Start with clean hands, equipment, and countertops.
Peel and slice the bananas—For banana chips: Using a sharp knife or mandoline, cut the bananas into ¼” rounds.For banana leathers: Slice the bananas lengthwise into ¼" strips.
Arrange banana slices in a single layer on dehydrator trays, ensuring there is space between pieces to allow airflow.For banana leathers, lightly grease your dehydrator's solid fruit leather trays with a small amount of coconut oil. Place the strips of banana on the trays and press down on them with a spatula or bottom of a glass to flatten.
Dehydrate at 135F/57C for 6-12 hours, until dry (see note 1). If making banana leathers, you'll want to flip them after a few hours to promote even drying.
Let the dried bananas cool completely before storing.
Short term storage: If bananas will be consumed within a week or two, store in a ziptop bag or sealed container on the counter or in a pantry.
Long-term storage: Condition by loosely packing the dried bananas in a transparent, airtight container. Leave it on the counter for a week and check it daily for signs of moisture. If condensation appears, return the bananas to the dehydrator (unless there are signs of mold—then, throw out the whole batch). Shake occasionally to keep the pieces from sticking together (expect leathers to stick together, though!).After conditioning, store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to six months. Vacuum sealing will help extend the shelf life and quality of the bananas.
Note 1: You can use as many bananas as will fit on your dehydrator trays.Note 2: Total time will depend on your machine, total dehydrator load, humidity in the air, air temperature. 6-12 hours is a range and you should rely primarily on the feel and texture of the bananas to determine doneness.Bananas should be leathery in texture when properly dried. To test, remove a slice and let it completely cool. They may have some bend but if you tear one in half and squeeze it, there should be no moisture that seeps out. If they have any signs of remaining moisture, put them back into the dehydrator or oven to dry longer.
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