For most people, a bunch of bananas is a must have food item on their weekly shopping list because they are a perfect self-contained and healthy snack that is great for using in your morning smoothie, or for adding to your cereal.
Unfortunately, even though we try and eat them as quickly as possible, the last few of the bunch manage to become mushy, spotted, and completely unappealing. Rather than throw these overripe bananas away, why not freeze them instead?
You may be asking, “Can I freeze bananas?” The simple answer is, “Yes,” and here are four easy ways on how to freeze bananas to prolong their life and include in your favorite bananas recipe.
Can You Freeze Bananas?
The answer to the question, can you freeze bananas, is yes. If your bananas are starting to get overripe, instead of throwing them out, consider freezing them instead.
Freezing bananas is an incredibly simple process that will allow you to keep your bananas for several months. There are four easy ways that you can freeze bananas for smoothies, ice cream, and more.
4 Easy Ways to Freeze Bananas
Freeze Banana Pieces
The best way to freeze bananas is by cutting them into slices. Start by selecting ripe to slightly overripe bananas. Freezing bananas right before they become overripe, or when they first start to ripen, will preserve a stronger flavor and is typically the preferred method.
Once you select the bananas that you are going to freeze, peel the bananas. Then, take a knife and cut the banana into even-sized chunks, between one and two inches. Smaller sized banana slices make it easier to use the bananas in frozen recipes like shakes and smoothies.
To prevent the unpeeled bananas from sticking together during the freezing process, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Make sure that the banana chunks don’t touch each other. Put the pan in the freezer and keep it there until the banana slices are frozen solid, about 30 to 45 minutes.
Place the frozen slices into freezer-safe bags and squeeze out the air, seal them, and record the date on the front of the pack. You can use the frozen bananas for smoothies, shakes, or other frozen delights. If you are looking to use the banana slices for baked goods, you’ll want to thaw them out first.
Banana Smoothie Recipes
Frozen bananas are a perfect addition to morning smoothies, and you can skip the ice cubes. Bananas provide you with an energy boost, thanks to their high levels of potassium and carbohydrates, and can help you maintain normal heart function and blood pressure levels, along with a handful of other health benefits. Use frozen banana slices to whip up this tasty and delicious smoothie recipe any day of the week.
Put the first six ingredients into your Vitamix or another blender and mix until smooth. Pour the smoothie into a cup, top with chocolate chips, and enjoy.
Freeze Peeled Bananas Whole
If you can’t spend time to slice the bananas, freeze a whole banana that has been peeled. Freezing whole bananas without the peel will save you the hassle of trying to remove the skin from the frozen banana before using it.
Carefully peel the ripe or overripe bananas, put them in an airtight freezer bag and place them in the freezer. Make sure you don’t put more than three bananas in a standard-sized plastic bag.
If you want to keep the bananas from sticking together, flash-freeze them before putting them in the plastic freezer bag. You can also wrap each banana in aluminum foil or plastic wrap before you place them in the freezer so that they are frozen individually. When you’re ready to use a banana in your favorite bananas recipes, take the banana out of the freezer and let thaw for five minutes.
How to Make Banana Ice Cream
One of the best things that you can make with the whole bananas you freeze is ice cream. Whip bananas into rich, silky ice cream without having to add any dairy, sweeteners, or additional ingredients, and you don’t even need an ice cream maker. You can quickly blend up some of your frozen, leftover bananas in a food processor or high-speed blender and make a creamy and slightly gooey custard-like ice cream.
Remove your bag of frozen bananas from the freezer and allow to thaw for a couple of minutes. Cut the banana into evenly sized chunks. Place the banana chunks into a small food processor or blender and pulse the frozen banana pieces. Continue to pulse the bananas, scraping down the sides of the food processor from time to time, until the banana starts to look a bit gooey.
When the banana begins to look like oatmeal, blend the ingredients. As the chunks of banana break up, the mixture shifts from blended banana into creamy, soft-serve ice cream. Continue to blend the mix for a few more seconds to help aerate the ice cream.
Transfer the banana ice cream to an airtight container and put it back in the freezer. Leave it in the freezer until solid. You can also add ingredients to the ice cream like peanut butter, strawberries, or chocolate chips, but make sure that you add them to the mixture in the final seconds of aerating it.
Freeze Whole Unpeeled Bananas
If you don’t have much time, you can also throw the whole banana, peel and all in the freezer. The only difficulty about this method for freezing bananas is that it can be challenging to remove the skin when you’re ready to use them in your favorite recipe.
When unpeeled bananas come out of the freezer, the peel is stuck on tight, so you have to let the banana thaw for at least five minutes before you attempt to remove the skin. After the banana has thawed slightly, slice off the ends of the banana, cut the peel in half lengthways, and remove the peel with your hands.
Freeze Mashed Bananas
Mashing bananas is a quick and easy way to prepare overripe bananas for freezing. This is an especially useful banana freezing method if you are going to use them in a recipe that requires mashed bananas, like banana bread or cookies.
Peel and mash the overripe bananas and place them in a resealable plastic freezer bag to keep them from succumbing to freezer burn. Squeeze out the excess air and lay the bags on their sides in the freezer. Label each container with the number of bananas or the cup measurement for easy use in the future.
Making Banana Nut Bread
Banana bread is ideal for using leftover bananas, and when you already have them mashed up and sitting in your freezer, this recipe is quick to make. Slice the banana nut bread and serve it with coffee or tea or enjoy a slice after dinner for a healthy evening snack.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. In another bowl, mix the flour, salt, and soda. and the sugar
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed sugar and butter mixture, a little at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Add the mashed bananas. Pour the batter into a well-greased, 10 x 4 x 3-inch loaf pan.
Place in the oven and bake for one hour. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Allow to cool for ten minutes before removing. Cool completely overnight before slicing.
How to Thaw a Frozen Banana
If you have some frozen bananas that you need to thaw out, the best way to thaw them is at room temperature. Place the frozen bananas in a container and let them defrost at room temperature or in the refrigerator. While this isn’t necessarily the quickest method, you will be able to enjoy the bananas after a short amount of time.
If you don’t want to sit around and wait for your bananas to thaw, you can also use the microwave. This process for how to thaw a frozen banana with a microwave is incredibly quick, and you will be able to use the once-frozen bananas in a matter of seconds.
Take the bananas out of the freezer and place them in a safe microwave bowl. Set your microwave to defrost and cook the bananas until they are fully defrosted.
How to Store Bananas
How to store bananas is a crucial aspect of their shelf life and ability to ripen. When you first bring a bunch of bananas home from the grocery store, take some time to separate each banana from the bunch. Then, use some plastic wrap to wrap the stem of each of the bananas.
Doing this when you first bring the bananas home will help keep the bananas fresh for up to four days longer. Bananas, like a lot of fruits, naturally release gases from their stems that control ripening and browning. So, by wrapping the stems in plastic wrap, you can effectively slow down the ripening process.
Once you’ve wrapped the stems of the bananas in plastic wrap, store them in a bowl on your counter. Don’t put them in the fridge, because the colder temperatures halt the ripening process and leave you with green bananas. Once the bananas are fully ripe, place them in the refrigerator to extend their shelf life.
When it comes to enjoying your bananas longer and keeping them from the trash bin, freezing the delicious tropical fruit can prove to be an incredibly smart way to save yourself some money. There are countless uses for frozen bananas and a plethora of healthy recipes that you can make from frozen bananas. The next time your bananas start to look a little brown, try one of these easy methods for how to freeze bananas.
We hope we’ve answered your question, “Can I freeze bananas? If you found the methods for freezing bananas useful, please share these tips on how to freeze bananas and recipes with everyone you know.