So you’ve stumbled upon a deal on bananas that you couldn’t pass. And maybe you’ve bought one or two (or 10) more bananas than you can use before they go bad. Can you freeze bananas? That’s the first question that comes to mind when you realize that you have more bananas on hand than you can eat or use in pies and salads in the next week or so.
Most fruit freeze fairly well and bananas are in that category too. That means you can freeze them. However, freezing will change their texture a bit and you might not enjoy them by themselves after thawing. That’s a matter of personal preference, really.
Fortunately enough, they still work well in all sorts of recipes that bananas are just a part of. That means smoothies, pies, muffins, banana bread, and so on. Interested in freezing bananas? If so, read on to learn about several ways of freezing this delicious fruit.
How to Freeze Banana Slices?
This is one of the most popular methods of freezing bananas. It might take a bit more time in terms of preparation, but you end up with a bunch of banana slices that you can easily use for your recipe. Here’s how to do it:
- Peel and slice the bananas. Remove the peel and slice the fruit. The thickness of the slices is up to you, so choose what works best for your needs. I usually go for 1- to 2- inch slices.
- (Recommended) Pre-freezing. Transfer the banana slices onto a cookie sheet in a single layer where the slices don’t touch each other. Then, put the cookie sheet into the freezer. Leave the fruit in the freezer for a few hours until frozen solid. You want the slices to not stick to each other in the freezer bag and freezing bananas might take a few hours. Yup, a few hours. Banana slices love to stick to each other, so feel free to leave the cookie sheet in the freezer overnight.
- Transfer the slices into a freezer bag. If you’ve decided to pass on pre-freezing, not everything is lost. You can cheat a bit by transferring a smaller number of slices into a freezer bag and arranging them in a way they don’t touch each other. Label the freezer bag with name and date if needed.
- Chuck the bag(s) into the freezer.
How to Freeze Whole Bananas?
This is the easiest and least time-consuming method of freezing bananas. We recommend this method if you’re in a hurry.
- (Recommended) Peel the bananas. You can leave the peel on if you’re in a real hurry and can’t spare the 30 seconds for peeling each fruit. If you leave the peel on, remember that the peel will turn brown in the freezer, even though the banana flesh will be just fine.
- Transfer bananas into the freezer bags. You can go for a single banana per freezer bag or two or more bananas per bag if the fruits fit. Add a label to those bags if needed.
- Transfer the bags into the freezer.
How to Freeze Mashed Bananas?
Mashing is another option for freezing fruit and it works well for bananas. If mashed bananas are what you need for a recipe, try this method. Here’s how it goes:
- Peel and mash the bananas.
- Consider portion size. You will thaw the whole portion of frozen mashed bananas at a time so it’s important to choose a portion size that will work for your needs. Go for smaller portions so you won’t have to thaw a ton of bananas at a time. If you have some recipes in mind, choose portions that match the recipes to avoid leftovers.
- Transfer the mashed bananas into freezer-safe containers or freezer bags. Add a label if needed.
- Put the mashed fruit into the freezer.
How to Defrost Frozen Bananas
Thawing frozen bananas is not rocket science and the usual defrosting methods work for bananas too:
- Overnight in the fridge. Transfer the freezer bags or containers into the fridge in the evening and the bananas will be ready in the morning. The defrosting process will take an hour to a few hours, depending on what method of freezing you have chosen. Obviously, thawing whole bananas with the peel on will take the longest.
- At room temperature. Generally not recommended, but many (including me) do it anyway. Just put the bag or container on the counter and leave it there until thawed. Again, time of thawing depends on the state of the fruit when frozen. If you want to speed up the process, submerge the bags or containers in cold water. Water conducts heat much faster than air does and you can use that to your advantage.