How to freeze bananas? Sounds way too easy to do, right? Actually, freezing your bananas is indeed easy, but there are certain steps that I would like to share today to make sure that you do it the right way!
I hate it when good food goes to waste, and these creamy tropical fruits are notorious for ripening quickly and spoiling if you do not act quick enough to use or eat them! Same as everyone else, I also buy full "hands" of bananas when I go to the market. But even when you buy semi-ripe ones, unless you plan on eating or using the whole bunch right away, there would always be some pieces left over that becomes spotty and mushy. Since I am a firm believer that all bananas should be saved, I developed a sure-fire method to keep them fresh for months. Doing this will allow you to enjoy perfectly good bananas every time you want to make smoothies, bread, cakes, ice cream, popsicles, and more!
I highly recommend doing so. I always peel my bananas and slice them before freezing for several reasons. First, frozen bananas with peel on them are difficult to use. It happened to me before and I really struggled with removing the banana skin. Second, I also noticed that the peeled and sliced bananas look fresher and store better. Lastly, peeled bananas are more convenient to use when I need them, saves me time and effort!
As I mentioned earlier, I prefer slicing them before freezing. I like it because it saves space in my freezer, and I can easily transfer them into my measuring cups when I need to use them later on. This method also makes them easier on the blender when I am making smoothies. However, you can also freeze bananas whole if you are planning to use them in recipes that require them that way.
Yes, you can! This is probably the best method if your bananas are already overripe and mushy. By this time, slicing them can get a bit challenging, so just mash away! Make sure to take note of how many pieces of banana are in a freezer bag as a reference for future use.
Freeze bananas when they are fully ripe because the ripening process stops once they are frozen. Yellow and spotty is the way to go since they’ll be sweeter and easier to blend, not to mention easier to digest.
Step 1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
I place the slices of bananas in a baking sheet to flash freeze them first. Flash freezing is important because it allows the pieces to rapidly freeze and retain the flavor, texture, and moisture. This also ensures that the pieces do not get frozen into one messy lump in your freezer. If done properly, you should be able to scoop out frozen pieces individually without a problem.
Step 2. Peel the ripe bananas, slice them about .5 inch thick, and place them on the prepared baking sheet.
Make sure that the pieces do not touch each other when you place them on the pan. The parchment paper is there to make sure that they do not freeze onto the pan.
Step 3. Freeze for at least three hours. Store in a silicone or plastic freezer bag for up to six months.
The half-inch slices should be frozen solid after 3 hours. If you slice them bigger, make sure to keep them there a bit longer. Once they are fully frozen, place them in a silicone or plastic freezer-safe bag. press to let air escape before sealing. I recommend writing down the date it was made on the freezer bag. It's always a good idea to make everyone in your household know how long it's been frozen and when it needs to be used up. And you are done!
If you are using them for a recipe that calls for them to be mashed or soft, make sure to defrost them in the fridge at least overnight. Defrost them at room temperature a few hours before using them. It should be easy to mash after that.
Oh, the possibilities! I for one love using them to make myself a healthy and invigorating Banana Kale Smoothie, Banana Green Smoothie, or Cherry Banana Smoothie in the morning! Here are some other recipes of mine where these delightful frozen banana slices come in handy:
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