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How to Dehydrate Bananas to Make Chewy Banana Chips or Banana Jerky

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image of bowl of dried banana chips

Bananas are a staple fruit in our home because they are so very inexpensive, even the organic bananas are much cheaper per pound than other fruits. And when I can find them marked down because they’re getting brown I buy all I can. We freeze some to use in smoothies and banana bread. But we also like to dehydrate bananas to make banana chips and banana jerky.

I like to use these worksheets to keep track of all the food I preserve and store. You can get them emailed to you by filling out the form below.

image of banana strips in dehydrator

How to make banana jerky

Banana jerky is just dehydrated banana sticks. Most of my kids prefer banana sticks to banana chips, I think because they’re chewier. I’m not a fan of either, but everyone else in my family (and my kids’ friends) love them.

To make dehydrated banana strips, peel the bananas and break them in half. We collect the banana peels to compost by burying them around various plants (trench composting.)

Divide each half into thirds. Bananas naturally have three sections so we just gently push our finger down the center lengthwise and the banana divides.

Dip banana sticks in lemon juice or citric acid and water if you don’t want them to turn brown (we don’t care so I usually skip this step.)

Put them in the dehydrator until dried. In our dehydrator (at 135°F) it takes about a day to dehydrate bananas. Just check them every so often to get them to the texture you like. We like them when they’re still a bit flexible and not crispy or hard. This the dehydrator I have; it works great, is reasonably priced, and doesn’t take up a lot of storage space.

image of banana chips in dehydrator

How to make chewy dehydrated banana chips

Are you looking to make crispy banana chips at home, you know like the ones  you find at the store? Well, it’s probably not going to happen.

If you just love the crispiness of store bought banana chips, enjoy them occasionally but don’t expect your home dehydrated banana chips to be crispy. Even though they’re different than store bought I think you’ll enjoy home made banana chips just as much once you accept that they’re different.

To make dehydrated banana chips, peel the bananas and slice them into 1/4″ slices. Collect the banana peels to compost.

Dip banana slices in lemon juice and water or citric acid and water if you don’t want them to turn brown (we don’t care so I usually skip this step.) You can also use a spray bottle and just spray the slices.

Edited to add: The recommended ratio of lemon juice to water is 1:1 according the National Center for Home Food Preservation. In the older Ball Blue Book the recommended ratio is 4:1 – four cups water to one cup lemon juice. You can use as much or as little lemon juice as you want, or none at all, since this isn’t a safety recommendation.

Put them in the dehydrator until dried. In our dehydrator (at 135°F) it takes about 8 hours to dehydrate bananas chips. Just check them every so often to get them to the texture you like.

image of dried banana jerky

Storing dehydrated bananas

I store dehydrated bananas in wide mouth quart size mason jars. If they are fully dehydrated they should store well for several month but we’ve never had them last that long.

If you want to store them for longer than a few months, I would suggest putting an oxygen absorber in the jar or storing the jar of dehydrated bananas in the freezer.

How to reconstitute dehydrated bananas

We like to eat dehydrated bananas as a snack but they can be reconstituted and used like fresh bananas – obviously,they won’t be exactly like fresh bananas but they’re pretty close. To reconstitute dehydrated bananas put one part bananas to one part water in a sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes.

How to Dehydrate Bananas to Make Chewy Banana Chips or Banana Jerky

How to Dehydrate Bananas to Make Chewy Banana Chips or Banana Jerky

Ingredients

  • Bananas
  • Lemon Juice

Instructions

  1. Peel the bananas
  2. If making banana chips, slice bananas in 1/4" slices. If making banana jerky, break the bananas in half then divide each half of banana into thirds.
  3. Dip banana slices (or sticks) in a lemon juice mixture or citric acid and water if you don't want them to turn brown (we don't care so I usually skip this step.) You can also put the the liquid in a spray bottle and spray them which works great if you're dehydrating a lot of bananas.
  4. Put them in the dehydrator until dried. In our dehydrator (at 135°F) it takes 8-12 hours to dehydrate bananas. Just check them every so often to get them to the texture you like. We like them when they're still a bit flexible and not crispy or hard. This the dehydrator I have; it works great, is reasonably priced, and doesn't take up a lot of storage space.
  5. Store dehydrated bananas in wide mouth quart size mason jars. If they are fully dehydrated they should store well for several months. If you want to store them for longer than a few months, I would suggest putting an oxygen absorber in the jar or storing the jar of dehydrated bananas in the freezer.
  6. To reconstitute dehydrated bananas put one part bananas to one part water in a sauce pan and simmer for 5 minutes - obviously,they won't be exactly like fresh bananas but they're pretty close.

Notes

The recommended ratio of lemon juice to water is 1:1 according the National Center for Home Food Preservation. In the older Ball Blue Book the recommended ratio is 4:1 - four cups water to one cup lemon juice. You can use as much or as little lemon juice as you want, or none at all, since this isn't a safety recommendation.

 

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image of dehydrating banana chips

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