Can you freeze bananas? Bananas are among the most popular fruit. People use them for baking purposes or consume them by themselves. Is there anything you can do if you’ve bought too many bananas and you’re afraid that some of them will go bad? Or you would like to stock up bananas because there’s this great sale in the store near your location? We all know that we can keep bananas in the pantry until they’re ripe and a few days in the fridge once they’re ripe. But can we freeze them to use them in a few weeks? It turns out that we can. Let’s discuss this matter in detail.
Freezing bananas – what you need to know
By freezing you can extend banana’s shelf life by a few months. For best quality it’s recommended to keep bananas in the freezer for no longer than 2, maybe 3 months. You can probably keep them a few months more, but their quality will deteriorate a little by that time. They won’t go bad, though. Take note that bananas are best frozen when they’re already ripe. If your banana is still green, you should consider storing it in the pantry until it’s ripe. How you should freeze bananas? There are at least few possibilities.
Image used under Creative Commons from Kelly Garbato
Freeze the whole banana (leave the peeling on)
In case you decide to freeze whole, unpeeled banana, you should be aware that its peel will turn brown (or black) while the fruit is in the freezer. That’s completely normal and fortunately enough, banana flesh stays fine even though the peel turns brown. To use this unpeeled banana you need to remove it from the freezer and then thaw it. It takes about 2 hours if you decide to thaw it in room temperature. Now you need to gently cut the peel open and remove the soft banana flesh. Your banana is ready to be used in any kind of recipe you would like it to be used. Is it fine to eat it by itself? Supposedly, yes. But if you’l enjoy a banana of this texture, it’s difficult to say. It’s a matter of personal preferences really. I encourage you to try flavoring thawed banana with cinnamon. You might find it a delicious treat. One more thing. Most people recommend freezing unpeeled bananas in a freezer bag. That’s a great idea and I recommend you do the same.
Freeze mashed bananas
You just need to peel the ripe banana, mash it and put the banana flesh in a freezer-safe container (choose one that doesn’t leave a lot of room for air in it after putting there mashed bananas). Bananas frozen this way aren’t that mushy and watery as bananas frozen with the peeling on. Instead of the container you can put the mashed banana in a Ziploc freezer bag. One banana (or even a part of it) into one bag. This way it’s easy to thaw only as many bananas as you need at a time. When freezing bananas this way, you just need to thaw them in the fridge or in room temperature and they are ready to be used (or eaten!), similarly as in case of freezing unpeeled bananas.
Freeze sliced banana
Firstly, you need to peel the ripe banana and slice it into chunks. Now it’s time to freeze them initially. To do that you can use a baking sheet – just place each banana chunk on the baking sheet (they shouldn’t stick to one another) and put this kitchen utensil into the freezer for an hour or two. Now, as the banana pieces are frozen, you should remove the cookie sheet from the freezer and put the frozen pieces into a freezer-safe bag or container. Now if you need bananas, you can easily get the exact amount you need. This way of freezing bananas is also perfect for smoothies. You don’t even need to thaw them, just put them into the blender, one by one. If you need bananas for baking purposes, I suggest thawing them beforehand.
Freeze the whole banana (peeled)
To do this you can simply peel the banana, put it into a freezer-safe bag and put it into the freezer. One more piece of advice – if you’re using any kind of bag to freeze bananas, make sure you squeeze excess air out of the bag.
As you can see, you can freeze bananas and there are many ways you can do it. Most people freeze bananas to use them in smoothies and banana bread.