Banana Chips

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banana chips on a wire cooling rack

Credit: Laura Rege

These baked banana chips are packed with fiber, potassium, and other good-for-you vitamins and minerals, which makes them the perfect after-school or post-gym snack. These chips are not only easier to transport than peeling and eating a whole banana, but they are also sweet and crunchy, which lends a whole different perspective to how you can enjoy this fruit.

While overripe bananas are irresistible in baked goods like banana bread and banana muffins, those softer bananas just won’t work for these chips. The ideal ripeness for these chips ranges from about a day or two before they hit just ripe and the very day they are ripe enough to eat. The peel should be yellow, with just a touch of pale green at the top, and without blemishes. The flesh should be slightly sweet and firm enough to hold its shape when thinly sliced.

Banana chips take a bit of time in the oven, but otherwise they are pretty simple to make! 

  • Start by peeling and slicing the bananas. To achieve a nice crispness, the bananas must be very thinly sliced. Slice them as evenly as possible so they cook in about the same amount of time, ensuring the banana chips have a nice consistent, crisp texture. 
  • Then toss the banana slices in simple syrup, which lends a slight sweetness and contributes to the crunchy texture of these baked banana chips.
  • Arrange the banana slices in an even layer across two lightly greased rimmed baking sheets to help prevent sticking. Keep a little space around the banana slices to ensure they cook evenly.
  • Bake, rotating the trays halfway through, until golden and starting to crisp. The chips might still feel a bit soft out of the oven, but they will continue to crisp as they cool.
  • To get to snacking faster, let the banana chips crisp up on a wire rack (although they can also be cooled in an even layer on a plate or right on the baking sheet instead). Either way, make sure to peel the bananas off the parchment paper as soon as they come out of the oven so they don’t stick. 

How to Make Banana Chips Extra Crispy

Store-bought banana chips are extra crisp because they are fried in oil. To achieve a similar crunch without frying, there are two secrets.

  • Slice the bananas as thinly as possible. We started with 1/4-inch-thick slices but the chips browned too fast and the texture was more like dried apricots than crisp chips. So we tried a few different sizes and had the most success with a scant 1/8-inch-thick slice, which is about paperclip thick.
  • Lean on simple syrup. Once you get the thickness down, it’s possible to get a fairly crisp chip, however for a super-crispy chip that also tastes great, simple syrup is the way to go. Tossing the slices with a small amount of simple syrup before baking makes them even more crunchy.

What to Serve with Banana Chips

Snack on these as is, or try dipping them in guacamole for a plantain-like chip dipper. For the ultimate sweet and salty snack, make a homemade trail mix with these banana chips. They pair well with salty roasted nuts, other dried fruits like raisins, and, of course, dark chocolate chips.

This storage-friendly recipe is the perfect light snack.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray

  • 2 tablespoons

    granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons

    water

  • 4

    just-ripe bananas (about 6 ounces each)

Instructions

  1. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 250°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Coat the paper lightly with cooking spray.

  2. Place 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Pour the sugar mixture into a large heatproof bowl.

  3. Peel and very thinly slice (about 1/8-inch-thick) 4 bananas crosswise on a slight diagonal, or straight across like coins (110 to 115 slices). Add the slices to the sugar mixture and toss until evenly coated. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the baking sheets.

  4. Bake, rotating the baking sheets halfway through, until the bananas are golden and crisp in places (the banana chips will continue to crisp as they cool), 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes total. Carefully, as the tray is hot, use your fingers or a metal spatula to peel the banana chips off the parchment paper and transfer them onto a wire rack in an even layer. Let cool completely, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftover banana chips can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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