These chewy dried bananas are a great healthy snack and dehydrating bananas couldn’t be easier. Here’s how to dry bananas, transforming brown bananas into a sweet treat for your pantry or even your emergency supplies.
Dehydrating bananas: Not your usual banana chips
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 like Trader Joe’s banana chips. It took them no time to snarf down those healthy snacks.
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Take a look at how I dehydrate bananas:
Making dried bananas is a great way to salvage overripe fruit
These days, we harvest 40-50 pounds of bananas at a time. There’s no way we can eat that many fresh bananas before they go bad, so dehydrating bananas 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 to make these chewy dried bananas. They need to be sliceable, though. Save the really overripe bananas for this banana bread.
Drying bananas at home — especially with sale-priced bananas — is much less expensive than buying the tiny packs for snacking.
How to dehydrate bananas
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 or on a diagonal. As you can see in the photo above, 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 easiest for you when dehydrating bananas. There’s not really a rulebook on how to dehydrate bananas properly — we can be a bit flexible here!
I coat the sliced bananas with fresh lemon juice. This can help prevent browning, but the lemon imparts a nice tangy flavor to the bananas. When I’ve skipped this step, there have been complaints. Your mileage may vary.
If you’ve got an abundance of dried bananas in the pantry, chop some into this healthy waffle recipe!
★ Did you make these chewy dehydrated bananas? Don’t forget to give them a star rating below!
Chewy Dehydrated Bananas
These chewy dehydrated bananas are a great healthy snack and they're easy to make. Transform brown bananas into chewy dried bananas for your pantry or emergency supplies.
- 5 pounds Ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
NOTE: For every five pounds of bananas, use 1/2 cup of lemon juice. It will take 20 or so pounds to fill a 9-tray dehydrator. Adjust the amount to suit your needs.
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. Believe it or not, a mandoline works great for this. 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.
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. For chewy dried bananas, 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 crispy 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.