Bananas are an essential ingredient in so many of my favorite recipes, but they don’t last long on the counter. In this post I’ll show you how to freeze bananas so they never go bad on you again.
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. The solution, is freezing them while they’re still fresh.
Best Ways to Freeze Bananas
There are a lot of great ways to go about freezing bananas, depending on how much time you have, and what you plan to do with them when you thaw them back out. Let’s check out the best ones.
Freezing Whole Bananas
If you’re short on time, this is by far the quickest way to freeze a banana.
- Peel it
- Place in a freezer bag
- Label the bag with the date
Yep, it’s really that easy!
Why do you peel bananas before freezing? If you’re wondering, I always remove the peels before I freeze a banana because they’re extremely hard to remove after thawing. Bananas are much softer after they’ve been frozen and that can make the peel a real challenge to remove.
Freezing Sliced Banans
I like this method the most since it makes my life easier down the line. You can easily measure amounts for recipes with banana slices.
This method works best if you freeze before the bananas get too mushy.
How to Freeze a Sliced Banana
- Peel & Slice the Banana
The thickness of your slices is really up to you, but I typically aim for ¼ inch slices.
- Place on a Baking Sheet
No, these aren’t going into the oven, but a baking sheet is something I use to freeze a lot of different foods so that they don’t end up in a big block when I go to use them in a recipe.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the banana slices in rows. Freeze the entire thing for 30 minutes-1 hour until the bananas are solid. Once they’ve frozen on their own, they won’t clump together as much in the bag, which will make everything easier when you go to use them later.
- Long-Term Freezing
After you take the baking sheet out of the freezer, use a spatula to transfer the frozen banana slices to a freezer-safe bag for storage.
I’ve found that small sandwich-size bags work great for individual bananas. If you are storing multiple bananas you could also pack each one in its own small bag, and place all the smaller bags into a large freezer bag. This will help be sure you don’t lose them in your freezer.
Preventing Freezer Burn
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.
How to Thaw Bananas
Bananas can be defrosted on the counter until they’re soft and ready to be used as a snack, in smoothies or in baking!
Bananas can be kept in the freezer for up to six months. Remember, to always label your freezer bags or containers with the freezing date so you know when you need to thaw them out and use them.
Recipes Using Frozen Bananas
So you’ve saved your bananas, but what should you do with them now? At the beginning of this post I told you that many of my favorite recipes are made using bananas, and I’m about to share a few of them with you.
Smoothies – If you start with frozen fruit, there’s no need to dilute your smoothie with ice cubes! You can also make your own smoothie freezer packs.
Chocolate Banana Ice Cream – As long as you don’t let it sit out long enough to thaw, you can use a frozen banana in this 2-ingredient ice cream recipe.
I bought bananas as part of the snack for my daughter’s Valentine party. We have a snow day today so the bananas won’t be used till Tuesday, 5 days from now. Can I just freeze the whole banana, or will it not be as a good of a snack once it is thawed?
It will still be good if you thaw it long enough, but it probably won’t be as good as a fresh banana!
can i mix up bananas and spinach together then freeze in ice cube tray
cani refreeze still in the peel I had a bag of about 40 that my hubby took out and are now defrosted should I toss in garbage or toss back in freezer?
Bananas must be peeled prior to freezing.
Can you just use the frozen bananas for smoothies and stuff? Or can you just thaw them and eat as you normally would? Does it change the taste or texture? There is a really good sale so I was going to stock up.
Definitely stock up on bananas! they are awesome in smoothies. I throw them in frozen.
Once frozen, bananas change consistency when thawed – they liquefy. So you can use them for baking (see instructions in post,) and you can eat them frozen, but you definitely cannot just thaw and peel and eat like fresh bananas.
But there are so many great ways to use them in baking recipes and frozen, so getting them on sale is a great idea! I buy overripe ones cheaper for freezing (often in the back – ask at your produce stand,) and a few fresh ones to enjoy right away.
When I have leftover bananas I peel them and break them in half and freeze them on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil for a couple of hours or overnight. Then I put them in a container and label. This way they don’t stick together in the freezer and I can use one or as many as I want.
Do you know a good way to cut them up once they are frozen? I just stick them in the freezer and now my freezer is full of them, I don’t think I can thaw them all and then refreeze them. I was thinking of cutting them all up to make more room…any suggestions or ideas?
Yes. I kind of describe how to cut them above. Cut them in half, peel and all. Then slice those halves in half lengthwise, so you have four skinny banana strips still in the peel.
You should be able to pull the peel right off. If some of the stringy stuff just won’t leave, use your knife to scrape it.