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How to Make Addictive Chewy Dried Bananas — You Won’t Stop at One

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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.

Try making dehydrated strawberries or apples, too!

Dehydrated bananas stacked in a green bowl on a reddish striped tablecloth. Fresh bananas in the background

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.

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 sourdough banana bread, these easy pumpkin banana muffins, or this gluten free banana bread that gets raves.

Drying bananas at home — especially with sale-priced bananas — is much less expensive than buying the tiny packs for snacking.

dehydrading bananas: sliced bananas in a dehydrator

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!

Dehydrated bananas stacked in a green bowl on a reddish striped tablecloth. Fresh bananas in the background

★ Did you make these chewy dehydrated bananas? Don’t forget to give them a star rating below!

Chewy Dehydrated Bananas

Chewy Dehydrated Bananas

Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds Ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Peel the bananas, collecting the peeled fruit into a large bowl. It will be fastest if you can peel them all at once.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.)
  6. 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 204Unsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 2mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 5gSugar: 28gProtein: 2g

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Meet the Author

Kris Bordessa

Kris Bordessa founded Attainable Sustainable as a resource for revitalizing vintage skills. Her book, Attainable Sustainable: The Lost Art of Self-Reliant Living (National Geographic) offers a collection of projects and recipes to help readers who are working their way to a more fulfilling DIY lifestyle.

37 comments… add one
  • John Martins Nov 29, 2016, 12:36 pm

    I’ve always wanted to make dehydrated bananas, and it seems easier to dehydrate them than other forms of fruit. Is there a way to do this without a dehydrator? Could I use my oven instead? I’ve tried making beef jerky in the oven and it came out okay. But, I disliked the amount of time I had to leave the oven running.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 4, 2016, 9:42 am

      It can be done in a low oven, yes. But there’s the expense of running an oven for hours at a time, then. Another alternative when the weather is good? You can do it in your CAR. (Really.) I would experiment with fruit before doing meat that way, though.

  • Wanda Dec 4, 2016, 9:39 am

    How do you do this with not having or affording a dehydrator?
    Can it be done in an oven?

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 4, 2016, 9:41 am

      It can be done in a low oven, yes. But there’s the expense of running an oven for hours at a time, then. Another alternative when the weather is good? You can do it in your CAR. (Really.)

  • Jennifer L. Jan 15, 2017, 10:39 am

    Okay, we live on the big island and we get tons of bananas from our “banana forest.” I tried drying them once and felt pretty happy with the results when they were done; however, they went bad pretty fast and our jars of dried fruit went moldy. I expect it has to do with the ambient moisture here. How do you store them? I am about to start another batch today since we have about a million bananas on my counter looking at me longingly. Maybe keep them in the fridge? Any other ways you use up all the bananas? I am, very unfortunately, allergic to the lovely bananas! How can that be? I don’t understand it at all. I have two big kids that currently eat bananas and it’s a lot of work for them to keep up. We had an easier time with an abundance of raspberries in our garden in Santa Cruz! Those never went bad! I am going to try the lemon juice too this time–I didn’t do that last time and it was fine, but maybe it might help on the preservation side of things.

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 15, 2017, 11:20 am

      Aloha Jennifer! Is it possible that your bananas weren’t dry enough? If too much moisture remains, they will mold. We rarely keep our bananas for more than a couple of weeks, as my kids and husband go through them very quickly! I’ve had other fruit mold, though, and I feel like it’s because I didn’t let them dry enough. One last idea is to store them with a desiccant pack. (This is the ticket to storing grains, too!) I make my own: https://www.attainable-sustainable.net/desiccant/

    • Ken Sep 26, 2019, 3:39 am

      My bananas stick to the plastic tray and hard to get of what am I doing wrong

      • Kris Bordessa Sep 26, 2019, 10:30 am

        They do stick a bit. I pick up the flexible trays and bend them to help “release” the bananas.

  • Paula Johnstone-Whitehawk Aug 11, 2017, 3:20 am

    Just picked up a lot of Bananas and was wondering how they would dehydrate. So good timing! I am getting right to it. Good article. Thanks.

  • Michelle Mar 24, 2018, 6:53 pm

    These make a yummy snack and were easy to make.

  • Chris Aug 5, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Aloha! Mahalo for sharing your recipe, the only question I had was do you use anything on top the grate to lay the bananas on, parchment or wax paper etc? Had tried drying bananas on cookie cooling racks in the oven over a pan but they wanted to stick. Just bought a dehydrator and didn’t know if they would need any additional help to release Fromm the trays.

    • Kris Bordessa Aug 5, 2018, 4:33 pm

      The dehydrator I use (Excalibur) has bendy sheets of perforated plastic. The bananas peel off that pretty well. I think the flexibility in the sheets helps. I wouldn’t use wax paper or anything — that will prevent air from flowing. Is there an owner’s manual you can look at for suggestions?

  • SUSAN ALLEY Sep 25, 2018, 12:06 pm

    I spray my dehydrating trays lightly with ‘Pam’

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 17, 2018, 9:39 am

      I prefer not to use Pam, but I imagine a light coating of olive oil could work, too.

  • Monique B Oct 1, 2018, 12:19 pm

    Hi Kris, just tried this and I have to tell you, these banana slices lasted less than a week. Don’t know how many pounds I started with but we went through them like nothing else. Don’t like the rock hard ones you get in the store but these are AWESOME!

    • Kris Bordessa Oct 1, 2018, 6:51 pm

      Glad to hear that! My family loves the m.

  • Linda Dollak Nov 17, 2018, 4:45 am

    I have a dehydrator and will try dehydrating bananas. Do I dehydrate the bananas while green, slightly ripe or totally ripe? Eating raw green bananas don’t taste very good, so I would think dehydrated green ones would not taste good either. Thank you.

    • Kris Bordessa Nov 23, 2018, 1:31 pm

      Ripe, but not mushy.

  • Jay Dec 2, 2018, 7:00 pm

    Hi,

    Thanks for your nice article. Just wondering lemon juice acts like a preservative or serves some other function.

    Will dipping it in honey serve the same purpose?

    Do all types of banana give similar results or are smaller ones I’ve better than the normal larger ones.

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 4, 2018, 2:20 pm

      It’s not necessary for preserving the bananas. It helps (a bit) with discoloration and gives it the flavor we like. I’ve never tried dipping them in honey, but that sounds like it could turn into a sticky mess. (If you try it, let me know!)

      I’ve used both full-sized and apple bananas; both work equally well.

    • Contessa P Jan 5, 2019, 4:45 pm

      My dehydrator recipe book said to dehydrate bananas use a 1/2 cup honey and 1/4 cup water mixture. Dip the bananas, drain, and then dehydrate. I am currently doing them right now and I thought they would be a mess but they are not. I will let you know how they came out.

  • Duane Dec 28, 2018, 12:57 pm

    How long do you leave them in lemon juice before placing on trays?

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 5, 2019, 4:42 pm

      Just while I’m slicing. Not long at all.

  • Contessa P Jan 5, 2019, 4:42 pm

    I am currently making dehydrated bananas right now. The book that came with my dehydrator suggest using a honey/water mix so I used that. I want to make sure I dehydrate them enough without them going bad. It’s my first time. Should I go by the cooking time or look? I don’t know how they should look. I will let y’all know how they turned out with the honey/water mix.

    • Kris Bordessa Jan 5, 2019, 4:44 pm

      Dehydrating times are so variable, and dependent upon things like the humidity. I’d use both. They should feel dry to the touch, but still pliable.

  • wataba isaac Apr 3, 2019, 9:27 pm

    thanks it was helpful but my question is what is the angle of ripples for dehydrated bananas

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 4, 2019, 2:03 pm

      You can cut them in any direction you like. Is that what you mean?

  • Elizabeth Sep 4, 2019, 2:21 am

    Incredibly, this article really helped me, and this article is very easy to follow and not complicated. So can’t wait to try. I look forward to other recipes.❤❤❤

  • Tad Dec 16, 2019, 12:23 pm

    Is there any way to keep dehydrated bananas from tasting so strong?
    Thanks!

    • Kris Bordessa Dec 17, 2019, 9:08 am

      Dehydrating fruit usually concentrates the sugar/flavor, so probably not.

  • diane Apr 28, 2020, 5:05 am

    hi kris I have just bought my first dehydrator and trying your chewy banana will let you know how it goes also doing orange peel to make orange powder

    • Kris Bordessa Apr 28, 2020, 6:54 am

      I hope you love them like my guys do!

  • Lee May 14, 2020, 2:39 am

    Hi Kris, I’m looking into dehydrating food but the dehydrator you have is over budget for me. Do you or anybody else have any recommendations for a cheaper model?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Kris Bordessa May 14, 2020, 5:39 pm

      This is the one I use, and I can’t (personally) recommend another. Here’s a budget tip, though: If it’s hot outside, consider parking your car in the sun and drying them in that. Weird, but possible!

    • Janet Casmaer May 21, 2020, 9:54 am

      Hi Lee. I have a Nesco dehydrator. It is round and has stackable plastic trays with the heating unit on the top. You can buy additional trays (perforated or solid for fruit leathers). It is plastic, which doesn’t thrill me, but my budget won’t stretch to the Excalibur. Bottom line, it works well, you can find it anywhere, and it’s inexpensive.

  • Rado May 28, 2020, 9:16 pm

    I just bought dehydrator cos we have so many bananas and is difficult to eat them all. I normally freeze and make ice cream in the blender, but it takes space. I did it 2 times. 1st, slice thickness is 0.5cm, second 1cm – just cut the banana in half. Both were done 16hrs at 70C – 158F, but the second are still softer, which I like better. I want to leave them in a container outside and hope to last me at least 6months. What is your experience?

    • Kris Bordessa May 29, 2020, 1:58 pm

      As long as they’re stored in an airtight container, they should last for months.

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