Can you freeze bananas to use later? Absolutely! Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to freeze bananas with recipe ideas!
Are you like me and only like to eat yellow bananas?
There’s a certain time frame that I’ll eat a fresh banana. And once I see flecks of brown, it’s lost its chance to be eaten regularly.
I buy one or two big bunches at a time, with high hopes of eating them all. The lucky ones get turned into banana bread, but even then I can’t use them all up in time.
Did you know that you can freeze overripe bananas? I’ve been doing this for years and it’s a great way to save on food waste! It’s also given me new ways to use up leftover bananas.
This blog post covers, in detail, how to properly freeze bananas. I also explain what to look for in bad bananas, and even give some recipe ideas!
How long are bananas good for in the freezer?
When stored properly, bananas stay fresh up to 3 months in the freezer. You can still use them after that! But the longer they stay in the freezer, the bigger risk they have of getting freezer burn, which affects the quality and taste.
My recommendation: Use up frozen bananas within 2-3 months.
Are frozen brown bananas safe to eat?
If bananas turn brown in the freezer, it’s because they’ve been exposed to air. This could be because the bag or container wasn’t sealed tightly enough, or you left them exposed in the freezer too long before putting them in a bag.
They’re still safe to eat! The color just changed, and the texture might be a bit different. But brown bananas are still okay.
How can you tell if frozen bananas have gone bad?
If you’re like me, you’ve probably forgotten that you had a bag of bananas sitting in the back of the freezer. Are they still good?
The first thing to check is the smell. If they smell sour or just have an unpleasant smell, that’s a sure sign to throw them away.
The second thing is to check for black on the inside. Brown bananas are okay, as stated above. But if it’s turned black AND has a weird smell, definitely throw them out.
The best way to freeze bananas
This is my tried-and-true method for freezing bananas. I’ve been doing this for years and have had no issues!
Step 1. Find ripe bananas
The best kind of bananas to freeze are ones that have a good amount of brown spots. The browner they are, the riper they are and the sweeter they can be.
You want that extra sweetness, because it really brings out the flavor in smoothies and baked goods!
Step 2: Peel and slice bananas
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the bananas and slice them into small chunks, placing them in a single layer on the sheet.
You can also freeze whole bananas, but I find that they thaw faster if they’re sliced.
I’ve also never frozen unpeeled bananas. But if you do, peel them before they start to thaw. Otherwise the banana will be too mushy to peel properly and might get stuck to the banana peel.
Step 3: Place in the freezer
You can use a chest freezer, or the small freezer with your refrigerator. Leave them for 1-2 hours before the next step.
Step 4: Place in a tightly sealed freezer bag
Label a gallon-sized freezer bag with the date you’ve frozen the bananas. Then dump the banana slices inside the bag and seal tightly, getting out as much air as possible. Remember that any extra air can start to turn the bananas brown!
If you don’t have a freezer-safe bag, you can also use an airtight container.
The best uses for frozen bananas
For most of these banana recipes, I recommend getting out the bananas you need and letting them to come to room temperature or maybe a bit cooler. This helps the bananas mash better in the recipes.
A faster way is to put frozen bananas in a bowl and microwave using the defrost setting for 30-40 seconds at a time.
Thawed banana pieces may have some brown liquid, but that’s okay. You can drain some of it before adding to your recipe.
These are some of my favorite recipes that I make at least once a month!
- Smoothies- Just put frozen banana slices, milk, protein powder, and spinach in a blender. It’s full of protein and super creamy!
- Banana ice cream, also known as “nice cream”- just put frozen slices of banana in a food processor and blend until it has a creamy texture!
- Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal
- Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
- Banana muffins
- Banana pancakes
Next time you’re at the grocery store and see some marked-down bananas, don’t be afraid to buy them up and freeze them! Your future self will thank you as you sink your teeth into some amazing baked goods.
Jaime is a Nutrition Coach and professional writer. She enjoys cooking easy meals, running, and learning more about food.
Jaime specializes in helping women with ADHD learn to meal plan and cook healthier meals without getting overwhelmed.