Dehydrating any fruit is most likely the easiest and most gentle way to preserve them. How to dehydrate bananas is even easier and makes them very portable. I always carry a small jar of banana chips with me no matter where I go. It is a brilliantly healthy energy booster and tastes delicious.
To dehydrate them all you need to do is cut them. You can cut them thin or thick, or even just half them lengthwise. It pretty much depends on how you prefer them. I like mine sliced as thinly as possible since I add them to cereals, mix them into muffins and bread or just snack on them.
Making banana chips in an oven
If you do not have a dehydrator then stick to your conventional oven. Preheat it on the lowest temperature setting which is usually around 50º - 90ºC (125º—200ºF). Line your baking trays or wire racks with baking parchment and spread the sliced bananas onto them. The slices will need somewhere between 4 - 6 hours depending on the temperature setting. Make sure to check on them every now and then when using this method. Using this method the chips will harden when they cool down so find out what time frame is best for your oven and taken them out when they are still a little bit softer than you would want them to be.
Making banana chips in a dehydrator
If you have a dehydrator then simply spread them on the racks and stick to the manual that was provided with it. Usually banana chips take about 4-6 hours. Halved bananas take up to 12 hours on at about 45°C (110°F). I tend to leave them over night. If you are not sure if they dehydrated enough leave them longer. You can't over do the dehydration process with this method. A good rule is: if in doubt, leave them longer. Also Do not be tempted to try to speed this up with raising the temperature too much. You will risk having scorched banana chips that are soft in the center. I tried it and it's awful.
I have an entry level dehydrator I got about 2 years ago. It's from Andrew James and served me very well so far. It comes with several trays, is light in weight and has both a timer and temperature setting. I will write a separate blog post about it in time for now you can check it out here and if you are lucky it will be on offer when you do. I got mine for 60% discount.
You can add anything that you like to your banana chips. I tend to leave mine all natural but occasionally I add some shredded coconut, cinnamon or even palm sugar. Get creative and let me know how this worked out for you.