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How to Use an Oven to Dehydrate Bananas

Dehydrated Bananas

Dehydrated bananas make a delicious snack, but the dried banana chips you can buy in the stores often contain oil and added sugar which make them a high-calorie snack. If you want to enjoy dehydrated bananas without the added calories, consider making them yourself. The best way to dehydrate bananas at home is to use a food dehydrator, but you if you don't have one and are not ready to buy one yet, you may also be able to use your oven to dehydrate bananas. If your oven has a good fan and you can set the temperature of your oven to around 140°F, then your oven can be used to dry bananas. If your oven does not go this low, your bananas may bake instead of dry. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to dehydrate bananas in an oven:

  1. Select firm, ripe bananas that are free of bruises. Peel the bananas and cut them into uniform slices that are 1/4 inch thick or thinner. Use your food processor or Veggie Bullet to aid in cutting uniform slices.
  2. Although pre-treating bananas with an anti-oxidizing solution before drying them in the oven is not necessary, it is recommended if you don't want your dehydrated bananas to develop a brown color in the oven. A small amount of pure ascorbic acid or food-grade citric acid mixed with water makes an effective anti-browning solution for sliced bananas, but also diluted lemon juice can be used to prevent the fruit from browning during the drying process.
  3. Preheat the oven to 130°F to 140°F (54°C to 60°C), and line up to four baking trays with parchment paper or oven-safe silicone mats. Spread the sliced (and pre-treated) bananas evenly on the trays, making sure the slices are not touching.
  4. Put the loaded trays in the oven. The oven racks that hold the trays should be about 3 inches apart so that there is plenty of space for air to circulate, and you should prop the oven door open a few inches to further improve circulation. Rotate the trays every few hours for even drying.
  5. Dehydrate the sliced bananas until crisp, about 6 to 24 hours. Note that the drying time for bananas can vary significantly depending on the type of oven you are using and the thickness of the banana slices. Oven-dehydrated bananas are done when they are crisp and have no visible moisture. It is important to cool a slice before testing it for doneness.

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