If you enjoy a banana smoothie with your breakfast, or maybe banana bread is a staple in your house, you might be wondering if you can freeze bananas.
Read on as we look at the different ways to freeze bananas and how to handle them when it’s time to defrost and use them.
General Tips to Keep in Mind When Freezing Bananas
Before you start freezing your bananas, here are some basic guidelines;
- When you’re thinking about freezing bananas, choose the ripest ones possible. In some cases, the peel will have faint brown areas on it and might be speckled with darker spots.
- You can freeze bananas with the peel still on, but you’ll save yourself plenty of time and effort when you’re thawing and using them if you peel them beforehand. Some people have also claimed that leaving the peel on reduces the freshness of the fruit and also shortens the amount of time it can be kept in the freezer by up to 1 month.
- When freezing banana slices, you need to flash freeze them on a sheet tray first. If you skip this step, the pieces will clump together, and you’ll find it difficult to use them later, especially if you don’t intend to use them all.
- Even if the bananas have started to brown slightly, you can still chop them and freeze them since they won’t rot.
- Don’t freeze bananas that are not ripe, even if it looks like they’re only a day away from reaching their sweetest, tastiest point since once they’re frozen, they will not ripen further.
- Bananas generally last in the freezer for nearly 6-8 months. Over time, they will develop freezer burn, so make sure they look and taste alright before using them in any of your dishes or drinks
How to Freeze Bananas
Freezing a Whole Banana
If you intend to use bananas in a smoothie, banana bread, or any other recipe that calls for mashed bananas, then it’s a good idea to freeze them whole.
- Peel all the bananas.
- Place them in a Ziploc bag or a box, label it with the current date and place them in the freezer.
- Bananas retain their freshness and flavour for up to 2-3 months, but can still last longer.
- For recipes like blended drinks, etc., you can use the bananas straight out of the freezer.
- For desserts like muffins, bread, and more, you need to allow the bananas to defrost completely before using them.
How to Defrost Whole Bananas
If the bananas have been frozen unpeeled, let them sit at room temperature for around 5 minutes before removing the peel. Once the peel has been removed, allow them to sit on the counter for 1-2 hours to thaw them completely. If you want them to thaw faster, place them in the microwave for a minute or two.
Freezing Banana Slices
Slicing up the bananas before freezing them makes your life much simpler – you can measure them out more easily when you need to use them, and you can use them for a diverse range of dishes such as Banoffee Pie. You can even use these slices as a garnish for dishes or add them to a fresh fruit salad.
- Start off by peeling all the bananas and chopping them into thick slices.
- Place them on a flat baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper.
- Freeze the slices on the tray for up to 2 hours until they’re completely hard.
- After this, place the frozen slices into a Ziploc bag or a container and then put it in the freezer. Label the container with the current date.
- Sliced bananas will retain their freshness in the freezer for up to 2-3 months, but are still usable after.
- When using banana slices, follow the same steps as with whole bananas to defrost them. If you need to speed up the process, pop them in the microwave.
Freezing Mashed Bananas
Whether you have overripe bananas, or need to store mashed bananas for young children to eat, or certain dishes you enjoy cooking, freezing mashed bananas is quite easy.
- Begin by peeling and mashing up the bananas you want to freeze.
- Once they’re completely mashed, place them in a Ziploc bag or container, label it with the current date and freeze it. These will stay fresh for up to a few months.
- When it’s time to use the mashed bananas, allow them to thaw completely at room temperature before using them.
- Alternatively, place the bag of mashed bananas into a bath of warm water to speed up the process.
- You can also take the frozen mash out into a microwaveable plate and place them inside for a minute or two.