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How to Make (Healthier) Banana Chips at Home

8 Servings

Banana Chips

Typically loaded with oil and added sugar, store-bought banana chips are not exactly the healthiest snack to have around. Luckily, there is a healthier alternative: homemade banana chips made by dehydrating sliced bananas in an oven or a dehydrator. When moisture is removed from sliced bananas, they turn into crispy fruit chips without the use of any oil! Below, you'll find step-by-step instructions on how to make banana chips at home. The basic recipe below uses lemon juice to prevent the fruit from browning during drying, but for those of you who don't want to use lemon juice, there is also information about alternative anti-browning solutions at the end of this article.

Ingredients for Homemade Banana Chips

  • 8 bananas
  • 1 quart water, optional
  • 1 quart lemon juice, optional

How to Make Banana Chips without Oil and Sugar

  1. Select firm, yellow bananas that are ripe but not over-ripe. Peel them and cut into rounds that are 1/8" to 1/4" thick. For best results, use a food processor fitted with a slicing blade, a mandoline, or another tool that aids in cutting uniform rounds.
  2. If you want your dehydrated banana chips to have a light color, you will have to pre-treat the banana rounds with an anti-oxidizing solution before drying them. One of the healthiest ways to pre-treat sliced bananas before turning them into chips is to dip them in a mixture that contains 1 part water and 1 part lemon juice.
  3. After pre-treating the rounds, arrange them in a single layer on baking trays or dehydrator trays, depending on whether you are planning to make your dehydrated banana chips in an oven or dehydrator. Blot the slices with clean paper towels to remove excess lemon juice and water.
  4. Dehydrate at 130°F to 140°F, rotating the trays every few hours to encourage even drying. It will take about 6 to 24 hours to make dehydrated banana chips at 135°F, depending on how thick the rounds are and what kind of an oven or dehydrator you are using. Before testing a chip for doneness, let it cool off. Dehydrated banana chips are done when they are dry and crisp.

How to Make Banana Chips without Lemon Juice

The recipe above uses lemon juice as an anti-browning solution for the sliced bananas. But what if you don't have lemon juice on hand, or if you are allergic to citrus fruit? The good news is that you can make banana chips also without lemon juice as there are several other ways to pre-treat banana slices before drying them. And, in fact, you can even skip the pre-treatment step entirely, if you like. Here's a round-up of some of the best alternatives to the lemon juice pre-treatment for bananas:

  • No pre-treatment: Bananas are one of the fruits that you don't necessarily have to pre-treat with an anti-oxidizing solution before dehydrating them. Just be aware that if you don't pre-treat the cut bananas with lemon juice or another anti-browning solution, your banana chips won't be as light in color as pre-treated dehydrated bananas.
  • Pineapple juice: When it comes to pre-treating sliced bananas before drying, one of the best alternatives to lemon juice is pineapple juice. An added benefit of using pineapple juice instead of lemon juice to pre-treat the banana slices is that you will be adding sweetness to your bananas chips, so the finished chips will resemble more the sugar-sweetened chips you can buy at grocery stores.
  • Ascorbic acid: Another good way to make beautiful banana chips without lemon juice is to pre-treat them with a solution that contains pure ascorbic acid powder and cold water (use ½ tablespoon of ascorbic acid powder per every cup of water). Prepare the solution in a mixing bowl, and allow the banana slices to soak in it for 10 minutes before removing them with a slotted spoon.
  • Citric acid: Yet another effective method for pre-treating sliced bananas without lemon juice them is to soak them in a mixture containing food-grade citric acid and cold water for 10 minutes. There are different opinions as to how much citric acid you should use when preparing an anti-browning solution for bananas, but a common recommendation is to ¼ teaspoon of citric acid per every cup of water.

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