(Natural News) Banana chips are a sweet and tasty snack, but store-bought variants may contain too much sugar or other ingredients and harmful preservatives.
To ensure that your banana chips are tasty and good for you, try making dried banana chips at home using the simple recipe detailed below. You can also try making savory or spicy banana chips if you don’t have a sweet tooth!
The health benefits of bananas
Bananas are good for your skin, and eating this sweet, yellow fruit will help boost your energy levels. Eating bananas can also help relieve minor gastrointestinal issues.
A handful of dried banana chips is the perfect snack if you’re craving something sweet, but you can also use dehydrated bananas as an alternative for recipes that require fresh bananas.
Add banana chips to granola bars, trail mix, a bowl of oatmeal or banana bread to give your snack a sweet and crunchy twist.
Fresh bananas are good for you, but dried banana chips also offer some benefits. Dehydrated bananas are low in cholesterol and sodium but rich in the potassium and dietary fiber that are essential for digestive health.
In general, any dehydrated food still has its nutrients, but the air and heat can destroy some of them, such as vitamins A and C. Because of the nutrient concentration in dried foods, they may also have more calories per weight than fresh foods.
How to make banana chips
To keep the bananas less brown, use a solution containing one cup of water and one cup of lemon juice. Dip the sliced bananas in the solution, then place them on trays. If you don’t like lemons, you can just skip this step. (Related: Food storage tips: How to make DIY dehydrated meals.)
Tools for making banana chips
- A dehydrator or an oven
- Knife or banana slicer
- Lemon juice and water
- Medium-sized bowl
When you’re ready to make banana chips, peel the fruit and cut away any bad spots. Slice the bananas 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick. To make things easier, use a stainless steel banana slicer for a uniform cut.
If you’re using a dehydrator, set the temperature to 135 F and the time to four hours. Check the bananas every two hours. Keep in mind that the time it takes to dehydrate the sliced bananas will depend on the humidity in the room where you are drying them and the temperature that your dehydrator suggests you should use.
Dehydrated bananas will last for at least six months to one year when stored properly in air-tight containers at normal room temperature.
You can also make banana chips using an oven. First, preheat the oven to 400 F.
Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place a single layer of bananas on the parchment paper. Put the cookie sheet in the oven for 16 to 20 minutes, but be sure to turn the bananas after eight minutes.
The banana chips are done when they start to brown around the edges. Remove from the oven then set aside to cool.
The dehydrated bananas should be leathery, dry and a little sticky to the touch. When the banana chips are done, they shouldn’t rip apart easily.
Five flavor variations for dehydrated bananas
Sweet banana chips are the most common variation, but you can try making savory chips if you want something with a little kick.
- Sweet/plain – Follow the recipe above as is to make sweet banana chips.
- Chili-lime – To make chili-lime banana chips, add chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder and lime juice before baking the bananas.
- Curried – For a spicy curry version of banana chips, use curry powder, garlic, onion and salt.
- Salt and pepper – The combination sounds strange, but adding salt and pepper to bananas will add a hint of flavor that will contrast nicely with the natural sweetness of the fruit.
- Spicy – Add some smoked paprika and black pepper for banana chips with a spicy flavor.
Try dehydrating bananas at home for a simple and tasty snack that your kids will love.
Visit NaturalNewsRecipes.com for other easy recipes to try and tips on how to store food properly.