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How To Freeze Bananas

Are you wondering if you can freeze bananas? If you’ve bought lots of bananas or if you have overripe bananas that may have been sitting on the counter for too long, there is a good way to store them without them going bad. You can actually freeze bananas and do as much, or more, with frozen bananas than you can do with fresh ripe bananas.

how-to-freeze-bananas

Why Freeze Bananas?

Bananas are the perfect healthy snack containing vitamins, minerals, and fiber. There are various degrees of ripeness indicated by the color of the banana, which can range from green to dark yellow. As ripe bananas age, their color, texture and starch content changes. Depending on the stage of the banana, you can use them for all kinds of foods including smoothies, breads, cookies, pies and even baby food. Freezing bananas is therefore a great way to prolong its shelf life so you can use them for different recipes. So don’t throw away any overripe bananas yet! Instead, let us guide you how to freeze bananas in a few different ways.

How Do You Freeze Bananas?

You can freeze bananas in different ways depending on how you plan to use them. But one thing you should know is that when you freeze bananas, ice crystals will form causing cell walls to break. When the bananas are thawed, the cell walls will collapse and water will leak throughout the banana. This will leave the texture of the banana mushy and watery. You can still eat them in that state, but if you are looking for a solid texture then freezing them might not be the way.

Ok, so in what ways can you freeze bananas? You have a few choices…you could freeze bananas in slices, freeze mashed bananas, and freeze whole bananas (with and without the peel).

Sliced Bananas

One way of storing bananas in the freezer is by first slicing them. This is great for smoothies because it lets you easily add the right amount of banana to your smoothie. You can add them frozen while you are blending your drink. In that way you can use less ice cubes that may otherwise make your drink too watery.

The easiest way is to just slice them into desired thickness, put them in a Ziploc bag, and toss them in the freezer. The only bad thing with this method is that the banana slices might stick together once they freeze. The slices might become hard to separate if you only intend to use a few of them.

sliced-bananas-in-freezer-bag

 

A better way to freeze banana slices would be by putting the slices on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Then you put the tray in the freezer. After 1-2 hours just take out the tray and you can see that the bananas are frozen. Now, put the slices in a freezer bag or a rigid plastic container and they will not stick together. Alternatively, you can also just put the slices on a cutting board instead of using a baking sheet.

frozen-bananas

 

Another way of storing frozen banana slices is to use a container and store the slices in layers. To avoid them to freeze together, you will add wax paper or baking paper between the layers. Then you can easily remove three or four slices and add them to your smoothie.

sliced-bananas-parchment

 

Mashed Bananas

Freezing mashed bananas woks well for when you want to make banana bread, banana muffins, or any other recipe that requires pureed bananas.

In order to mash bananas you just have to peel and mash up the bananas with the help of a fork. Then just transfer the mashed bananas to a freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing.

frozen-mashed-bananas

 

Whole Bananas

You can freeze whole bananas by just putting them in the freezer without peeling them. Some people store the bananas in a bag, and some just let the skin act as a protecting layer, which actually eliminates the use of containers.

frozen-whole-bananas

Depending on how you will use your banana, we can tell you that if you let an unpeeled frozen banana sit in room temperature, the texture inside will come out mushy.

If that is what you need, then you just need to peel it by cutting of the top end of the banana and squeeze its content out.

If you instead want a firm frozen banana, just let it sit for a few minutes in room temperature. Then cut the ends and make a slice from end to end. You can now use the knife and slide it under the peel. Start peeling and you will end up with a nice firm banana.

squeezing-thawed-banana

Squeezing the thawed banana

 

Thawing Frozen Bananas

Thawing frozen bananas to be used in desserts and snacks is simple but the approach to take depends on how you stored them and what you plan to use them for.

When you freeze bananas for smoothies, you don’t really want them to return to room temperature before using them. Keep them cold instead as they will keep your smoothie cold and add some texture to your healthy drink.

If you decided to freeze bananas already peeled and left them whole or sliced, they can just sit at room temperature to defrost. If you decided to leave the peel on, you can also place them on the counter at room temperature, but you will want to address how to remove the peel as we explained earlier. If you need the banana fast, you can always immerse it in hot water, but you will need to have the banana covered in plastic when doing so. Just make sure no water leaks in.

Baking With Frozen Bananas

Using frozen bananas for baking is easy once they have been thawed properly. There are many types of recipes including breads, cakes, pies, muffins, and cookies that can use what were once ripe or overripe bananas that would have otherwise gone to waste. Not only can they add vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese to a recipe, baking with frozen bananas can also be used as a substitute or the equivalent of 1 cup of butter or oil. This can significantly reduce the amount of saturated fat that some dessert items and treats would otherwise contain.

 

FAQs

How long can you freeze bananas for?

There is not a hard and fast rule on how long you can freeze bananas. As the general rule for fruit goes, you will want to eat within 6 months of freezing the bananas, but freshness and taste are best within 1-3 months.

For how long can you freeze Chiquita bananas?

According to Chiquita, they recommend using their bananas within 2 months if you use them for smoothies, and one month if you use them for baking.

Can you freeze bananas for baby food?

Many parents actually freeze bananas to be used as baby food. The only thing is that mashed bananas may turn brown, but babies will probably not complain about the color.

How do you keep frozen mashed bananas from going brown?

The oxidation of the banana does not mean it is going bad. It is perfectly safe to eat, but if the color puts you off, then add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice per 1 cup of mashed bananas. The National Center for Home Food Preservation recommends adding a ½ teaspoon (1500 mg) absorbic acid per cup of banana.