Dried Banana Chips




Introduction: Dried Banana Chips

Lets get cooking..
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 Discussions

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

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

    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

    may i ask which kind of dehydrator are you using?

    The extra ripe and soft would be great for ice cream:


    4 replies

    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.

    might take more time for me then, as i live in the tropics, 70% is the dryer days for me here.. most of the time it's 80+%.... :)

    Love it! I'll use the sun to dehydrate them. Thank you.

    You don't know what your missing if you haven't tried these.
    I use a gas oven with the pilot light. I remove them when they are chewy and not a hard chip like the store variety.It takes maybe 2 to 3 days. I lived on a sail boat and used them for snacks. They have been kept in a plastic bag in a drawer for 6 months with no detectable spoilage.
    Apples can be done in a similar manner.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1 reply

    The store bought hard chip like bananas are not dehydrated.
    They are boiled in oil... deep fried.. kinda takes the whole "healthy" issue away.

    I slice by bananas lengthwise through an egg slicer and let the slices fall into a bowl of lemon juice water.

    The browning is oxidation. (would that be banana-oxide?)
    The Vitamin C is an antioxidant

    The pilot light in the oven will work only if you have an incandescent old fashioned bulb (they release *lots* of heat, which is why they are being phased out ).

    1 reply

    What does a light bulb have to do with a pilot light.
    Pilot lights work just fine without light bulbs.
    Even though I prefer pilot lights, on gas stoves.they are a waste of gas.
    That's why they're being phased out.

    For getting consistent thickness in my slices, I've used an egg slicer. Just cut bananas in appropriate lengths to fit the slicer. I also have a long plastic slicer in the shape of a banana that does a great job also, slices the whole banana in one try.

    They WILL NOT taste like the store bought chips, but they WILL taste good :-)

    If you use a dehydrator that's a little on the hotter side(mine is old, and cranky. likes to run hot, and the fan is too slow), the sugar in them will partially caramelize. Neither good nor bad, just different. They will taste a little sweeter.

    The real trick is getting all those slices the same thickness, so they dehydrate properly, and you get a consistent finished product.
    If you are lucky like the author, and have massive amounts of firm bananas, use a mandolin slicer on it's thinnest setting.

    Good healthy snacks for pet dogs, rats, monkeys, and little brothers.
    They last a couple weeks before they begin going stale.
    As of yet, I've never had any actually go BAD.

    1 reply

    You can add some "Simple Syrup" to the water / citric acid / lemon juice solution to make the chips sweeter. You can also use honey or agave syrup.

    Simple syrup = 1 part sugar to 1 part water...bring to boil, simmer 10 minutes, cool & store in refrigerator. Also great for bar tending recipes and sweet tea.

    By pilot light I think that he means the small, constant flame used to ignight the burner...