How to Quickly Freeze Ripe Bananas

Don't Waste Your Bananas, Freeze Them

••• How to Freeze Bananas. Photo © Erin Huffstetler

Bananas are not the most expensive fruit, in fact, they're quite cheap. Yet, it seems a shame to let them go to waste when they're so easy to freeze. 

When it comes to freezing fruit, bananas are among the easiest to prepare. You will want to freeze either whole or sliced bananas because they can be used in anything from banana bread to smoothies.

Next time your bananas begin to turn a little brown, try one of these tricks to freeze them before it's too late.

How to Freeze a Whole Banana

Bananas are best frozen when they are ripe and the peel is just beginning to get brown spots. Freezing a whole banana is very simple and should take just a few minutes of your time.

To Freeze Whole Bananas:

  1. Peel each banana.
  2. Place them into a freezer-safe bag or container.
  3. Label the container with the date and contents.
  4. Allow the bananas to thaw completely before using. Frozen bananas are best suited to cooked or baked dishes.

Bananas will keep in the freezer indefinitely, but are best used within 6-8 months.

Is It Important to Peel Bananas?

Save yourself some time, and remove the peels before you freeze your bananas. 

When frozen, banana peels turn dark and get soft. This makes them very difficult to remove and, while the bananas inside are perfectly safe to eat, the fruit will be mashed by the time you're done. 

Leaving the peels intact will also diminish the quality of your bananas.

They won't be as 'fresh' as they would be without the peel, and some people say it takes a month off the storage time.

So, go ahead and remove the peels now.

How to Freeze Banana Slices

Whether you are going for baked goods or smoothies, you might want to take the time to add two extra steps to freezing bananas.

This process is also quick and painless.

By flash-freezing slices, rather than whole bananas, you can pull exactly what you need out of the container and place the remainder back into the freezer. This is especially helpful if your family makes smoothies on a regular basis.

To Freeze Banana Slices:

  1. Peel each banana.
  2. Cut the bananas crosswise, creating 1/2-3/4-inch slices.
  3. Lay the banana slices out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. 
  4. Freeze for about two hours, or until the slices are solid.
  5. Transfer the frozen slices into a freezer-safe bag or container, and return to the freezer.
  6. Label the container with the date and contents.

When making smoothies, simply add the frozen banana slices to the blender. For baked goods, thaw the bananas first.

Why Should You Flash-Freeze Bananas?

If you place unfrozen banana slices in a freezer container, they will stick together. Quite often, you will end up with a mushy mess. By flash-freezing them in a single layer, you can avoid this problem, and each slice can be removed from your banana stash on its own.

You can also flash-freeze whole bananas to make them easier to remove from storage.

Save Money by Freezing Bananas

Keep an eye out for reduced-price bananas at the grocery store, especially if you make a lot of smoothies.

As easy as they are to freeze, it's easy (and smart) to stock up when you find a good deal.

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