If you need to freeze bananas, there are only a few things you need to know and you’re good to go. This article will provide you with all the information about freezing bananas you need.
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Why freeze bananas
Probably the only situation when you might need to freeze this fruit is when you’ve bought too many bananas and you’re afraid some of them will go bad. That might easily happen if you bought a lot of them on this sale the other day. Or you simply overestimated your needs and therefore bough too many. Of course you might need frozen bananas for smoothies too! Nevertheless, you can freeze bananas quite easily.
Image used under Creative Commons from Wilson Hui
How to freeze bananas?
One thing to remember before freezing is that bananas freeze best when they are ripe. If the fruit is still green, leave it in the pantry until it’s ripe. Another thing is that freezing bananas extends their shelf life for a couple of months (most sources recommend two to three months). You can keep them in the freezer for longer, but their quality will slowly deteriorate and you might not be happy with the outcome.
Ways to freeze a banana
Freeze mashed bananas
This way is pretty straightforward. You start off by removing the peel and mashing the banana flesh. Now it’s time to pack it. Probably the best two choices are: airtight containers and freezer bags. If you’ll choose a container, make sure mashed bananas take most of the room in the container, so there’s not much space for air (to avoid freezer burn). Choosing freezer bags is at least as good, and probably even better, because it’s quite easy to push out most of the air from the bag before sealing it and, as we all know, bags don’t take as much space as containers. Consider making few serving-sized portions from mashed bananas you have prepared and freeze each serving in separate freezer bag.
Freeze sliced bananas
This method is a little more time-consuming than freezing mashed bananas. We start similarly, by peeling the fruit. Now we slice it. Once done, it’s time to pre-freeze the slices. Take a cookie sheet, line it with parchment paper if you wish, and put prepared slices on it in a way that they don’t touch one another. Then put it into the freezer for a few hours, until they are frozen. After that, take the cookie sheet from the freezer and transfer those frozen slices into freezer bags or airtight containers(try to leave as little head-space as possible). Pre-freezing is done to make sure the slices don’t stick to each other. This way you can easily get as many banana slices as you need at a time, without having to thaw all of them.
Freeze whole peeled bananas
This one is as easy as it gets. You just peel the banana, put it into a freezer bag and then into the freezer. Done. Remember to leave as little air in the bag as possible, you can even use a straw to suck the air just before locking the bag.
Freeze whole unpeeled banana
Yup, you can even freeze a banana with its peeling on. There are, however, a few things you need to remember. First off, you need to know that the peel will turn brown or even black in the freezer, so don’t be surprised when you take the banana from the freezer. This change in color doesn’t affect the banana flesh though. Another thing – you still need to use a container. A freezer bag will probably be the best (remember to squeeze out the air). Most people recommend thawing whole bananas in room temperature – it takes about two hours. Then cut open the peel and remove the flesh. It will be noticeably softer than it normally is. That’s why it’s recommended to use bananas frozen this way only in recipes. When it comes to eating it by itself, it’s a matter of personal preference. If you’ll decide to eat it by itself, try sprinkling it with a little cinnamon and thank me later.
When it comes to thawing, thaw the banana in the refrigerator. Thawing time depends on the way you’ve frozen the fruit. Sliced bananas will thaw much quicker than whole bananas for example.
As you can see there are a few ways you can freeze a banana. I encourage you to experiment with each one to find the one that works best for you.