy Real Food Treat!43
I was about to buy some banana chips in the store the other day, but I stopped when I looked at the ingredient list. In addition to ‘bananas’ was sugar, coconut oil and the dubious-sounding “banana flavor” or isoamyl acetate. You’d think the bananas would be the thing that would provide adequate banana flavor and sweetness! It got me thinking though, that banana chips should be easy enough to make at home.
I know that it should be easy to make banana chips in a food dehydrator – but alas, I don’t have one. Based on some beef jerky experiments (that haven’t worked unfortunately), I figured I could turn the oven on low and use it as my over-sized dehydrator! These easy oven-dried banana chips are delicious, though the problem we had around here was that most of them were eaten before they got sufficiently crispy. Ideally, you’ll want them to cool a bit after their time in the oven, otherwise they’ll be a bit chewy, but they’re still delicious that way. (Update: I did end up getting a dehydrator, much faster and energy efficient. Check out the table at the end of this post for a comparison of six popular dehydrator models.)
Bananas are a good source of dietary fiber and minerals like potassium, manganese and vitamins B6 and C. And while they’re already a great, portable snack, when they’re dried as chips, they satisfy a sweet-tooth and give a little crunch!
- 3 large bananas
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Peel and slice bananas in 1/4"-thick slices (or thinner).
- Lay slices on cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Dip your fingers in lemon juice and brush each banana slice with lemon juice to prevent excessive browning of the bananas.
- Bake at 200F (or as low as your oven will go), for 1.5 hours.
Using parchment paper will help prevent the bananas from sticking to your cookie sheet. Baking time will vary depending on your texture preference and oven temperature. 1.5 hours worked for me, though if you use a slightly higher heat, you may only need an hour, or if you want crisper chips, you might want to go longer in the oven to 1h 45min or 2 hours.
Food Dehydrator Comparison Table
|Name||Price||Description||Weight (pounds)||Limited Warranty (yr)||Watts|
|Nesco Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator||$||Top-mounted fan, adjustable thermostat from 95-to-160°F; Flavors don't mix, no need to rotate trays, opaque exterior blocks harmful lights; Includes recipe book, 2 solid sheets, 2 mesh sheets, and 3 jerky spice packets||9||1||600|
|Excalibur Food Dehydrator||$$$||9-Tray dehydrator, 15 square feet of drying space; Built in on/off switch and adjustable thermostat with 26 hour timer; Includes and flexible polyscreen tray inserts to prevent foods from sticking; Great for large familes and gardens||22||10||440|
|Nesco American Harvest 1000-watt Food Dehydrator Kit||$$||Expandable to 30 trays; Adjustable Thermostat; Includes 8 each Trays, Fruit Roll Sheets, Clean a Screens; Includes How to Dry Foods Book||20||1||1000|
|L'Equip Dehydrator||$$||Adjustable thermostat with computer-controlled sensor; 6 stacking trays for a total of 12 square feet of drying space; Instructional booklet with recipes and drying times included||11||10||500|
|Nesco American Harvest 400-watt Food Dehydrator||$||Expandable to 7 trays; Clear top to monitor the drying process; Fan forced radial air flow means no tray rotation needed; All components dishwasher safe except the power head||5||1||400|
|Sedona Digitally Controlled Food Dehydrator||$$$$||Easy on/off switch, electronic digital display with digital temperature control and timer; Quiet, energy efficient operation; See-through glass door; BPA free plastic trays and tray mesh screens; Dual fan technology||23||5||550|
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