There is no need to throw away the overripe bananas from your kitchen countertop. In fact, overripe bananas are great to freeze and use them later for your smoothies, bread, and muffins. The flavor of the bananas is distinct when they overripe.
Bananas are one of the easiest fruits to freeze. You simply need to peel them and toss them straight into the freezer. Though there are a few methods to freeze them, they retain their freshness and remain good for later use. We have discussed the 4 best ways to freeze bananas at home with step-by-step instructions.
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How to Freeze the Ripe Bananas?
This is probably the easiest and the fastest method to preserve the bananas. You can use whole bananas or sliced or cut in half bananas. Simply peel the bananas and toss them into the freezer bags and freeze them.
You can also flash freeze the bananas. Freeze them in the freezer for two hours and then transfer them into the ziplock bags. This prevents the bananas from clumping together.
Do not overpack too many bananas into one bag. Put a maximum of 2 or 3 standard-sized bananas in one ziplock bag.
1. Freezing Whole Banana along with Peel for Later Use
Yes. If you feel like freezing the whole bananas with their peel, you may. But it is for the best to avoid this method. To store the bananas with their peel, put them in the ziplock bag and keep in the freezer till further use.
Most people avoid this method, as they feel the quality of the banana diminishes and the shelf life is crippled if preserved along with the peel. Moreover, the peel becomes dark brown or black in color, soft and mushy, making it difficult to remove the peel when you want to use the flesh. The whole thing turns into a messy lump when you freeze the bananas with its skin.
2. Freezing Sliced Bananas without Turning them Brown
Slice the bananas into ½ thick pieces. This helps to handle the bananas easily and you can still use them whenever you wish to.
Place the bananas on a baking tray with parchment or baking sheet, making sure that the bananas are well placed do not touch each other on the baking sheet. Lay your banana slices down flat in a single layer and freeze them before you prepare them for storage.
Once complete, put the baking tray into the freezer for about two-three hours. This will flash freeze the bananas.
After two hours, transfer the frozen slices into a ziplock bag and put it back into the freezer. Make sure you label and date your frozen banana pack.
3. Freezing Mashed Bananas
You may mash the bananas prior to freezing, if you know what you are going to do with them later, like baking bread, muffins or cookies. This allows you to quickly use the bananas and prevent the overripe ones from getting worse.
- Start peeling and chopping the bananas in small pieces.
- Now mash the bananas in a food processor to form a smooth lump-free consistency. You may also use a potato masher for the purpose.
- Once done, transfer the mashed banana into a ziplock bag. Remove as much of air possible from the bag, flatten it and seal the bag.
- Label and date the bag and toss it into the freezer.
- You may store the mashed bananas in this process, for your baby food. But, do not store the frozen bananas for more than two to three days when using for this purpose.
4. Freezing Banana Popsicle Sticks
- This is quite a yummy option for kids where you can make simple banana popsicles by inserting a popsicle stick into the end of banana halves.
- Dip them into Nutella or peanut butter, or melted chocolate.
- And roll/toss them in you preferred sprinkler (chopped strawberries, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.) and freeze them.
How to thaw the bananas before using them
If you are using the bananas to make a milkshake or a smoothie, then simply toss them into the blender and blend directly. If you need to use them to make bread or muffins, then take out as much as you require in a bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator, until it returns to its original form. You may also keep it on your kitchen countertop to defrost it.
How long can you freeze the bananas?
You can freeze the bananas in the freezer for up to six months. After that, they will start losing its taste, flavor and, texture. It will also start releasing a foul smell. So it is for the best, that you use the bananas before 2 1/2 – 3 months.
Using the frozen bananas, and does freezing bananas lose its nutritional value?
Bananas are packed with potassium and freezing them does not affect the potassium content. However, when you buy frozen bananas from the store, there is a difference in the nutrient value as they blanch the bananas to increase its shelf life.
If you love baking then you can use the bananas in a number of baking recipes. Are you lazy to bake? Then simply add them to your fruit salads and consume as it is.