Ever wondered how to freeze bananas? If not, you probably should have at some point.+
I know you've done it. We've done it too. You buy a whole bunch of bananas and then they sit on the top of your refrigerator or counter until they start to turn brown. You consider tossing them before the fruit flies show up. But wait!
You can totally make good use of those bananas. If we can avoid wasting food, we will always do what we can. We try to stick to our food budget as best we can. Which means we preserve all sorts of food like freezing peppers, freezing eggs, freezing milk; and bananas are no exception.
In fact, with just a little bit of prep work you can freeze those bananas and make them last a whole lot longer.
Now, before you freeze them you do want to make sure that they aren't over ripe. If they are too close to turning they'll be way too mushy once you thaw them out. If they are over ripe, you can always use them to make banana bread.
How to freeze bananas
Now that you have determined if they are over ripe or not, it's time to prep them for freezing.
This part is way easy. First you want to peel your banana. Like I said, easy.
Take out a sharp knife and cutting board. Use the knife to cut the banana in half. We recommend cutting the banana in half because it's easier to put in the bag that way. You can freeze a whole banana just as easily, if you prefer.
Take each half and place them into a freezer bag. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as you can without squashing the banana halves.
Put the bag into the in freezer and allow to freeze. Should be frozen in a few hours.
You can also freeze banana chips
Again, you'll want to peel your banana.
Using a sharp knife you'll want to carefully cut the banana into slices. About a ¼ inch thick should hold up nicely.
Pull out a sheet of parchment or wax paper and put it over a cookie sheet or baking pan. Place each individual banana slice flat on the parchment paper and place pan in the freezer.
Flash freezing the slices like this is done for the same reason you do it when freezing slices of mozzarella cheese. It prevents them from getting all stuck together once they are packed in the freezer bag.
After a few hours your banana slices should be pretty well frozen. Pull the baking pan out of the freezer and pull your frozen banana chips off. Place them into a quart sized freezer bag and put them back in the freezer.
The reason you want to freeze them on parchment paper first is because they will clump together and freeze as a big banana ball. As funny as that may sound this is not the result you want.
The best way to get individual banana slices for later is to pre-freeze them. Plus, if you slice them, you can always make dehydrated banana chips later.
How to thaw your frozen bananas
Again, this is pretty easy. When you're ready to eat your frozen bananas, just pull them out of the freezer and stick them into the fridge.
It shouldn't take very long for your bananas to become soft enough to eat.
Q1. How long can you freeze bananas?
The FDA website says they can be frozen for 2-3 months without a significant loss of quality. They can actually last a lot longer but I wouldn't recommend longer than 6 months.
Q2. Why would I want to freeze bananas? What can I do with frozen bananas?
Aside from not having to toss out perfectly good fruit, there are a couple of reasons. You can put them in a blender with some milk and other frozen fruits and make a smoothie. You can also use frozen bananas to make a great ice cream alternative.
Frozen bananas (or unfrozen), along with many other foods like rice, tomatoes, peanuts, blueberries, grapes, and peaches, can make great snacks for your chickens and some other animals (definitely chickens, check before feeding them to other animals first).
Q3. Can you freeze mashed bananas?
Absolutely! In fact, as we mentioned above, frozen mashed bananas are a really tasty and healthy alternative to frozen yogurt or ice cream.
Q4. When you freeze bananas do you need to peel them first?
Yes, you won't want to freeze them in the peel. The peel gets dark and smushy. They also tend to stick to the banana and is a hassle to remove. So, it is safe to freeze them in their peel but life is easier if you peel before freezing.
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