Because bananas are relatively cheap, people usually tend to buy more than they can eat before they start to turn brown and unpleasant. They go bad pretty fast, unfortunately, but this doesn’t have to be the end for them if you learn how to freeze bananas!
By freezing them, you can extend a banana’s shelf life for up to 3 months! There are many ways to do it depending on what you want to use it for, but they’re all very simple.
To freeze bananas, you have to peel them, lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, flash-freeze them, transfer them into a container and deep-freeze them. You can even freeze them whole, unpeeled.
Keep reading to find the step-by-step instructions, some useful tips, and a few frequently asked questions at the end of this article.
The quickest and simplest way to freeze bananas is by throwing them whole in the freezer. You don’t even need to peel them! We do, however, highly recommend that you peel them first because doing so after you put them in the freezer can be quite tricky.
While you have to let, the bananas defrost for at least an hour if you want to use them for baking, doing so will actually speed up the mashing process.
So whether you peel them or not before freezing them is completely up to you.
To freeze whole bananas, you have to cover a baking sheet with wax or parchment paper and place the fruits on top. Put them in the freezer for about two hours until they freeze, and then transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good banana smoothie on a hot summer day? With this banana freezing method, you can have one whenever you want.
- Grab a baking sheet that fits inside your freezer and line it with wax or parchment paper.
- Peel the bananas and remove any stringy pieces.
- Cut them into ½-inch thick slices.
- Lay them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Make sure that they’re not touching each other to avoid them freezing into a clump.
- Take the sheet to the freezer and flash-freeze the banana slices for about 1 to 2 hours until they’re solid.
- Transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag or airtight container, seal and date it.
- Back to the freezer!
How to Freeze Mashed Bananas
This is the perfect way to preserve overripe bananas that have already started to brown. It can be particularly useful if you plan on using them for recipes that call for mashed bananas, such as banana bread or cake.
- Peel the bananas and remove any stringy pieces.
- Mash them well.
- Scoop the mash into a zip-top freezer bag.
- Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it.
- Date it and freeze it flat.
We like to label the bags with the number of bananas or the cup measurement of bananas inside so we know exactly how much we have when baking. Trust us, and this is going to make things a lot easier for you.
Bananas turn brown when they’ve been exposed to excess air in the freezer. This commonly happens when the bag or the container you’ve stored them in wasn’t sealed properly.
To avoid this, just make sure that the bananas are stored in an airtight container and use them within 3 months, or they’ll start to turn dark and acquire an unappealing texture.
Whenever we use zip-tops bags, we try to remove as much air as possible to make the bag as airtight as we can. We partially seal the bag and then insert a straw at the end of the seal to suck the rest of the air out.
As we’ve mentioned before, if you want to use your bananas for baking, you need to thaw them first.
As with any other frozen fruit, or any other food for that matter, moving them from the freezer to the refrigerator to thaw overnight is the best way to do it.
If you went to bed and forgot to do it, don’t worry. You can leave the bananas out in a bowl on the counter for 30 minutes to an hour until thawed.
Remember to only thaw the bananas you’re going to be using right away because they shouldn’t be refrozen. It’s best that they live to see another day! This is why we recommend labeling the cup measure or number of bananas in each bag or container.
Don’t panic if the bananas look unappealing after they’ve thawed because that’s completely normal. They’re going to turn mushy and even release a lot of liquid. Don’t drain that liquid because it might ruin the final results of your baking since that’s the natural moisture found in a fresh banana after all.
Frequently Asked Questions
Preparing your bananas for the freezer won’t take you more than five minutes unless you have an ungodly number of fruits. Then, you have to flash-freeze them for 1 hour or 2. Ideally, you should leave them in the freezer overnight after you transfer them to a zip-top bag or airtight container, but they should be fine after only a few more hours.
Frozen bananas won’t go bad in the freezer, so they’re safe to eat no matter how long they’ve been stored (unless there’s been a power outage, of course). However, they can only stay fresh for up to 3 months. That’s why it’s important that you date the bag or the container. Freshness can have a great impact on most baking recipes.
Flaslash-freezing is a necessary step in the process of freezing bananas, especially if they’re sliced because it prevents them from freezing together in one big clump. Just imagine having to break them apart when you’re in a rush to make your smoothie… not fun.
By doing this, you can freeze the individual banana slices so that you can simply reach into the bag and pull as many as you need.
You can, but you shouldn’t because once frozen, bananas won’t riper any further. They should be ripe when you prep them for the freezer, and if you’re going to use them for baking, it’s even better if they’re overripe because they’re going to be sweeter.
Freezing your bananas is a great way to preserve them and avoid wasting food, especially since they go bad rather quickly.
Depending on what you’re going to use them for later, you might have to pick a specific freezing method, but rest assured that they’re all very simple.
All that’s left is for you to start your frozen banana stash so that you can enjoy some delicious smoothies and baked goods whenever you want!