The Best Way to Freeze Bananas for Smoothies and Baking
Freezing is a great way to preserve bananas that are ripening faster than you can use them up. In fact, whenever I buy bananas, I make a point to buy more than we’ll actually eat. I let them sit on the counter for a few days to ripen, then I prep them and stash them in the freezer for later when I’ll blitz them into smoothies, bake them into breads, muffins, and cookies, or stir them into a pot of oatmeal.
Here’s how to freeze bananas and turn them into something delicious later!
The Best Way to Freeze Bananas
Freezing bananas is an easy process and works the same whether you’re freezing one banana or a whole bunch. It’s easiest broken down into four steps: peel the bananas, cut into small chunks, freeze in a single layer, and store in an airtight container.
- Peel the bananas: You’ll start by peeling the bananas. Not only is trying to peel a frozen banana a total pain, but when frozen with the skin on, bananas get very mushy when thawed.
- Slice the bananas: Slice the bananas into roughly 1-inch chunks. Since there are a lot of different ways you might use frozen bananas later, cutting them into smaller pieces gives you the most flexibility.
- Freeze the bananas in a single layer: Place the bananas in a single layer on a large parchment or wax paper-lined baking sheet or plate, and place in the freezer until frozen solid. This step will prevent the banana chunks from freezing together into a big lump.
- Store in an airtight container. Transfer the frozen banana chunks to an airtight container or ziptop bag and keep stored in the freezer.
Like most other types of fruit, bananas will keep in the freezer for a really long time. As a rule of thumb, to get the best taste and texture, it’s best to use frozen bananas within three months, before they start to develop ice crystals and freezer burn.
All The Ways to Use Frozen Bananas
There are so many ways to put frozen bananas to work. I like to use them straight from the freezer for smoothies. They adds an extra-thick and creamy texture and a slightly sweeter taste than fresh bananas. You can also use them to make banana ice cream, stir them into a batch of baked oatmeal cups, or toss a couple pieces straight from the freezer into a pot (or slow cooker or Instant Pot) of oatmeal. To use frozen bananas in baked goods, like quick bread, muffins, cake, and cookies, be sure to first thaw the bananas completely.