Bananas: The Art of the Freeze

The ripe bananas should not be wasted. How to Freeze Bananas: A Step-by-Step Guide (Two Methods) to have on hand for use in things like smoothies, ice cream, and baked goods We've all been there: you go to the store and buy a bunch of bananas because you want to increase your fruit

The ripe bananas should not be wasted. How to Freeze Bananas: A Step-by-Step Guide (Two Methods) to have on hand for use in things like smoothies, ice cream, and baked goods

We've all been there: you go to the store and buy a bunch of bananas because you want to increase your fruit consumption, but then a few days later you have overripe, spotty bananas and you have no idea what to do with them.

I have a suggestion if you're pressed for time and need a quick recipe: freeze some bananas.

Avoid the landfill by putting your overripe bananas in the freezer. If you're a planner, you might want to freeze some bananas as soon as you get home from the store, because there are so many recipes that call for frozen bananas.

An overhead photo of two stasher bags. In one stasher bag is banana halves and the other has banana slices.

To begin, you must peel your bananas before you put them in the freezer. When I've tried to freeze a banana without removing the peel first, it's resulted in a huge mess. You should peel before eating.

Peel the banana before you start slicing it. Bananas, once peeled, can be halved or sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds and then placed on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Banana pieces will not stick together when frozen if they are in a single layer and not in contact with one another.

If you like to throw a few slices of frozen banana into your morning oatmeal or smoothie, or if your blender can't handle a larger chunk, cutting the banana into thinner slices is a great option. If you need to, you can always chop your frozen banana. A sharp knife can easily slice through a frozen banana, despite its tough texture.

Put the bananas in the freezer and leave them there for at least an hour, preferably longer. It will take longer for the halves to freeze than the slices.

Frozen bananas can be transferred to a freezer-safe container for longer-term storage once they've been frozen. Without freezing, you can simply toss them in a bag, but they will likely stick together, making it difficult to remove individual pieces.

Be sure to note the freeze date on the container label so you know how old the contents are. Unless you plan on keeping the frozen bananas for an extended period of time, there's no rush to label them. When frozen, bananas can be enjoyed for up to three months.

Collage of four photos: two showing sliced bananas and banana halves on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Photos below are frozen banana halves in a reusable bag before and after being closed.

To What Extent Can Bananas Be Frozen Whole?

Yes Bananas in their entirety can be frozen, but I suggest peeling them first. Since many smoothie recipes call for only half a banana, I usually freeze them in halves before using them.

It's easier for me to pull out two or three whole bananas from the freezer, let them thaw, and then use them in a recipe when they're already at their peak ripeness, which is why I usually do this when freezing overripe bananas for

Bananas, Unpeeled, Freezable?

In a word, yes. Although I recognize that this is a preferred method for some, I personally find it to be quite unpleasant.

Bananas have a darkening and softening effect on the peel when frozen. The bananas can still be eaten, but peeling them will be a major hassle. When defrosted, they won't taste as "fresh" as when frozen without the peel.

When Bananas Should Be Frozen

Bananas are best when they are soft and sweet, and since most recipes call for ripe bananas, you should wait until they are ripe before freezing them. Make sure the bananas are completely yellow before freezing them for use in meal prepping. Bananas that are getting brown spots or are almost completely brown are perfect for banana bread or other baking when frozen.

Solution to Banana Browning

Bananas quickly turn brown when exposed to too much air, so storing them requires an airtight container and as much air removal as possible. Stasher bags are great because they can go in the freezer and they always stay sealed.

A metal sheet pan lined with parchment paper. There are banana slices across the parchment paper.

Banana defrosting instructions

Bananas from the freezer should be thawed before being used in baked goods. They need to thaw for about two hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator, but you can do either. If you're really in a hurry, you can also use the microwave's defrost function.

Bananas that have been frozen will leak a lot of water when they thaw. Banana bread and other baked goods benefit greatly from the inclusion of the banana's natural liquid, which should not be discarded before baking.

Keep in mind that if your bag of frozen bananas thaws at all while you're taking some out, the rest of the bananas will freeze solidly to the bag when you return it to the freezer.

Making the Most of Frozen Bananas

Frozen bananas can be used in a wide variety of ways. Smoothies made with frozen bananas have the best texture, and you can also make dairy-free banana ice cream by blending frozen bananas. Frozen bananas are a great addition to oatmeal while it cooks. Put my peanut butter banana oatmeal to the test. Bananas are a great addition to many baked goods after being frozen and thawed.

Bananas are a staple in many of my recipes, and I also have many where you can substitute thawed frozen bananas for fresh ones.

Use of Frozen Bananas in Cooking

Banana-based Baking Recipes

Look at the many banana recipes we have on EBF, as well as my peach-freezing tutorial, for more ideas.

Don't throw away your overripe bananas. Bananas can be frozen in two distinct ways, and here we'll go over both of them. ), so you can keep them on hand for use in smoothies, ice cream, and other desserts,

An overhead photo looking into a stasher bag that is being held open by two hands. Inside the bag you can see banana halves.

  • 3 large ripe bananas , or as many as you can peel

  • Place a silicone baking mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Peel the bananas if you haven't already. Bananas can be halved or sliced into 1/2-inch rounds and then spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  • Bananas should be frozen for at least a couple of hours, or until they are solid, on a baking sheet in the freezer.
  • Put the bananas in a freezer bag and label it with the date. Put the lid on the bag and squeeze out as much air as you can. Put it back in the freezer until you're ready to use it. They can be frozen and consumed within three months.

Serving: 1 banana Calories: 105 kcal Carbohydrates: 27 g Protein: 1 g Sodium: 1 mg Potassium: 422 mg Fiber: 3 g Sugar: 14 g

Can I ask, did you make this dish?

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