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homemade banana fruit leatherHere are two ways to make chewy, sweet banana snacks with a dehydrator. You can either make round banana chews or smash whole or halved bananas to make a quick fruit leather rollup. If you want to make crispy banana chips like you get in stores, you have to deep-fry them.

Banana Chews

6 med. or 5 lg. ripe bananas (will cover 2 Excalibur trays)
½ C. fresh lemon, lime, or pineapple juice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Peel and slice the bananas into ¼ inch rounds.
  2. If desired, mix 4 C. cold water and ½ C. fresh lemon, lime, or pineapple juice in a large bowl. Soak the banana slices for about 5 minutes to prevent excessive browning/oxidation.
  3. Spray or rub a little oil onto the drying rack. Lay banana slices on the trays so they are close but not touching. Optionally spray oil the top of the banana slices.
  4. Dry them at 135 degrees for about 7 hours or until leathery, but not sticky on the top. Let cool. Store in an airtight container.

Tips:

  • Some directions tell you to slice them 1/8 inch thick. This makes paper thin banana chews that tend to stick to each other when stored.
  • Spray oiling at least the bottom of the banana slices before drying really helps them not stick to the tray.
  • Use spotted bananas that are not overly ripe or mushy. They are very hard to slice if too mushy.

Banana Leathers

Makes: 8 fruit rollups

4 ripe bananas (will cover 1 Excalibur tray)

Directions:

  1. Peel the bananas. Either keep whole or cut in half the long way.
  2. Place the whole or halved bananas on a drying sheet or parchment paper with lots of space in between (about 3-4 inches).
  3. Place another drying sheet or piece of parchment paper over the spaced bananas. Use a heavy cutting board as a press to evenly smash the bananas down to 1/8th inch. Or you can use a rolling pin, rolling over the top sheet until they are 1/8th inch.
  4. Remove the top sheet. Keeping the smashed bananas on the bottom sheet, carefully lift them to a drying rack.
  5. Dry at 135 degrees for about 7 hours. Check on them at 6 hours and optionally flip them over if them seem particularly moist on the bottom. They are done when leathery, but not sticky on the top.
  6. Let them cool. Place dry banana strips on strips of wax or parchment paper. Roll up and keep in an airtight container.

Tips:

  • Banana leathers are not the most beautiful looking, because they tend to brown heavily on the bottom. They taste great though.

peeled bananas on drying sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Either keep bananas whole or cut in half lengthwise.

halved bananas on a drying sheet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave 3-4 inches between whole bananas and 1-2 inches between halved ones.

creating a banana "press"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Create a banana “press” using a second sheet on top and a cutting board to press down.

smashed bananas ready to dry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove the cutting board and the top sheet. Transfer this to a baking tray to dry.

rolling up banana leathers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finished product. Peel or cut into strip and roll up in strips of wax or parchment paper.

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