Dried Banana Chips

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Introduction: Dried Banana Chips

Living in New Orleans can be very interesting when it comes to cuisine choices.

Due to recent  high winds from Hurricane Issac many banana trees were blown down before their fruit had a chance to fully ripen. A quick drive around the neighborhood produced several stalks of free bananas for the taking. These stalks can weigh upwards of 30-50 lbs -- now that's a whole lot of bananas!

 What to do with that many bananas before they go bad?

1. My favorite use of the green ones are to make french fries.These can be frozen for future use. When cooked the taste is indistinguishable from potato fries.

2. The firm ripe bananas are used for drying into banana chips

3. The soft ripe bananas are mashed for banana nut muffins.  

 I have created Instructables  for all three uses of bananas.

Step 1: Before Getting Started:

Clear Banana Juice Will Permanently Stain Clothing

 As most folks who have babies know, the clear juice from bananas will put a permanent stain in clothing. The problem is that you don't see the stains until after the garment is washed.

Here is a good trick - not for your old banana juice stains, but for preventing those accidental new ones when you forget to wear your "banana shirt". 
Keep the clothes wet until you launder them. I did one quick test - it was laundry day, and I took an old white t-shirt and got banana juice on it good. Dropped it in the washing machine - set on cold wash pretty much straight away, and it came out 99% no stain. So maybe just a bucket of clean cold water immediately would do it.

Wearing a plastic apron is the safest way to keep from getting the dreaded "banana stains".

Step 2: Ingredents/ Supplies Needed

Use only firm ripe bananas - if they are too soft/ripe the chips won't become crisp.

Food grade Citric Acid @ 1 teaspoon per gallon of water, or lemon juice @ 3-4 Tablespons per gallon of water for soaking. This will keep the chips from darkening during drying and storage.

A large bowl for soaking the fresh cut banana slices.

A solar or electric dehydrator - or, you can put them in old-time oven with the pilot light on.

Step 3: Preparation and Drying

Slice the peeled bananas 1/4" thick.

Place them into the bowl of acidulated (citric acid/ lemon juice) water.

Stir and let the chips soak for at least 10 minutes.

Drain and place (with no overlaying slices) on the dehydrator trays.

Let dry until the chips are stiff and not sticky.

Step 4: Packaging and Storage

After the chips have fully dried, let them cool then store in an airtight storage container. I use freezer bags and store the chips in the freezer. The quality of the chips will last longer in a cool/cold dark storage area (freezer).

The chips are great for snacking or adding to recipes for a surprise treat.

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    25 Comments

    i just want to know.. why do that taste so bad though?

    user

    Similarly, you could fry them instead of dry them :)

    user

    The ascorbic/citric/lemon acid won't stop the bananas from browning when you dehydrate them (as seen in the pics). Use a honey wash if you want them to keep color :) Pure honey, or honey diluted with sugar syrup.

    FYI - If you want your bananas to last longer you can put them in a plastic bag or cover just the tips of the bananas with plastic wrap to keep them from getting brown too fast. It works. The tips is where the gases excape and makes them turn brown faster. I slice them up and put them in the freezer to put the frozen ones in my morning milk shake for breakfast. My Magic Bullit blender mashes it up nicely and saves from watering down you shake.

    Great foraging! Thanks for posting this - we have been wanting to make these for ages! Hope everything is going well down in New Orleans, the one and only time Sue and I ever came to America was to a Physics Conference there, years ago. We have very fond memories of the beauty of the place, the warmth of the people and of course the great music. All the very best from France, Organikmechanic aka Andy

    Beauty..
    may i ask which kind of dehydrator are you using?

    The extra ripe and soft would be great for ice cream:
    https://www.instructables.com/id/1-ingredient-Ice-Cream/

    cheers..

    In this Instructable I am using an Oster 4 tray dehydrator. It is an inexpensive model that you have to rotate the trays during drying to get even results.

    Thanks.. will look it up...
    Oh, how long did it take for your banana to be ready?
    thanks again..

    These chips took 10-12 hours to dry, I live in a climate with very high humidity(70+%.) so less time would be required in drier areas.