Bananas aren’t only nutritious and delicious, but they’re also one of the most popular fruit choices in the U.S., according to the USDA Economic Research Service. They fall in the top three, just beneath apples and oranges.
These kitchen staples can help us burn fat and build lean muscles. And you probably already know that bananas are good for our hearts and help to keep our electrolytes balanced — but you might be surprised to know that more than 1,000 different types of bananas exist!
You can slice bananas over oatmeal, dice them into yogurt or blend them into smoothies. When they start to brown and eating them whole feels less appealing, you can always whip up a scrumptious dessert.
Freezing bananas is a great way to preserve them for later use in recipes, especially if they’re about to go bad. It’s also nice to have a few extra on hand for when you want to cook up a sweet treat with a healthy twist.
How to Freeze Bananas
Think ahead to what you’ll be making when you go about how to freeze your bananas. If you plan to use them in smoothies, it’s best to keep the pieces relatively small. After peeling, cut the banana into slices or thirds. Place the pieces onto a single layer of a parchment-lined baking sheet or plate and freeze for a couple of hours. Then transfer them into a resealable plastic bag. Unless you plan to consume them within a short period of time, label the bag with the date. They are best used within three to six months, depending on how they’re stored.
If you’re short on time, you can simply place an unpeeled banana directly into the freezer. The peel works as its own personal storage container. Since the texture will have changed, we don’t recommend eating it as-is once it’s thawed, but it’ll be delicious baked into a dessert. Thaw the banana at room temperature for one hour or microwave for two to three minutes. As you remove the peel, it will naturally mash.
Of course, you can also mash bananas before freezing them too. Simply peel and mash them into a freezer-safe plastic bag. Bananas brown from air exposure so try to let out any additional air before freezing the bag on a flat surface.
What to Make with Frozen Bananas
In certain cases, if you’re making frozen dishes like peanut butter banana bites, smoothie bowls or banana ice cream, you won’t need to thaw the banana at all.
If you have two or three bananas, you could make banana or zucchini breads. Bananas also work as a substitute for applesauce, providing a similar flavor, texture and creaminess.
Make bananas into a centerpiece dessert by serving frozen banana pops. This type of treat requires the banana to be frozen peeled and whole. Next, coat it with nut butter and roll it in your favorite toppings (we suggest cacao nibs or dried fruit). You can also drizzle chocolate on top to make a simple, healthy treat.
Now that you know how to freeze bananas, you’ll never feel rushed to devour them again.