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If you’ve ever wondered how to dehydrate bananas in a food dehydrator, you’re in the right place. Dehydrated bananas are loved by some, and hated by others. In fact, some popular YouTubers have put bananas on the list of things they will never dehydrate again. In this article I get into the process of dehydrating bananas and my opinion on how they turned out.
How to Dehydrate Bananas in a Food Dehydrator
Preparing Bananas for Dehydrating
I started with two bunches of bananas. I selected bananas with just a bit of green on them. They were ripe, but not overly ripe.
Slicing the Bananas
I wanted to experiment with using my mandolin to slice the bananas. I was hoping they were firm enough to work, but alas, they turned to mush more than solid slices that I was hoping for.
So, I ended up just using a knife to slice the bananas. I sliced the bananas about 1/4 If I want to try using a mandolin in the future to slice bananas, I’ll use the blade for thicker slices and also use even less ripe bananas.
Treating (or Not) the Bananas with Lemon Juice
We all know that bananas tend to quickly turn brown once peeled and cut. So many people who dehydrate bananas treat them with lemon juice. Some claim that if you pre-treat bananas by soaking them in lemon juice that they turn mushy. Others use a spray bottle to spritz the bananas with lemon juice. The only spray nozzle I had had been used in a non-food product, so I didn’t feel comfortable using it to spritz the bananas with lemon juice. I’ll share my results at the end of this article.
Putting the Bananas on Tray
Because of the high sugar content, bananas tend to stick. Because of that, instead of putting them directly on the dehydrator trays, I put them on a combination of fruit leather and mesh trays. I used 10 trays, and had 11 bananas, so I put 1 banana on each tray, and 2 on the top tray.
Dehydrating the Bananas
I set the temperature on the dehydrator to 125 degrees and went to bed. I love running my dehydrator overnight because most everything I dehydrate takes 8 or more hours to dehydrate, so why not have my dehydrator working for me while I’m sleeping?
10 Hours Later
This is what the bananas looked like after 10 hours. They were shriveled up, but still very bendy. They smelled (and tasted) delicious! But they weren’t ready.
The ones on the bottom, on solid plastic were still sticky enough that I couldn’t remove them from the trays or flip them over.
Dehydrated Bananas after 13 Hours
I put them back into the dehydrator for a few more hours. Once they were done enough to not stick to the trays, I flipped them over. I was able to do this with the bananas that were on the top trays, on the mesh.
The bananas stuck longer on the fruit leather trays, most likely because they were at the bottom. I normally rotate trays, but I didn’t want to put the fruit leather trays up at the top because I didn’t want them to black airflow.
16 Total Hours
The bananas ended up taking 16 total hours. At this point I was able to snap the bananas in half, and they were completely dry.
They turned out really dark, but we’re okay with that. They taste great, and the dark color doesn’t bother us.
11 bananas dehydrated down to 1 quart, plus a half a pint. As the bananas were dehydrating, we had eaten approximately 1 banana, so I’d estimate that 5 average-sized bananas fit into a pint jar.
In the future will try spraying with lemon juice first to see if that keeps the bananas from turning so dark.
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Here are some of my favorite dehydrating tools
Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you strive to stock your pantry with delicious home-dehydrated food! Here are some tools that I use that I’m hoping you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. Please know that these are the tools that I recommend and believe in 100%!
The Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator was my first dehydrator, and still one of my favorites. I actually have two of them! If I was only going to buy one dehydrator and was on a strict budget, this would be it. I love it because it’s very reasonably priced, and is expandable up to 12 trays. I recommend starting with the basic system that comes with 5 trays. Then expand by buying additional trays, fruit leather sheets, and mesh screens.
The Cosori Premium Dehydrator is my most recent dehydrator purchase. In many respects, it’s superior to the Nesco since it is constructed with stainless steel, which is always a winner. I love the ease of use, and how precise it is when it comes to setting the temperature. It’s also versatile in that you can remove some of the racks. This makes it possible to use it for more than just dehydrating. As an example, you can use the Cosori dehydrator to make yogurt, something you definitely can’t do with any of the stackable dehydrators.
Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Pro Food Dehydrator – I’ve had my eye on this dehydrator for a LONG time. I don’t have space for another dehydrator, so I’m just waiting for one of my dehydrators to die so I can buy this one! What I really love about this dehydrator is that it expands to up to 30 (yes, 30!) trays. At 1,000 watts, it’s more powerful than the two dehydrators listed above. If you only have the means to buy one dehydrator, and have limited space to dehydrate, I recommend this one since you can dehydrate a huge amount of food at a time.
The FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing Machine is a great way to preserve the food you’ve dehydrated. The machine I use is no longer available. I chose this one because it’s a great price and includes a port that makes it possible to use the accessory kit linked to below. Since I store all my dehydrated food in mason jars, the jar sealer attachments are a must. But with this device, you can also use food storage bags if you’re short on mason jars, or prefer to seal you dehydrated food in bags.
The FoodSaver Handheld Cordless Food Vacuum Sealer is a great option for those with limited space. I keep mine charged up in my kitchen, so I can easily reseal jars every time I use some of my dehydrated food. While I still love my larger FoodSaver, from a convenience perspective, this one can’t be beat.
The FoodSaver Accessory Kit is a must if, like me, you store dehydrated food in mason jars. You can use this kit with either of the vacuum sealers linked to above.