Jul 6, 2023
Bananas are easily perishable but don’t dehydrate well. Freeze drying locks in bananas’ color, taste, and nutrition without fancy prepping.
We love freeze-drying bananas because they don’t turn brown like they do in a dehydrator. This process of preservation locks in the taste, flavor, and nutrients of the fruit, unlike any other method. We show you how we process them, so we have tasty, satisfying bananas whenever we need them.
Before we start, let’s get our pieces of equipment ready.
That’s all you need. Life is simpler when you have a freeze dryer, really.
Many variables determine the length of time for freeze drying. These are:
You can play around with the settings until you get it right. For this one, what we did was we added in an extra 4 hours of freeze time plus extra 6 hours of dry time.
Honestly, it’s going to have a lot of trial and error. What you can do is document your process each time you freeze dry. This way, you’ll see where you need to adjust so you can get the ideal settings sooner.
When you check the bananas, every single piece should be dry and hard. No cold, soft, or wet spots.
Biting into it should give you a crunchy, airy texture. They should taste like a banana chip, like the dehydrated ones. Only they’re not chewy and tough. They almost have the airiness of merengue and the same satisfying melt-in-your-mouth experience.
You can slice them paper thin if you want banana crisps or chips. You can go thicker; just don’t go above the lip of the tray. For us, we sliced the banana approximately 1/2 or 3/4 inch thick.
Sure you can! What we like most about freeze-drying is that you can experiment with it and see which method suits you.
One thing, though. It’s going to take longer to freeze dry compared to banana slices. So this means you need to do all the bananas the same way. Otherwise, you’ll end up with inconsistent freeze drying, and that’s not what you want.
We usually pack our freeze-dried food in Mylar bags since they keep out air, moisture, and light pretty well. We throw in an oxygen absorber (or two for good measure). Then we keep the bags in a place with a temperature not higher than 72°F (22 °C).
For this video, though, we’re going camping so we just threw in the bananas in an air-tight container. Our kids love them, so these are going to be gone in less than a day, haha.
We don’t reconstitute the fruit after freeze drying. We find that it doesn’t come out exactly the same.
You can grind the bananas in the blender and use it for baby food. It also works well with baking.
For the kids, they just eat them as they are. They’re great for snacking and can be a great compliment to cereals and oatmeal.
If you want an added crunch that turns into a creamy, melt-in-your-mouth sweetness in your ice cream? Go ahead and add your freeze-dried banana slices.
Dogs love them too! They’re great treats for dogs, especially if they’re on a diet.
We didn’t pile or layer the bananas because we find that this helps them freeze dry evenly. If you layer them, you’ll have to constantly move them around. Yes, this means constantly taking the tray out of the freeze dryer. You’ll be interrupting the cycle, which prolongs the freeze drying process and gives you inconsistent and unsatisfying results.
Some leave the peel in when they freeze dry. Haven’t personally tried it, but to each her own, I guess.
You can pre-freeze your bananas before putting them in the freeze dryer. This works especially well if you’re in a hot region or your freeze dryer’s in a hot place. It shortens the process considerably and removes the load off your freeze dryer.
Don’t worry about the crystals or bubbles that form when you freeze dry. This is due to the sugar content of the fruit. The more ripe the bananas are, the higher the sugar content.
On this note, better not freeze dry bananas that are too ripe. Someone freeze-dried their batch that’s way too ripe, and the banana slices just exploded.
Freeze drying fruits help ensure you have enough supply without worrying about wastage. If you love bananas but hate the fact that they have a short shelf life, then try this. Freezing them allows you to enjoy the fruit all year long wherever you are without spoilage. No more worrying about browning!
Have questions about freeze-drying banana? Let us know in the comment section and we’ll help you out.
Also, don’t forget to follow us on YouTube for more freeze-drying tips and videos!