How to make dried banana chips using a food dehydrator
Whether your family loves salty beef jerky treats or sweet, dried banana chips, a food dehydrator makes a fabulous addition to any kitchen. Not only does this device make these foods much more affordable, but it also allows you to choose what goes into making them, reducing the sugar in your dried fruits and the salt in your jerky.
But the possibilities don't end there. Dry herbs for cooking, make dog treats with leftover turkey and cranberries, or dry vegetables to extend their shelf life.
Dried Banana Chips
An all time favorite in dried foods in the banana chip and while this is available in most grocery and department stores, it is an easy and affordable snack to make at home.
You will need
- a food dehydrator
- bananas (as many as you like or as many as will fit in your food dehydrator)
- lemon juice
- thinly slice the bananas (1/8 to 3/8")
- lay the slices out on the trays of the food dehydrator (they should be close together but not touching)
- spritz the slices with lemon juice to prevent browning
- set the dehydrator to 135F or 58C
How long should this take?
The whole process of drying should take at least three hours. Drying times may vary though depending on the amount of food, the type of food, the evenness of the slices and ambient temperature, humidity and altitude. Drying times may also vary from one area to another, from day to day and depending on climatic conditions. Check your dehydrator frequently to achieve the desired crispness and remember to keep records for future drying.
What about other fruits?
The same technique applies to drying other fruits in a dehydrator.
For apples, remove the core and the skin, if desired. Apples are easier to slice using a mandolin, which will also help you to achieve even slices. Apples are sweet and tasty when dried. Alternatively, sprinkle the slices with a little cinnamon and/or brown sugar.
Strawberries can be slices thinly and lay out on the trays in the same fashion.
Dry your own grapes to make raisins.
Peaches, apricots, pears, pineapple, cranberries, figs, blueberries, coconut: the possibilities are endless.
© 2014 Nicola Kendall