Years ago, our landlady used to bring us dehydrated bananas when she had an abundance. Personally, I am a “fresh banana or no banana at all, thanks” girl, but my guys loved them. They were not the crunchy banana chips that are commonly sold in stores. These were chewy and it took them no time to snarf down those healthy snacks.
These days, we harvest 40-50 pounds of bananas at a time. There’s no way we can eat that many fresh before they go bad, so drying them makes sense. If you don’t have a banana crop like we do, keep your eyes open for overripe bananas on sale and use those.
My landlady cut her dehydrated bananas lengthwise. I did it like that for awhile, but I found it tedious to cut them this way. It’s a lot easier to just slice the bananas across their length. As you can see in the photo, some end up round, others are cut a bit more on a diagonal. Truly, any of these ways work. Play around with it a bit to see what’s fastest for you.
Making Dehydrated Bananas
- Ripe bananas
- about 1/2 cup lemon juice for every 5 pounds of bananas
Before you start, make sure you have a container in which to put the peels. I use a 5-gallon bucket to tote the peels out to the compost when I’m done.
Peel the bananas, collecting the peeled fruit into a large bowl. It will be fastest if you can peel them all at once.
Slice the bananas 1/4″ thick. Place sliced bananas into a bowl or tray with lemon juice. Toss the sliced bananas in the juice.
When you have about four cups of sliced bananas, spread them out on a dehydrator tray, then repeat. I like to fit as many as I can on each tray without letting them overlap. (Touching slightly is not a problem.)
Once your dehydrator is full, or you’ve sliced all the bananas you’ll be drying, turn it on to 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 hours. This of course depends on your climate and humidity and dehydrator. Plan to be around to check them during those last couple of hours.
Tips from experience
It helps to have a lovely assistant. If you can wrangle someone into peeling the bananas while you slice, it will go much more quickly.
Timing is important. Plan to turn the dehydrator on in the morning so the bananas can be put away that evening, or start them in the evening so they can dry overnight. You can let them go longer, absolutely, but they might be a bit more on the dry side.
I have a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator. It takes about 35-40 pounds of bananas to fill it. Dehydrated, those bananas will fill a gallon jar or thereabouts.