How to Dehydrate Bananas in Food Dehydrator
Bananas are one of the most wholesome foods that contain a wide range of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. A popular snack, bananas can be made even better when they’re dehydrated as chips or fruit leather to be consumed at a later date. Bananas are a nutritious source of vitamins and minerals and dehydrating bananas is a simple process that can give you a unique and flavorsome snack.
With a good dehydrator in your kitchen, you can dehydrate large batches of bananas to keep them as a snack for traveling, hiking or vacations. What’s more, you can also rehydrate the bananas to make delicious snacks like pudding.
Why Are Bananas the Best Food for Dehydrating?
Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. There are also useful minerals in bananas such as potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus. There are also traces of fluoride, selenium, iron, zinc, and copper in bananas making them one of the most accessible super-foods. The best part about dehydrating bananas that none of the vitamins or minerals are lost in the process and you can enjoy all these benefits in dried bananas as you would while eating fresh bananas.
Let’s Have a Look at How to Dehydrate Bananas
Whether you’re new to dehydrating or you’ve been an experienced in dehydrating for a long time, dehydrating bananas is an easy task. Here are the things you’ll need in order to start with dehydrating bananas:
- A bunch of bananas
- A knife
- A dehydrator
The step by step process for dehydrating bananas is as following:
Peel the skin of the bananas and cut them into circular pieces or lengthwise slices depending on your preference.
Note: Thickness of bananas slice depends on user preference. I recommend to try 1/5 inches to 1/8 inches banana slice thickness.
Squeeze the lemons into a bowl and mix them with one part water. If you like your banana slices to have a slightly lemony taste, you can skip adding water and just soak the slices in lemon juice.
Soak the banana slices in the lemon juice for one minute or so. This step is important because it helps to prevent the browning of the bananas which can give them a really off color. The juice will not affect the taste of the bananas but it acts a preservative.
Place the bananas in the dehydrator and set the temperature at 135 degrees F. Make sure the bananas don’t touch each other as they might end up sticking to each other. Usually, bananas take somewhere from 10-12 hours to dehydrate properly. But you can check around the six-hour mark and flip the slices if needed.
If the bananas come off too easily from the trays while removing, dry them for a few more hours. They should be of a leathery and slightly sticky consistency.
Store the bananas in an airtight container so that they do not spoil and you can eat them even after months of storage.
Things to Do Before Dehydrating Bananas
The preparation for dehydrating bananas can help you in saving time and effort by a great degree. Here are some of the preparation steps that are essential for drying bananas.
- If the bananas are soft and difficult to cut, put them in your refrigerator for a while so that they firm up and you can cut them easily.
- If you want to add flavors to your banana slices, you can add a dash of salt or cinnamon powder to make them taste salty or sweet.
- You can also dip the banana slices in chopped nuts or dried coconut flakes to add a unique texture and flavor to the finished product.
- If you plan to store bananas in jars, make sure the jars are already washed and dried so that there is no moisture in the jars.
- To prevent the banana slices from sticking to the trays, you can spray the trays with a drizzle of olive oil.
- You can also add some uncooked rice at the bottom of the jar that you use for storing banana chips. Rice sucks away the moisture from the jar and keeps the banana slices dry.
Types of Dishes You Can Make by Dehydrating Bananas
Banana Fruit Leather
Peel the bananas and place each banana on a piece of parchment paper. Cover it up with another parchment sheet. Use a heavy board to press on the bananas till they’re flat between the sheets. Remove the top sheet and place the sheet containing the bananas in the dehydrator. Dry at 135ºF temperature for six to seven hours. Once the bananas are ready they should have a leathery consistency. You can roll them up with the sheets and store in a cool, dry place and they’ll be good for months.
Banana Crispy Chips
Making crispy chips is easy. You can also add salt or cinnamon powder to give the chips a unique taste. For making banana crispy chips, cut the bananas in circular pieces and place them in the dehydrator.
Make sure there is some space between each slice and there is no overlap of slices. Dry these slices for 10-12 hours and you’ll have perfectly crispy chips that you can enjoy anytime.
Banana Chewy Wedges
Chewy banana wedges are a delight and they make a wholesome and fulfilling snack. Cut bananas lengthwise and soak them in 1 part water and one part lime juice. This prevents the bananas from browning.
You can then place these slices in the dehydrator and dry them at 135*F for 6 hours. Then flip the pieces over and dehydrate for another six hours till you get slices that are slightly chewy in consistency.
Things to Take Care of While Dehydrating Bananas
While drying bananas is an easy task and you can almost leave the bananas unsupervised while they’re drying, there are still some things you must take care of while drying bananas. Here’s a look at some of these things:
- Make sure the bananas are cut properly. Use a sharp knife for cutting bananas or freeze the bananas for a while if they’re too soft to cut properly.
- Start drying the bananas in the morning so that you can monitor the process through the day. You can leave the dehydrator on overnight if you’re drying a large batch for a long duration.
- Make sure the lemon juice is freshly squeezed because if you leave it for some time, it might become less potent.
- The banana chips will be really hot when you check on them in middle of the dehydrating session. Make sure you use a fork or a knife to pick them up. Let them cool for about ten minutes before trying a taste test.
- Don’t place the banana slices or wedges on top of each other as they will not get proper heat that way. Ensure there is some space between all the slices.
- Remember to check on the banana slices in the middle of dehydration session, around the six hour mark and flip the pieces over so that the other side can dry properly too.
- If you intend to add some flavoring to the bananas, remember, a little can go a long way in a dehydrator. So, use flavors accordingly.
Videos Showing How to Dehydrate Bananas
How to Clean the Dehydrator after Dehydrating Bananas
You can read through our complete guide on cleaning your dehydrator here. Let’s have a quick look at how you can clean your dehydrator after you’re done drying a batch of bananas.
- Let the dehydrator cool after you’ve switched it off. Take the banana slices off the trays and store the slices as needed.
- Take off the trays and wide them off with a wet cloth to remove any small food particles.
- If the trays feel too sticky, you can leave them to soak in a sink filled with warm water.
- Scrub any stuck banana particles off with a sponge or a scrubber.
- If the trays are dishwasher safe, you can also wash them in a dishwasher at the lowest setting with warm water.
- Make sure you clean the base of the dehydrator with a wet cloth and soapy water to ensure no banana particles or sugar residue is stuck there.
- Let all components dry properly before using them again or storing them away for future usage.
Dried bananas make a wonderful snack for kids, adults and the whole family. You can also store these away for a few months in an airtight jar without worrying that these would get spoiled. Banana leather is tasty, nutritious, and filling as well. What’s more, making dried banana snacks is very easy and you can enjoy a wholesome and healthy snack that’s made in your own house under your supervision.
When you know there are no added chemicals or preservatives in your snacks, it’s even more fun to share them with the whole family. So what are you waiting for? Get your bananas and start dehydrating.