If you've only had 'banana chips' from the store- you have missed out.  Those cardboard-like sorry excuses for fruit are NOTHING like home-dried bananas.  Banana chips are fried  (very high in fat) and bland; on the other hand, home-dried ones are sweet and chewy.

Sometimes you can buy a case of bananas for a steep discount- a friend of mine has an arrangement with one of the local grocery stores.  She calls them once a week or so, and if they have too many bananas, they sell her the 40-lb. case for $8.  That's $ .20/lb.   This week I found some at NPS for $4/case! 

To dehydrate them, you can, of course, use any dehydrator available, or even dry them on clean window screens on a hot roof or in a hot car...

Mine, so that you can get a size comparison, is an American Harvest (now Nesco) 'GardenMaster'.   (I got it used through the local Classified ads, 15 years ago, for $40.)  I have the extra trays, for a total of 8.  Each tray can hold almost 2 lbs. of sliced bananas, 15 lbs. total.  So the 40-lb box fills the trays twice, with enough left over for a double batch of banana bread (to freeze) and eating a bunch fresh. 

I dry them on about medium heat- 120 degrees F or so, and it takes about 18-20 hours.  They'll be a little bit more dry if you let them cool before packing into jars.

If you want the dried product to be a little lighter in color, you can coat or dip them in a lemon-honey mixture.  Combine 1/4 c. honey, 1/4 c. water, and 2 Tbsp. lemon juice.  Mix well.  The easiest way to use it is put it in a clean spray bottle and mist the slices once they're on the tray.   The photos below are of untreated slices.

Dehydrate, enjoy!


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