I know quite a few people who like to refer to the Republic of the Philippines as the Banana Republic whenever local corruption and/or ineptitude reaches new heights. Sometimes, our government is run so haphazardly that we begin to view our leaders as little more than monkeys, hence the moniker (no offense to the chi-chi clothing brand of the same name, clearly).
There is, however, a more positive reason behind our country being a Banana Republic. We simply go bananas over, well, bananas. Where else can you find a nation that magically makes ketchup out of the stuff? Or citizens who alleviate their homesickness by dumping the said sauce over just about everything?
If banana ketchup sounds a little much for you, we do have a sweeter alternative (not that banana ketchup isn’t sweet): banana chips. Delicious, cheap, and ridiculously easy to make, they’re great for eating your feelings of secondhand embarrassment and frustration away when yet another clueless government official lets fly with another “quotable quote.”
Oven-Baked Banana Chips
2 ripe bananas, peeled
The juice of one lemon
Nonstick cooking spray
Preheat your oven to 200F or 93C.
Spray a clean baking sheet with the nonstick cooking spray until the entire surface is moistened.
Cut the bananas up into thin slices, about ¼-inch in width. Make sure the slices are as uniform as possible so that the chips cook evenly.
Dip each slice into the lemon juice to prevent them from darkening. Lay out each slice on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for about three hours, turning over once, or until the chips are golden brown and crispy.
Let cool. You can also drizzle the chips with a bit of honey for added sweetness or dip them in melted chocolate for a real treat.
If you prefer fried chips, the following recipe is a great variation:
Deep-fried Banana Chips
2 ripe bananas
Granulated sugar (optional)
Peel the bananas and slice them into 1/4 -inch thick slices.
Lay out the slices on a wire rack and leave them to dry out slightly for a couple of minutes.
Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
Once the oil is bubbling, fry the banana slices in small batches (take care not to overcrowd them) for about two minutes, or until they turn a nice, golden brown color.
Retrieve the fried chips using a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper towels.
Roll in granulated sugar while warm, if desired.
Enjoy your banana chips!