As with most fruits, bananas are also bound by time, and they even rot quickly. Fortunately, bananas freeze well, wonderfully so. But what's the proper way to store it? Should you store it in the freezer peeled or unpeeled? We did the work to bring you the answer.
If you want to use bananas directly after thawing them, we suggest to always remove the banana peel before freezing them. Peeling the banana before freezing eliminates the stress that comes with frozen unpeeled ones. Peeling the bananas before preserving them in the freezer reduces the time of your prep process when you want to turn them into a scrumptious smoothie, cake, ice cream, or other recipe.
Freezing bananas is not rocket science. But there are things you should strictly follow if you want to avoid wasting bananas. Read the rest of the blog to find out what those are.
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How do you store bananas in the freezer?
There are several ways you can store bananas in the freezer, depending on how you intend to use them. You can either freeze them in slices, whole, or mashed. Find out how you can easily implement these methods on the detailed processes below.
1. Freeze bananas in slices
This freezing method is best used when you want a healthy blend-and-go banana smoothie at a later time. As the title of the step implies, you should first slice the bananas into small pieces before putting them in the freezer. Here are simple steps to do this.
Step 1: Peel off the banana, and then cut them to approximately 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices.
Step 2: Place the banana slices into a baking sheet, and leave them in the freezer for 2 hours. Pre-freezing the banana slices will help in preventing them from sticking to one another when you proceed to the next step.
Step 3: After 2 hours, remove the sliced bananas from the freezer and put the pre-frozen banana slices into a zipper freezer bag. Remove excess air and then store it in the freezer. You now have an instant supply of bananas for your smoothies or ice cream.
However, if you hate math and size estimation, you can also just cut the bananas in half, place them in a freezer bag, vacuum seal them, and store them in the freezer.
2. Freeze bananas whole
If you don’t want to go through the steps above, by all means, freeze the bananas whole. You can freeze bananas peeled or unpeeled, as stated before. But for consistency’s sake, peel off the fruit for this method as well.
Next, directly put the banana inside a freezer bag, then vacuum seal. And just like that, you can now store it in the freezer.
3. Freeze mashed bananas
Got overripe banana that you don’t want to throw away yet? Well, mashing before storing them in the freezer will solve your worries. The process couldn’t be any easier than the simple steps below.
Step 1: Remove the brownish peel and mash the banana using a fork.
Step 2: Depending on your preference, scoop the mashed bananas into a freezer bag or an airtight container.
Step 3: Label the container accordingly and then store it in the freezer. Mashed banana is perfect when you’re craving sweet and healthy banana bread.
How long can you freeze bananas?
Following the steps in each method above, especially the first method, ensures your bananas retain their best natural flavor within 6 months. And you can extend that shelf life indefinitely, too, without it going bad using the right storage and freezing process. But, of course, the fruit will not taste as flavorful.
How do you freeze bananas for snacks?
More often than not, you end up consuming your frozen bananas before 6 months are over. We can’t blame you for that. After all, bananas are far better and healthier snacks compared to cookies.
The process to turn bananas into simple frozen treats for you or the kids is the same as the first freezing method above. The only difference is that you only make them more indulgent before putting them in the freezer.
Can you freeze whole unpeeled bananas?
As previously stated, you can freeze bananas without peeling them off. The banana peel acts as the fruit’s natural container and protective barrier, after all.
While it’s safe to freeze unpeeled bananas, the banana peel will turn brown fast in the freezer as the result of ethylene, a hormone in plants that facilitates the ripening process, hastening the maturation of enzymes in the peel while in the freezer.
The result? Peeling becomes time-consuming and tough because the peel sticks itself on the fruit. This does not necessarily affect the taste of the banana. It actually improves the sweetness of the fruit to some extent.
Luckily, there’s still an upside to freezing bananas unpeeled. If you plan to use the banana as a baking ingredient, peeling it off after defrosting naturally mashes the fruit, which somehow reduces the time you spend on one of the steps of your baking process.
How do you keep bananas from turning brown in the freezer?
While we are still on the topic of bananas turning brown in the freezer, let’s talk about the possible solutions on how you can prevent, or at the very least, slow down the bananas from turning brown. Shall we?
One of the main reasons that bananas turn brown, aside from the reactive effect of ethylene, is the fruits' excessive exposure to the air inside the freezer. Vacuum sealing solves this problem for you. This removes as much surrounding air as possible inside the bag, reducing the chances of the banana from turning brown, not to mention freezer burn.
But what if you don’t have a vacuum sealer? You can turn to the life hack below to squeeze out air from the freezer bag.
Water Vacuum Sealing Method
Step 1: Fill a deep bowl with water.
Step 2: Slowly lower the freezer bag that contains the unpeeled bananas into the water until only the sealer or zipper remains above water.
Step 3: Seal the bag while it’s still submerged in the water. Remove, let it dry, and place it in the freezer afterward.
How does this method work? It’s simply through the pressure the water exerts on the freezer bag, contouring the shape of the bag while pushing the air out. This does not completely remove all the air from the bag as a vacuum sealer would, but at least it decreases the air inside the bag that can cause the browning of the bananas.
How long are frozen bananas without peel good for?
Although we can somehow prevent the unpeeled bananas from turning brown, they do not remain safe in the freezer forever.
Unpeeled bananas can last in the freezer within 3 to 6 months without turning bad. It can last longer than that if you religiously follow the correct freezing process using the right tools.
However, if you want to taste the best flavor and texture of unpeeled bananas, we suggest that you consume them within 3 months. Any later than that slowly removes the original flavor, plus they start to look darker and less appetizing.
Freezing bananas unpeeled or peeled does not make a huge difference in the fruit’s flavor and texture. By following the right freezing method, you can indulge in this nutrient-dense fruit filled with potassium, vitamins B6 and C, copper, and many more for at least 3 months or until you grow sick of it.