Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Homemade Banana Chips: A Fun, Frugal After-School Snack

I haven't tried this, but it sounds like a great idea! I just learned this from an online seminar with ConAgra and Phil Lempert, the Supermarket Guru.

I asked a question about healthy afternoon snacks that are as convenient as cookies and chips. In my house, I know that if a healthy alternative isn't right there, ready to go and staring us in the face, we'll reach for the junk food snacks. Phil listed some snack foods that are healthy, but not all of them are exactly frugal. He went on to suggest healthier chips, made at home.

The basic idea is to spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray (like PAM), then bake thin slices of banana. This sounds like a tasty, easy, frugal idea to me.

If, like me, you'd like more details instead of just winging it, here's one recipe. In searching for that, I also read that the recipe can be made with plantains instead of bananas, and can be seasoned to be savory instead of sweet. All good ideas, I think.

Let me know if you've ever tried making baked banana chips at home!

11 Comments :

silverhartgirl said...

That sounds so easy. Do you know why you have to have the oven door slightly ajar? With a toddlar i couldnt do that part,

Melissa said...

I don't know why the recipe recommends leaving the oven door ajar. I probably wouldn't do that: why heat the whole kitchen?

Lorie said...

I agree with Melissa.. I would probably try it without that part. My family loves banana chips so I might have to give this one a try!

redkathy said...

Leaving the oven ajar releases unwanted moisture. From what I read, this is a must when dehydrating food in the oven.

Anonymous said...

Since I have two dehydraters, I use those and the results are like candy. yummo
gourdsrmylife@yahoo.com

SnoWhite said...

I love drying food -- but I have yet to try bananas!

Anonymous said...

I read you can bake at 150 for 2 hours with door closed then flip the bananas and bake for 2 more hours. These are going to be kind of chewy. Were going to try it today.

Leslie said...

You have to leave the door open because it allows steam to escape from inside the oven. I think if you keep the steam within the oven by keeping the door closed they will come out slightly chewier than intended. I don't think it should hurt much.

Leslie said...

You normally would leave the oven door ajar to allow steam to escape. If you leave the steam within the oven, the chips will normally come out slightly chewier than intended. It really can't hurt too much, though, to leave it closed. I know the feeling!

moonsword said...

Sure, we've done bananas, apples, pears, blueberries, carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, etc. It's easy, but time/temp varies a bit between ovens, climates, air temps etc so you have to adapt recipes to fit your situation. Here's a good guide
http://www.backpackingchef.com/dehydrating-fruit.html
cheers!

Petula Lloyd said...

I plan on doing some sweet potato chips and I may try banana as well. I'm also going to do regular potato chips. I remember when my grandmother made some in the 80s - they were almost exactly like the healthy chips in the store when they first were on shelves. Wish I had been forward thinking - me and my MumMum coulda made a fortune!

Thanks for the ideas!

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