I did a banana chip making demo. The director took a sample, ate it and commented,”the banana chips tasted like raw bananas, mapakla pa“. Of course it did, it was made of green bananas. As stated in my previous note, “Using Raw Bananas and Artificial Flavors for Banana Chips”, ripe bananas are not fit for chip making. Artificial banana flavor is used to mask the raw taste.
Well, the following changed my belief.
Mom gave me ripe Saba bananas yesterday. I set aside two pieces for my little crazy thing. The rest went to boiling water the next day, as nilagang saging.
I removed the banana peels. Cut off and ate both ends. Sliced thinly, about 1-2 mm thick. Then fried the slices in oil over very low flame for ten minutes. This method is from the idea of “How to Make Cassava Fries“, cook the slices before browning occurs.
The browning started from center and edges. Getting wider and wider until the ten minutes time frame. It was not crunchy while in oil and immediately after removal. It became crispy after two minutes of cooling.
Crunchy dark brown banana chips with a bitter sweet taste and unpleasing appearance.
The method used. Dipping bananas in hot water, 47-49°C for ten minutes. Then stored normal condition. Chilling experiment was also done, stored at 8-10°C for 8 to 10 days.
HWD was able to reduce finger rot and anthracnose infection. No drastic effect on fruit ripening under normal surrounding up to six days. Saba bananas turned ripe soft two to three days later than untreated. Bananas subjected to further chill treatment had less chilling injuries. The same results were observed on Latundan.
Based from the study results, hot water dipping is a must to prevent postharvest diseases such as finger rot and anthracnose, delay fruit ripening, reduce chilling injuries and to attain better fruit quality.
The article was according to bar digest, “Hot Water Dip Improves Banana and Mango Fruit Quality” by Rita T. dela Cruz. Please refer to “Extended Hot Water Dip” for mango fruit information. I think EHWD instruction is more detailed and comprehensive. The latter study never included bananas though.
The study was conducted by Dr. Antonio Acedo Jr., Marilou Benitez, and Dr. Ma. Cherry Abit or Leyte State University, LSU.
HWD and EHWD are cheaper alternatives of Vapor Heat Treatment, VHT.
When I eat three ripe saba bananas, I am still looking for more. However, three boiled saba bananas are often enough to make me full, sometimes two are enough. It seems that boiled bananas makes one fuller. Are you experiencing the same thing?
I asked brother what is his opinion about the case. He replied that it has more water than unboiled. Its the water content that makes the stomach fuller.
Banana flesh is compact and watery already. By theory, absorbing more water is unlikely. To solve the puzzle, I got seven ripe saba bananas. Assigned number to each by scratching the peel with knife. Weighed. Boiled for fifteen minutes. Then reweighed.
Here are the weighing results:
Weight before boiling:
1 – 75
2 – 66
3 – 75
4 – 65
5 – 60
6 – 50
7 – 58
Weight after boiling:
1 – 74
2 – 64
3 – 74
4 – 63
5 – 58
6 – 48
7 – 55
During boiling, the starch content undergo the process of gelatinization. This might be responsible for more water absorption. However the results tell the reverse. Each banana had one to three grams weight loss.
Puzzle still not solved. The gelatinized banana might be harder to digest.
The two to three bottom end hands of saba banana are considered rejects. They are rejects because they are smaller than the rest of banana and usually contain less fingers. They are not included in sale cause they tend to make the whole batch price lower.
The three bottom ends are called “puto”. Puto ng saging is pronounced differently than puto – the Filipino rice cake similar to muffins. The two “puto” syllables are pronounced very fast with a quick stop.
Rejects are usually left behind to ripe and eaten, to rot or as feed to animals – horses and cows. This time I got three banana hands. All of them are rejects. The three hands are left behind after my brother sold his harvest.
Lets make unsweetened banana chips from it!
1) Cut both ends and peel with a knife. Insert the knife from one side and remove the peel by twisting the inserted knife gently. Always use a stainless steel knife, steel knives leave a dark spots on banana.
2) Soak peeled banana in clean water to prevent discoloration and remove latex.
3) Slice thinly and uniformly. Crosswise or lengthwise. Uniformity can be achieved by using a banana slicer, a food processor or a knife with a cutting guide like the one below.
4) Also, soak the sliced banana in water to prevent discoloration. Drain it for about five minutes before frying.
5) Put cooking oil in cooking vessel. Set the flame to high and wait until it slightly emits smoke. Drop enough sliced bananas. Stir to prevent sticking together of slices. Then set the flame to low after two minutes.
6) Take one chip at regular interval to check. Cooking is done once the banana chips are crispy. Another way to determine is by its color. Cooked banana chips are golden brown. Once done, take out from oil immediately and place in a strainer to drain excess oil.
How unsweetened banana chips taste? Just try it!