Do you have bananas in your refrigerator or on your counter going to waste? I know I do sometimes.
Admit it. Sometimes it’s hard to plan for just the right amount of fresh produce to eat between shopping trips. Enough that you don’t need to make an extra grocery run, but not so much that it starts going bad before you can get to it.
Bananas are the biggest culprit at my house for going bad unexpectedly. One day they’re still a little green, the next thing I know, brown and starting to go mushy. But if you use these tips from MOMables, you should never again have to throw out a brown banana! You know you have always wanted to know how to freeze bananas!
What about tips for every other part of the lunch-making process? We’ve got you covered! Join us at MOMables, and you won’t be disappointed!
Method 1: Slice and Freeze
I like this method the most, since it makes my life easier down the line. This works best before the bananas get too mushy.
Just slice the banana into chunks into a zip-seal baggie. You can use a freezer bag for each banana, or pack each sliced banana into a regular sandwich baggie and put those into a larger freezer bag. I find it easier to use a glass or jar to hold my baggie upright, and I kind of fold the top of the bag over the lip of the cup to keep it there. Then I can just slice the banana right in, without worrying about it plopping off somewhere.
This step is optional but highly recommended to reduce freezer burn. Stick a straw as far down into the bag as you can (without jamming it up with banana!) and close up most of the zip seal. Then use the straw to suck as much air as you can from the bag, like a vacuum. Continue to suck as you pull the straw out and seal the last bit of the bag shut.
When you’re ready to use it, just grab a bag and break apart the slices as best you can before tossing them into your blender or food processor.
Method 2: Bag and Freeze
This is a great method for when the bananas start going mushy, and when the peel splits or the stem tears off.
Put as many bananas as you need to freeze into a zip-seal freezer bag. Use the straw method above to suck the excess air out before sealing. You can add new bananas later, just be sure to suck the air out again. And try to use the older ones first.
Method 3: Just Jam Them into the Freezer
This is what I do when I find a banana that needs to be dealt with right away, but I don’t have the time to slice and bag it. This only works when the peel is intact.
This part’s really tricky now; just stick the banana any ol’ place in the freezer. Yup. The peel protects it from freezer burn.
For Methods 2 and 3, when you’re ready to use the bananas and need them sliced to make it easier on your blender, cut the banana (in peel still) in half widthwise, then cut each half in half again, lengthwise. The peel comes off fairly easily then, depending how over-ripe the banana was when frozen. The further along it gets, the harder it is to get the stringy stuff off. I usually just use my knife to scrape down the sides to remove whatever is left after I get as much peel off as possible.
To use in baked goods, you can thaw a whole frozen banana in a bowl, then snip off the stem and squeeze the fruit out into a strainer to let some of the liquid drain. Done! No need to mash even! (I will warn you—it looks really gross, and might smell a bit odd too. So only thaw them if you plan to bake right away!)
Uses for frozen bananas:
Smoothies! If you start with frozen fruit, there’s no need to dilute your smoothie with ice cubes!
As long as you don’t let it sit out long enough to thaw, you can use a frozen banana in the Chocolate Super Pops and Easy “Monkey” Ice Cream Sandwiches recipes before freezing them. (You don’t want to thaw and re-freeze any food, unless you cook it in between. Something science-y about it changing at a molecular level.)
3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Pudding “Frozen Yogurt”: Follow the recipe as-is, only with a frozen sliced banana! This will give it a thicker, cooler texture. To be eaten right away.
Chocolate Banana Bites: If you manage to freeze your banana slices so they aren’t all clumped together, you can change this recipe up just a bit for a delicious treat! Lay your frozen slices on a plate or cookie sheet, then drizzle or pour your melted chocolate over the tops. A little messier to eat without the sticks, but still yummy! (Put them back into the freezer or eat immediately.)