Have you ever bought a bunch of bananas and completely forgot about them? Now you’re left with black bananas that probably have to go into the trash…or do they?
Here are four different methods to freeze bananas to prevent them from spoiling, take advantage of sales by stocking up, or use for meal prep!
Bananas are a great source of potassium- the perfect fruit to thicken up a smoothie or use as a base to make tasty banana bread! I always like to have some on hand for a healthy snack or recipe.
However, anyone who’s ever bought a whole bunch of bananas, knows that you only have a short window to actually eat them.
You normally need to wait for them to ripen and become yellow. Then, you can use or eat them quickly before they start to brown. But, we have all had the moment where we’ve left a lone banana or two for too long and now they are past edible (or so we believe).
One way of making this easier for yourself and reducing any food waste is to freeze your bananas once they are ripe. I’ve done this in the past with avocados and it has been a huge help to avoid food waste, but also allows us to take care of savings–we can buy a bunch when they’re on sale and stock up without worrying about them spoiling!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions that frequently pop up when researching frozen ripe bananas…
How can you tell if a banana is ripe?
You can tell if a banana is fully ripe when it’s a dark yellow dotted with brown spots. This means they are at their sweetest and packed full of flavor!
Can you just stick a whole banana in the freezer?
You can (and I’ll share more of that down below). However, the biggest tip I can offer you when it comes to freezing bananas is to peel them before freezing them, no matter which method you’re using.
- Help them stay fresh.
- Make it easier to use straight from the freezer instead of trying to remove the peel frozen.
How long can you keep bananas in the freezer?
Frozen bananas can stay fresh for up to three months. This will give you plenty of time to work your way through every banana recipe you can think of!
Just be sure to date the freezer bags for the day you put the bananas in. That way, you can check how long they’ve been there. It can get tricky to differentiate between identical bags of bananas after a few months.
Do you need to wash bananas?
Not many people would think of washing a banana before freezing it, but it’s more important than you might think.
Even though they’re contained within the peel, it’s easy for any dirt and bacteria to get transferred from the peel onto the banana itself as you are peeling it.
There can also be pesticide residues that live on the banana peel and can be potentially toxic if not washed off properly.
These are the top 3 pesticides found on bananas:
It doesn’t take long to wash a banana, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!
How should you wash a banana before freezing it?
To wash your bananas before eating, run some water with some gentle non-toxic soap and gently scrub the bananas with your hand. If you have any baking soda on hand, add a scoop of it into a bowl with water, and let the bananas soak.
You can also spray the banana with some organic fruit and veggie wash before peeling it and rub off any dirt or pesticide residue lightly with your hand.
Tip: Be careful not to apply too much pressure, or you might damage the banana inside, especially if it’s already quite ripe.
How To Freeze Bananas: 4 Ways
Depending on what you plan to use your bananas for, there are different ways to freeze them. Let’s look at the four main methods of how to freeze bananas so you can make the most of them.
Method 1: Whole
Frozen bananas can make for a delicious, cooling snack all on their own or you can use them in a recipe.
When my kids were younger, I also used to prep my bananas to make homemade “NICE” cream. It was one of our favorite desserts! Having the bananas already peeled and frozen made it 10x easier to make.
If you want to be able to enjoy your banana as is, simply peel it and place it in a freezer-safe bag, making sure to squeeze the air out before sealing.
The less air in the bag, the longer the bananas will last in the freezer.
Tip: Take a frozen banana and eat it dipped in some of this homemade almond butter fruit dip or plain nut or seed butter! In fact, how about dipping a frozen whole banana (or slices) in this chocolate dip or almond dip and refreezing for a wholesome delicious treat.
Method 2: Sliced
This is one of my favorite ways to meal prep bananas because I can use them in so many different ways!
They’re easy to throw into a blender if you plan on making a breakfast smoothie or you can pull them from the freezer when you’re craving a snack later in the evening.
To follow this method:
- Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the banana into 1/2 inch slices and neatly place them on the parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet in your freezer and let it sit for about an hour or until your banana slices firm up a bit.
- Then, taking your serving options into consideration, evenly portion out the sliced bananas into freezer snack bags.
Smoothie Prep Frozen Banana Tip
If you want to get extra organized (and kind of fancy), add other fruits to your sliced banana bags, like frozen blueberries, strawberries, or whatever else you love to combine. That way, you have everything in a smoothie freezer pack ready to go anytime.
Method 3: Mashed in Cubes
If you’re planning to stock up on bananas so they can be added to a smoothie, then mashing them and storing the bananas in cubes is a great time-saver.
To do this:
- Add the bananas to a bowl and mash them well with a fork.
- To make things easier, you can also add the soft bananas into a blender (or food processor) and puree.
- Go ahead and pour them into unused ice trays to store in the freezer.
- When it comes to making a smoothie, you can now just simply pop out a cube and drop it into your blender.
As an added bonus, using frozen bananas in your summer smoothies makes them extra cold–perfect for cooling down on a hot day!
Method 4: Mashed In Freezer Bag
If you’ve got some seriously overripe bananas that are already starting to brown, then this is the perfect way to make sure they don’t go to waste. Mashed bananas are useful for baking tasty banana-flavored treats, like banana bread or healthy pancakes!
To use this method:
- Think about what recipes you might like to make in advance and portion out the amount of banana you need. Portioning out 1.5 cups would work best because that’s a standard amount for most banana bread recipes. At the end of the day, whatever recipe you like is the best way to decide what to portion.
- After that has been decided, add the bananas to a bowl and mash them well with a fork, leaving as few lumps as possible. You can also puree the bananas in a blender (or food processor).
- Spoon it into a freezer bag, seal it carefully, and label it just like the others.
Freezer Bag Tips
With mashed bananas, you want to make sure that you’re using a sealable, secure freezer bag. If the mashed bananas leak, it’ll be tricky to clean frozen bananas off the inside of your freezer! You can also use these Twixit! Bag Clips to keep the freezer bags extra secure by clipping the bag shut to avoid any spillage or air getting into the bag.
To save space in your freezer, you can squash the mixture flat inside the bag. Then, you can stack all your bags of mashed bananas on top of one another, leaving room to spare inside your freezer.
How to Freeze Bananas to Keep Them From Turning Brown
Freezing bananas is a pretty easy thing to do, but sometimes they can turn brown in the freezer. If that’s happened to you, the container or bag that you froze them in isn’t airtight.
To prevent that from happening, make sure that all the air from the bags or containers is completely out before sealing and freezing them. A great tool to help you do this is a vacuum sealer or chamber sealer. Avid Armor makes great tools for this!
More Freezer Friendly Posts
There are so many foods that you can store up easily by freezing them. Now you’ve learned how to freeze bananas, why not branch out? You might like to learn more about:
- How to Freeze Tomatoes–No Blanching and No Peeling!
- How to Freeze Cucumbers
- 4 Ways To Freeze Avocados
- How To Freeze and Store Blueberries
- The Easiest Way To Preserve Herbs
Method 1: Freeze Whole
- Simply peel bananas and place in a freezer-safe bag, making sure to squeeze the air out before sealing. (The less air in the bag, the longer the bananas will last in the freezer.)
Method 2: Freeze Sliced
- Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice bananas into 1/2 inch slices place neatly in one layer on the parchment paper.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and let sit for about an hour or until the slices firm up a bit.
- Taking serving options / recipes into consideration, evenly portion the sliced bananas into freezer snack bags.
Method 3: Mashed Banana Cubes
- Place bananas in a bowl and mash well with a fork.
- Alternatively, puree the bananas in a blender or food processor.
- Pour the mash or puree into ice cube trays.
- Place ice cube trays in freezer until frozen solid.
- Either leave the cubes in the trays for future use, or remove the cubes and store in freezer-safe bags.
- For recipes, thaw out the desired amount of cubes prior to making the recipe.
- For smoothies, remove the desired amount of cubes from the tray and drop into blender before blending.
Method 4: Mashed Puree
- Mash bananas in a bowl or puree in blender or food processor.
- Portion out the desired amount of mashed bananas and place in freezer bags. Portioning out 1.5 cups is one good option as that's a standard amount for most banana bread recipes.
- Seal the bags carefully, label with the date and amount of bananas, and place in freezer.
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is merely an approximation. Optional ingredients are not included and when there is an alternative, the primary ingredient is typically used. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts since they have been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.
Freezing foods is a great way to make your groceries go further. Plus, reducing food waste through freezing saves you money and makes sure you always have back-up foods ready to go.
With a freezer full of frozen goodies like these, you’ll never be lacking recipe ingredients again!
Another Option: Freeze Drying
While freezing is great, another really great option for preserving bananas is freeze drying. They turn out so crispy and delicious–the perfect anytime snack. And no need to take up freezer space!
This freeze dryer is the one that we have and love!
I’d love to hear how these techniques work for you and what the cheapest deal is on bananas that you’ve ever gotten!