21 Mar2007

Low Sugar Banana Chips

by Marketman


Banana chips and dried mangoes are the two Filipino fruit snacks that I absolutely love. Anywhere on the planet, doing almost anything, I can launch into a bag of either of these goodies and finish the entire package all by myself. But oddly, for several years, I couldn’t stand the site of banana chips. When I was about 8, my dad had access to a huge plantation of bananas somewhere in Mindanao. I’m not sure if it belonged to a family friend or if he leased it, but suffice it to say there were bananas up the wazoo. So my parents decided to figure out a banana chip recipe and go into business… Actually, they were ahead of their time as they must have been one of the first to venture into this delicacy. For weeks we had these huge kalans (frying pans) in our garage in Manila, testing out all kinds of recipes…thicker lengthwise slices of bananas, boring cross-section cuts, white sugar, brown sugar, etc. By about the third day of this testing process, I swore off banana chips for at least another decade…the sugar, the crunch and most of all, the lingering oily taste of pre-marketable versions was just too much to handle. And worse, my room was above the testing area so I smelled the process for a week at least…

I was so averse to the chips I can’t actually recall the brand name they eventually settled on! The business did okay at the start, floundered and was closed up not much later. chips2And the extra inventory was, you guessed it, in our pantry! A decade or more later, I tasted some other banana chips and they were lighter, crisper and, well, tasted a whole lot better and I slowly regained a love for this great snack. I sometimes took to making my own pinoy trail mix with banana chips, chopped dried mango, pili nuts, kasoy, etc. for baon on road trips, at the beach etc. The chips in these photos were a gift from a family friend who are starting their own banana chips business down South…and the twist is, these have reduced sugar content. Made with half sugar, half artificial sweetener, these chips were REALLY quite good! I understand they also have sugar-free versions on the way… Now, that is an interesting proposition if they can get good-looking, fine-tasting, no sugar or low-sugar versions onto the market! Good luck to these guys…more information if and when they hit the retail stores!



  1. Maria Clara says:

    Something to look forward at the snack section of the market. When they hit the stream of commerce please advise the name brand they carry. They look very tasty. Their cut looks like pinasugbo with specks of sesame seeds. Only a reminder – on their sugar free version if they use sorbitol or isomalt as a sweetening agent too much consumption of the chips causes diarrhea. Moderate eating is the idea for sugar free version then . I mean bad diarrhea like taking Chinese herbal slimming tea. Wherever you are on the face of the planet you have to go and do your elimination business. Even if you plug your rear end with a wine cork it will explode. It has to go that’s how back it is.

    Mar 21, 2007 | 10:32 am


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  3. mila says:

    I found a good (ie crispy, thin, and flavorful) supply of banana chips at Market!Market! (one of the 3 for P100) deals. They are so addicting that I can finish a bag in one sitting. Definitely not a low-sugar snack, but it feels healthier to binge on that than a bag of tortilla chips… I hope :)

    Mar 22, 2007 | 9:59 am

  4. currystrumpet says:

    i loooove banana chips! also love your trail mix idea. will try it on my next road trip :-)

    Mar 22, 2007 | 7:04 pm

  5. danney says:

    Hello Mila I saw that banana chips store in Market Market and bought 6 bags and brought in Los Angeles. I love it. I’ll buy more when I go back home to the Philipines

    Mar 23, 2007 | 10:06 am

  6. abby says:

    Hi marketman, I much prefer tofu chips but it’s a bit difficult to find one here in the metro, I get mine at Chimara or Eng Bee Tin.I would like to taste sugar free banana chips though.

    Mar 23, 2007 | 4:23 pm

  7. DivineG. says:

    I make my own trail mix, too. I have different kinds of nuts, pretzels(salted and some coated with yogurt), and the best of it all is the dried orange-flavored cranberries. I brought these orange-flavored cranberries to work once and my friends saw me eating it, tried it and they liked it and they asked me to buy it for them. It is only $1.79 a pack, I forgot to look at the weight compared to what my friend bought at the grocery without the orange flavor for $3.99 a pack, she had finished what I bought her and she thought she could just buy it anywhere. Anyway I bought her 4 packs recently.

    Mar 23, 2007 | 10:18 pm

  8. Mike says:

    Hi marketman. I just saw this while I look for the data for our projet in shool. We are to study the banana chips industry and to make a proposal or make our own company of banana chips. Hahaha…it’s just a project but I do feel that exporting banana chips is a good thing especially for the US market.

    Apr 7, 2007 | 12:31 pm

  9. chick says:

    the chips in the picture looks so deliciously sweet! i don’t like banana chips na konti lang sugar.. find it nakakasawa. mas gusto ko yung sweet ones talaga! :D

    Aug 16, 2007 | 2:25 pm

  10. jem says:

    what is the secret of a delicious banana chips?

    Apr 1, 2009 | 8:13 pm


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