Banana Chips

banana chips

banana chips

So, several of my family members got dehydrators for Christmas. They’re having a great time figuring out what to dry. I thought I’d show how I dry banana chips, the easy way. So many of the recipes out there call for the banana slices to be soaked in lemon juice or some kind of citric acid solution before drying. I’m going to tell you that it’s not needed. Really, it’s not necessary. They dry just fine without that extra step.

This is a super easy way to make some healthy snacks for your family. So many of the supermarket brands of banana chips are covered in oil and sugar. We don’t need that. Naturally dried banana chips are sweet enough without all that extra stuff. This is also a great way to use up those spotted bananas. They’re just fully ripe and oh, so good!

What you’ll need – The dehydrator! I have the Nesco Snackmaster. It’s a great little machine. You’ll need some bananas, too.

making chips

Ready to go!

Additional equipment – See that metal thingy to the right of the banana? That’s my Grandma’s butter slicer. Let me tell you – this thing is the greatest thing for slicing bananas, since sliced bread! If you have one, use it instead of a mandoline or knife. If you don’t have one, get one!

Here come the complicated instructions. Peel banana.

peeled nanna

Peel the banana.

Since bananas are usually curved and a bit longer than the butter slicer – cut that sucker in half!

Banana halves

Cut it in half

(you can just break in in half with your hands. I won’t tell) Then, you slice it up!

banana slices

sliced banana

Here comes the complicated part. If there’s a bruise on your banana, just break that part off and stick in in a baggie and keep in the freezer for banana bread or this awesome smoothie.

bruised banana

Save this for bread or smoothies!

Now, get out your dehydrator trays and place the slices of banana on them.

drying bananas

Arrange the slices on the trays

Keep adding trays as you need them, until all the banana slices are gone.

bananas on drying trays

ready to dry

Set the dehydrator to the fruit setting, recommended for your model of dehydrator. Mine is 135 degrees for fruit.

drying bananas

Fruit 135 degrees

Then follow the recommended times for you machine. Check them and decide if you like them chewy or crunchy. Mine took 16 hours to get to the slightly crunchy stage that I like.

banana chips

All dried!

Let them cool a bit, then pop the chips off the trays.

banana chips

Chips anyone?

Store them in an air tight container or baggie. They will get a bit soft after about 10 days, but they shouldn’t last that long!

Banana Chips

Banana Chip

What I did – I took 4,  6 to 7 inch bananas, peeled them and sliced them about a quarter inch thick. I spread them out on my dehydrators trays and dried them for about 16 hours. I rotated the trays after 8 hours. You can use more or fewer bananas.  My 4 bananas made about 2 cups of chips. Give it a try. With a dehydrator, you can control what goes into and onto the things that you dry. Less sugar, less salt, fewer additives, better flavor, the benefits are endless. Store in an airtight container. Refrigeration is not needed. Now, you need to know, that these are not the same as the store bought banana chips. Those are sweetened, fried, sugar bombs. Dehydrated banana chips will not be as crunchy as those. However, they will be so much healthier for you!

Kale Chips

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Chips, or actually, crisps made from Kale. Light, airy, little, wisps of flavor. Flavor that costs a ton of money. Look at these prices! Well, now. We don’t have to pay those kind of prices, do we. Nope! We don’t. I have a dehydrator. Sure, you have the initial output of cash to buy the dehydrator, but you can do so much with it. Careful shopping can get you one on sale, or use one of those 20% off coupons that Bed Bath & Beyond are always sending out. Still not willing to put out the cash? Look at it this way. You’ll be saving all that money and more, simply by reducing your waste. Parsley about to go bad? Dry it. Far, too many jalapenos in your harvest? Dry them. Freeze coming and your pretty, purple basil plant is loaded with leaves? Dry them! Make the kid’s some fruit roll ups. That way, you’ll know for sure what they are made of. Just fill the dehydrator, turn it on and go read a book. It’s that easy. The savings will really add up. I paid $2.50 for a pound of organic kale and it made a gallon baggie full of crisps. Those are real savings.

Let’s make some kale chips, ok?

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Simple ingredients, great flavors.

The special equipment needed? The dehydrator and a salad spinner. That’s it. This is going to be easy. Open the salad spinner and set it beside you and the kale. Fold a kale stem in half and hold it in one hand, using the stem and a handle. Use the other hand and tear handfuls of kale off and drop them into the spinner basket.

kale

Tear off chunks.

You want the pieces of kale to be around 3 inches wide. They shrink up quite a bit, so bigger is better. Keep going until all the kale is torn. Then, carry the spinner basket to the sink and rinse the kale off.

Rinsing off kale

Give it a shower.

Shake off the water and pop the basket back into the spinner and spin it!

Spin dry kale

Spin dry

Spread out a clean kitchen towel on your counter and rump the kale out onto it. Grab a paper towel and blot up the excess moisture from the leaves.

drying kale chips

Blot dry.

Take that same paper towel and dry out the salad spinner bowl.

dry bowl

I have a new photo editor. Can you tell? lol

Place half the kale into the spinner bowl.

kale in bowl

Half in the bowl

Drizzle them with 2 teaspoons of olive oil

kale kale kale

Drizzle with oil

and rub it into the leaves with your fingers.

oiled kale

Give your kale a massage.

Then, here’s the tricky part. You have to decide what to flavor them with. Yes, I understand that this is tough, but I have faith. You can do it! Pick something that you like. Curry powder, garlic salt, Old Bay seafood seasoning, lemon pepper, herbs de provence, or, even, ranch salad dressing mix! If your seasoning mix is salt free, add a shake or two of salt, or just leave it off. There is no limit to what you can add for flavor! I am using a southwest chipotle blend because I like it. So, sprinkle on 2 teaspoons of seasoning blend and hand toss to mix.

spicy kale

Sprinkle with spices

Get out your dehydrator.

dehydrator

My dry guy

Open it up and set a tray beside your kale bowl. Start laying the kale out on the trays, keeping them in a single layer.

layer 1

1st layer

Keep on layering.

loading th edehydrator with kale

keep on layering

When you run out of seasoned kale, start the flavoring process again using the other half. Don’t bother to wipe out the bowl, that’s just extra flavor!

Repeat oil & seasoning with the last half

Repeat oil & seasoning with the last half.

Hopefully, you run out of kale and empty trays at the same time.

Dehydrator is full

All full

Pop on the top and start it up. Mine has direction printed right on top. Those are what I use, too. Can’t argue with brilliance. Check your kale about halfway through the cooking time. I like to rotate the trays at the time. Maybe it helps them dry evenly. I don’t know why I do it, but it make me feel better. Any how, after cooking time has passed, you’ll find that your kale has shrunk quite a bit.

kale chips

All dehydrated up.

It’s supposed to. You did everyting right. You’ve made kale chips! Clean up is a breeze, too. One dirty salad spinner and a couple of dehydrator trays. Easy as can be. So, keep your money in your pocket and make your own kale chips. And fruit leathers, and dried fruits, and dried herbs, and oh,oh,oh, your own sun dried tomatoes!!!

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Southwest Chipotle Kale Chips

Here’s the recipe.

Kale Chips
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Kale is seasoned and then dehydrated into light, airy, flavorful crisps.
Ingredients
  • 12 to 15 stems of fresh kale
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil - divided
  • 4 teaspoons seasoning, such as curry powder, garlic salt or southwest chipotle – divided
  • Salt, if necessary.
Instructions
  1. Special equipment needed – a dehydrator.
  2. Get out a salad spinner. With the kale leaf folded in half, hold the stem in one hand, and with the other, tear off handfuls of kale. You want pieces about 3 inches wide. Place the torn kale pieces into the salad spinner. Rinse and spin dry. Dump the kale out onto a clean towel and blot off excess water with paper towels. Using the same paper towels, dry out the salad spinner bowl. Place half the kale inside. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and massage the oil into the leaves with your hands. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the seasoning powder over the leaves. If your spice mix doesn't contain salt, sprinkle a little salt over the leaves, also. Toss in bowl using your hands.
  3. Place a dehydrator tray beside your kale bowl. Spread out the kale, in a single layer. Repeat with additional trays. When the first bowl of kale is used up, repeat the oil and seasoning steps from above. When mixed, fill remaining dehydrator trays.
  4. Assemble the dehydrator and process the kale according to your machines directions. For my Nesco model, it was 135º for 7 hours. Always check and rotate the trays halfway through the drying time.
  5. It's done when it as crispy as you want it to be!