Bananas are among the more popular home-dehydrating products to make. They are inexpensive at any time of year, can often be bought on sale, and it’s easy to turn them into a successful, multi-use dried product.
See also: Canning Bananas?
Yields and Equivalents
1 pound dried sliced Bananas = 450 g = 4 – 4 1/2 cups dried
For a bunch of 8 standard (cavendish) bananas, weighing about 1 1/4 kg (2.75 lbs) whole before peeling, allow 2 standard Excalibur trays to spread the slices out on.
Here we compare directions from three different sources.
For information on making the dips mentioned below, see Fruit dry-pretreatments .
Ball Blue Book
Preparation: “Peel and cut into 1/4- to 1/2- inch (1/2 to 1 cm) inch slices.”
Pretreatment: “Pretreat with Fruit-Fresh by dipping, if desired.”
Temperature: 130 to 135 F (54 to 57 C)
Time: Until pliable to almost crisp.
Notes: “Choose any large, slightly brown-speckled yellow variety.”
Water content: 76%. (Used if doing a Dehydration Weight Test.)
Reference: Ball Blue Book, 37th edition, 2014. Page 164.
Note: Ball All New (2016) says “Choose large fruit with a few brown spots. Peel, cut into 1/4- to 1/2- inch (1/2 to 1 cm) slices. Treat with Ball Fruit-Fresh.” Dry until “pliable with crisp edges.” (Page 336)
Preparation: “Peel the bananas and cut into 1/8″ to 1/4″ (1/4 to 1/2 cm) slices. Cut away any bruised portions.”
Pretreatment: “Bananas may be sprinkled with fruit flavoured gelatin powder or lemon juice. Honey dip for crisper slices.”
Temperature: 135 F / 57 C
Time: “Until leathery.” (6 to 10 hours based on humidity conditions where you are.)
Notes: “Large yellow varieties, like Cavandish or Martinique, dehydrate best. Those that are all yellow or lightly brown specked will be the sweetest; avoid green or overripe bananas.”
Reference: Excalibur. Preserve it naturally. 4th edition, 2012. Page 25 and 39.
So Easy To Preserve
Preparation: “Peel and slice 1/4 inch to 3/8th inch (1/2 to 3/4 cm) thick, crosswise or lengthwise.”
Pretreatment: Sulfur smoke 2 hours OR steam blanch 3 to 4 minutes OR syrup 10 minutes OR honey dip, ascorbic acid, Fruit Fresh, fruit juice, or, sulfite dip.
Temperature: 140 F / 60 C
Time: 8 to 10 hours
Notes: “Use solid yellow or slightly brown-flecked bananas. Avoid bruised or overripe bananas.”
Reference: So Easy To Preserve. 6th Edition. 2014. Page 343.
Here’s a FAQtoid on banana chips from the National Center for Home Food Preservation:
Q: My banana chips don’t taste like the ones in the stores. What can I do?
A: There are a variety of banana chips available. Read the ingredients on the label. Some bananas are dipped in honey; some are dipped in granulated sugar, brown sugar or flavored gelatin. Be sure bananas are ripe. Some commercial banana chips have been treated to make them crisp. This cannot be done in the home.”1
Let the dehydrated product cool completely to room temperature before packing it into storage containers.
Watch the sealed containers for the first few days for any sign of condensation. If condensation occurs, dehydrate a bit more.
Label jar with name of product and date. Store away from heat and direct light.
Use in breads, cakes, cereals, compotes, cookies, fritters, muffins, pancakes, trail mixes, or as a snack out of hand.
Or, grind up and use as a topping on cakes, muffins and baked puddings, etc.
Or grind more finely into a powder and use as a flavouring ingredient in recipes and in hot drinks such as cocoa.
Dandamrongrak, Rak, Gordon Young, and Richard Mason. “Evaluation of Various Pre-Treatments for the Dehydration of Banana and Selection of Suitable Drying Models.” Journal of Food Engineering 55 (2002): 139–146. Web.