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.
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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.
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.
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
- Lemon Juice
- Peel the bananas
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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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What fruits do you like to dehydrate?
Brenda s Johnson
Monday 25th of October 2021
I have the done bananas a couple of times and I haven't sprayed the crate or the parchment paper and they stick what am I doing wrong
Monday 25th of October 2021
Hmmm, I'm sure... these will not be as dry as store bought banana chips. Mine stick to the dehydrator trays some but not terribly bad. If the bananas are super ripe, they will be more sticky because they have more sugar content.
Tuesday 10th of November 2020
HELP!!! My banana chips are firm and not sticky when I put them in a (lidded) jar for conditioning, but hours later they're all stuck together and soft. Is this normal, or am I not dehydrating long enough? I've had this happen with cherries also.
Friday 13th of November 2020
If you live in a humid area this is more likely to happen. As long as there is no condensation in the jar they are dry enough. For long term storage I would suggest using silica (desiccant) packets or food saver bags (or using the food saver to seal the lid).
Saturday 31st of October 2020
I have dried bananas for many years. When our Boys were in school they took a brown bag lunch--usually including dried fruit of one kind or another. My method of drying bananas was to push my finget down the center of the banana lengthwise, not dip them in any citric acid and dry them. The finished prodect was what the Boys gleefully called "Dried Benena Sl;ugs". You can imagine the fun they had taking "Dried Banana Slugs" to school for lunch!!!
Monday 9th of November 2020
What a fun memory! I'll have to share that phrase with my grandson, he'll love it!
Saturday 1st of August 2020
In the Ball blue book , it calls for 1 cup of lemon juice to 1 quart of water
Sunday 2nd of August 2020
There are quite a few different lemon juice recommendations for the lemon and water mixture. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends a 1:1 mixture. You can use whichever one you prefer - or none. We do so many at a time that I skip the lemon juice step.
Saturday 4th of April 2020
Has anyone ever tried doing different fruits or veggies jerky soaked in beef jerky mix or anything other than beef? Hope this don't sound stupid.
Monday 11th of May 2020
Having a vegetarian wife, I use my jerky mix to make her jerky using vegetable protein meat (I use farmland protein starters, because it works just like hamburger meat with my jerky gun). I only found a few things I have had to modify, so I can use the base mix for both my meat and her protein stuff is finding vegetarian things in the recipe that are not normal, such as worcestershire sauce. By accident, I found that one of my favorites, cajun power worcestershire sauce, was in fact vegetarian without even researching it first. I am not sure putting fruits and veggies in meat jerky sauce would taste very good.
Saturday 4th of April 2020
Hi Ronald, that doesn't sound stupid at all. I've made savory dehydrated vegetables before, in fact, in my upcoming book The Ultimate Guide to Preserving Vegetables, there are several recipes for savory dehydrated vegetables. You'll need to blanch the vegetable first and then soak it in the savory mix before you dehydrate them. My book will be out in early June and it has detailed instructions in it. My best advice is to just try small amounts and keep notes on what you try.