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How to Dehydrate Bananas – 5 Best Methods

Article By: Suraiya Fardous - January 8, 2024 , Last updated on : January 9, 2024
How to Dehydrate Bananas - 5 Best Methods

Banana is a common fruit that adorns our dining fruit basket yearly. It’s a delicious and popular ingredient for smoothies, pancakes, or other breakfast recipes. Have you ever tasted the dried version of this delicious fruit for dessert or snacks? It also has a unique flavor and pairs well with various recipes. So, if you don’t want to miss the versatile food item, know how to dehydrate bananas at home.

As long as you follow the procedure, dehydrating bananas is extremely easy with any kitchen appliance or traditional sun-drying methods. The aim is to eliminate the moisture from the banana. Just keep in mind how you want the texture to be crisp. According to your requirement, prepare the bananas for dehydration.

Moreover, you must learn the total process, including the required temperature, duration, essential accessories, and, most importantly, the natural preservation system. And the good news is that all that information is available in today’s write-up. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

How to Dehydrate Bananas- 5 Methods

In the past, sun or air drying was the only method of dehydrating foods. We have multiple cooking options that efficiently dry out fish, meat, veggies, and fruits. Though this article will discuss how to dehydrate bananas, here you’ll find all the possible methods at home.

Preparing the Bananas For Dehydrate

Preparing the Bananas For Dehydrate

Before discussing dehydrating bananas, we’ll clarify the process of preparing them. You can dehydrate bananas as chips and fruit leather styles. There are some differences among them. But the similarity is the preparation of both types requires a cutting board, knife or slicer, and a wire rack. Now, let’s discuss the process step by step below.

Process 1: Chips style

Chips style is comparatively easy to prepare and dehydrate. You just have to pick fresh and ripe bananas, but avoid the overripe ones.

  • Peel off the bananas and slice them into ¼ inch. To get the crunchiest chips, cut into ⅛ to 1/16 inch.
  • Now, brush some lemon juice on the banana slice to increase the flavor and prevent it from browning. Also, sprinkle some cinnamon powder to improve the taste.
  • Take the wire rack, tray, or other dish where you place the bananas. Rub or brush a little oil using a plate or baking tray.
  • Organize the slices on the rack or dish in a single layer. Overlapping of the pieces can cause uneven dryness.
  • Place the dish into any appliance like oven, microwave, or air fryer you prefer. If you decide to sun dry or air dry, use a cheesecloth or other screen to save the bananas from bugs.

Process 2: Fruit Leather Style

Banana leather has a great demand for fruit lovers. This style must be addressed when it’s time to talk about dehydrating bananas. Though the process is a bit complex, learning these steps is easy.

  • Slice the banana lengthwise in half, or take the whole banana.
  • Place it on a parchment paper and cover it with another.
  • Now place a heavy hardboard on it and press as much as possible. The aim is to turn the slice into ⅛ inch. This task is also possible with a rolling pin.
  • Remove the parchment paper from the top while dehydrating the banana and set it on a baking tray or other dish.

1.   Dehydrate Bananas Using Dehydrator

Dehydrate Bananas Using Dehydrator

You probably know that dehydrators are the best and safest way to dry out any food item. It takes time to eliminate the moisture, but no risk of burning exists.

To make banana chips or fruit leather in a dehydrator, enjoy the process by following the steps mentioned below.

Here’s how to dehydrate bananas in a food dehydrator:

Step 1: To get the crunchy chips, slice the banana into ⅙ to ⅛ inch. And for the fruit leather, cut it lengthwise along the middle.

Step 2: The fruit leather requires an extra effort to be mashed. Place the slice on parchment paper and cover it with another piece. Smash the banana by pressing it with a hard board. Make it as thin as you can.

Step 3: Dip the slices in lemon juice to prevent them from being brownish. It’s optional.

Step 4: Spray a little bit of oil on the basket of the dehydrator and place the round slices in a single layer.

On the other hand, for making the fruit leather, remove the parchment paper on top of it and place the smashed slice with the paper on the bottom.

Step 5: Now wait for the required amount of time. The dehydrator takes 24 hours to make crispy banana chips and fruit leather will be done after 12 hours.

Step 6: Then store the dehydrated bananas in an airtight glass container. Store the fruit leather by rolling it.

2.  Dehydrate Bananas Using Oven

An oven is available in most kitchens and is versatile for different types of recipes. So, utilize your regular oven to dehydrate bananas as well. Here, we will share the step-by-step process for drying bananas, and you can dehydrate chips and fruit leather similarly. Let’s check quickly.

Step 1: Peel off the bananas and slice them ¼ to ⅛ inches according to preference.

Step 2: Place a baking sheet like parchment paper on the oven’s wire rack. Using a wire rack and parchment paper will help to circulate air nicely.

Step 3: Now spread the banana slices on the paper in single layering and place it into the oven.

Step 4: Set the oven to the lowest temperature, around 170°F.

If your oven is older, having 200°F as the lowest temperature, keep the door open with a silicon pad or wooden spoon.

Step 5: Wait 2 to 3 hours and flip the slices halfway. The duration for dehydrating bananas depends on how much moisture there is. So, check frequently.

3.  Dehydrate Bananas Using Microwave

Use your microwave to dehydrate bananas within a minimum time. But, try to be more concerned because it can cause severe burning. Here is the accurate way to use the microwave to dehydrate bananas. Check them out to get an efficient result.

  • Take a microwave-safe dish and brush oil or melted butter.
  • Place the banana slices on the dish, maintaining a reasonable distance.
  • Heat the bananas in the microwave at high temperature for 1 to 2 minutes. At this moment, the bananas will release the moisture and become soft.
  • Add flavor and sprinkle cinnamon, sea salt, and cumin powder.
  • Then again, microwave for 30 to 45 seconds. You may need a total of 2 to 3 minutes, depending on the heating level of your microwave.
  • This dehydrating method could be more effective for long-term storing the banana. So, serve immediately.

4.  Dehydrate Bananas Using Air Fryer

Dehydrating bananas becomes effortless when you have an air fryer. This appliance works mainly like a dehydrator to dry out the foods. The only issue is that the air fryer cannot hold so many pieces simultaneously. But if you have an air fryer, try by following the steps below.

  • Preheat your air fryer to 135°F.
  • Next, give the air fryer basket a nice coating of oil spray and arrange the banana slices on top.
  • Now dehydrate it for 8 to 10 hours. However, this duration depends on how much moisture the banana holds.
  • Flip the slices occasionally and check your required crispiness.

5.  Dehydrating Bananas Using Air or Sun Drying

This traditional method is quite popular because it’s simple, easy, and cost-free. You just need the weather support. The cloudy and humid weather doesn’t effectively dry the banana or can destroy its taste and quality. Remember two significant things:

  • Go for the sun drying method if enough sun shines for at least 3 days. Also, the banana may need more time to dry if it contains more hydration.
  • When you air dry the banana, keep it in a dry place with enough air circulation to absorb its moisture.

Now, check the steps on how to dehydrate bananas naturally:

Step 1: Check next week’s weather forecast by app. Then, decide to prepare bananas for drying. The temperature should be 32°C and less humid. A more than 38°C temperature will help dehydrate the banana faster and make it crispy enough.

Step 2: Take a mesh attached to the wooden frame. Keep it warm and spread the banana slices in a single layer. You can use parchment paper on the wire rack if there is no such mesh.

Step 3: Using a screen is one of the most crucial outdoor drying method steps. Strain the banana slices through homemade market-bought cheesecloth or cheesecloth. Otherwise, they will not be edible due to ant attack. But use cheesecloth to get rid of dust.

Step 4: Now it’s time to wait. If you get enough sun, your crispy banana chips will be ready in two minutes. Drying in light sun or air may take 3 to 6 days.

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How to understand if bananas are hydrated or not?

Basically, when you find any moisture or stickiness in the dehydrated slices, that means there is still hydration in the banana.

Though it’s your choice how much dried the banana will be. But the thing to remember is to reach zero hydration to use it for months. However, the texture of bananas tells how much moisture there is. And you’ll be confirmed by following the ways below.

Way 1: If the slices are skinny, around 1⁄8 to 1/16 inch, they will be crunchy enough while losing all the moisture. But the less crispiness and chewing texture mean the banana is hydrated.

Way 2: When the slices are chunky, they will be leathery but moisture-free after dehydrating. Take some pieces, cool them down, and try to bend them. If any sticky thing comes out, it contains hydration and needs to dry again for some time. This texting method is also applicable to fruit leather. But it can be more chewing.

How to Store Dehydrated Bananas?

The properly dehydrated bananas last for up to six months with proper storage. And this is easy. The only challenge is to keep the bananas far from moisture. How to do it? Let’s learn below.

Follow Conditioning

Conditioning the dehydrated food is the process to ensure zero moisturization so that it can be preserved long term. So, strictly follow every conditioning step while storing your banana chips or fruit leather.

Step 1: Sterilize the selected container to store the dehydrated bananas.

Step 2: Cool the banana slices before transferring them into the container.

Step 3: Prefer a glass jar to preserve the dehydrated bananas. And make sure the jar is completely dry.

Step 4: When storing the banana chips, fill the container partially. Keep some place free so that the slices can move while shaking it.

Step 5: Shake the container once a day for 7 days. If you notice any stickiness among them, go for dehydration again for some time.

These steps will contribute to preserving the quality and taste of the food for a long time.

Use Airtight Container

There is no other option without choosing an airtight container for storing dehydrated bananas. Glass jar is the best option. However, you can use a zip-lock bag. If you have a vacuum sealer machine, it’ll help a lot.

Use Absorbent

Commercial food-grade desiccant packs help absorb moisture inside the container and keep the food fresh. So, use this type of absorbent in a glass jar or zip-lock bag.

Label the Packaging

The dried banana offers its best use within six to eight months. After that, it loses its shelf-life and quality as well. That’s why it’s essential to remember the manufacturing date while storing. It’s a compelling idea to label the date on the container.

Store in a Cool and Dark Place

Temperature is a crucial element in preserving dehydrated food. Higher temperatures around 32°C can cause bacterial growth in food, and direct sunlight causes free radical damage, which is enough to reduce the shelf-life of it. Keep the container dehydrated banana where direct sunlight cannot reach and the temperature is under 30°C.

Avoid Direct Touch with the Hand

While storing the dehydrated bananas for a long time, avoid direct touch with your hand because our hands also carry a lot of bacteria and moisture. So, your dry food may be affected by that. It’s best to use kitchen tongs or gloves.

4 Amazing Benefits of Having Dehydrated Bananas

Dehydrated bananas, like chips and fruit leather with some flavor and spices, are tasty snacks. But here is not the end. The nutrient value of dehydrated bananas will take care of your health, and the versatile usages of this fruit are enough to satisfy your tummy. Let’s explore the excellent benefits of this item.

1.   Enough Nutrients

A dehydrated banana contains essential food elements like fiber, protein, magnesium, vitamin A, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. Every age of people can consume ½ or 1 cup regularly to fulfill their necessity for proper nutrition. But those who have high blood sugar should take it quantity-wise.

2.  Easy Snacking Option

Dried bananas are the best companion for those needing more time to make different snacks or breakfast daily. Mix ½ cup of banana chips or chopped fruit leather, some yogurt, and a little honey. Your delicious and luxurious snack is ready. To change the taste, use different dry fruits or syrup occasionally.

However, you can replace the boring cornflakes and include banana chips. It’s a healthier option also.

3.  Delicious Dessert

Banana itself is a sweetener also. But in the world of dessert, dehydrated bananas are a game changer. You can use it in cakes, muffins, brownies, pudding, and fruit salads. Even those on a diet can try the dessert using dried bananas.

As it contains a natural sweetness, add more banana chips and skip the sugar in your diet-friendly dessert. On the other hand, those who prefer chewing can try the same desserts using banana fruit leather.

Besides, banana fruit leather alone is a beautiful dessert. Cut it into small pieces and mix with milk cream, honey, and some crushed nuts. Trust me, it tastes heavenly.

4.  Crunchy Dressings

Dessert or fruit salad can reach its best version with the crunchy garnish of banana chips. Though it seems weird, the result is satisfying. Grind some banana chips, not very finely, and sprinkle them on your caramel or chocolate pudding, yogurt salad, cheesecake, or any soft dessert. Combining those smooth textured desserts and the crispiness of the banana chips will make a delicious twist.

Also, this dressing idea can be applied to smoothies. Add crushed banana chips to any smoothie, like mixed fruit, milkshake, or hot chocolate, and enjoy the delight.

Do You Need to Soak Bananas Before Dehydrating?

If you want to avoid the bananas becoming brownish, it’s mandatory to soak them in a mixture of lemon juice and water. The potent antioxidant like vitamin C in lemon juice helps to prevent the bananas from being brown. Also, lemon and other citrus fruits containing vitamin C can be effective. But when you soak the banana into juice, it requires extra time and energy to dehydrate. So, keep in mind this issue.

Why Dehydrated Bananas Aren’t Crispy?

There are two reasons why dehydrated bananas are less crispy. The first is to choose overripe bananas, and the second is to slice it a bit chunky. To make crunchy chips, pick the freshly ripe bananas and slice them very thinly, around ⅛-1/16 inch. Most importantly, dehydrate them properly, which means ensuring zero moisturization.

Conclusion

Fresh bananas are flavorful, tasty, and nutrient-rich, while the dehydrated version is not less delicious. Partially, dehydrated bananas are more versatile as a food. You have already got the great benefits of dried bananas in fulfilling the nutrients of the human body and using them in different food items. Learning how to dehydrate bananas is essential so anyone can make it anytime at home.

Nowadays, we furnish our kitchen with different modern appliances. These options are effective in dehydrating bananas in less time. We’ve already discussed the step-by-step guidelines to make it effortless for you. So, try them out and keep patience to get the perfect output. Always be choosey while buying the bananas; otherwise, you never get the appealing texture of the chips.

Also, we’ve introduced you to all types of dehydrated bananas, such as crispy, chewy, and fruit leather. Now, it’s time to give it a try. So, read our instructions, follow the tricks, and practice constantly to achieve the perfect banana chips or leather.

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