One of the easiest fruits to freeze, all you basically need to do for storing bananas is to peel them and toss them in the freezer. The methods might vary a little depending on how you are freezing them, though they remain good for using later for baking, in smoothies, ice creams, and any other preparation.
It is the simplest and fastest way to freeze them. Just peel the fruit carefully, without poking them, place them in airtight freezer bags, and freeze for about 2-3 hours. You can cut them in halves if that is more convenient.
Place no more than 3 bananas in each standard-sized bag. You can also flash freeze whole bananas for a couple of hours before storing them in freezer bags to keep them from clumping together.
Note: Some people prefer wrapping each fruit individually in aluminum foil or wax paper before putting them in the freezer bag so they are frozen individually. But freezing them without the wax paper has no effect on their quality.
Simple ideas for use: You can make simple banana popsicles by inserting a poposicle stick into the end of banana halves, dipping them into nutella, peanut butter, or melted chocolate, then rolling them in you preferred sprinkler (chopped straberries, nuts, chocolate chips etc.) and freezing.
A lot of people believe that freezing whole unpeeled bananas reduce their shelf life as leaving the skin on diminishes the quality of the frozen banana. Additionally, the peel becomes soft and brown when frozen, making it difficult to remove when you want to use the flesh.
So, it is strongly recommended to remove the peel completely before freezing, to make it easier for yourself in the future.
Slicing or chopping them before freezing makes it easier to handle the frozen bananas, and you can still use them for anything you want.
Note: You may skip the flash freezing steps if you don’t mind the slices congealing together, especially since they may still stick together a little even after following that additional step.
Simple ideas for use: Just serve the slices as a snack whenever you want, or add them as they are to a fruit salad.
If you already know that you are going to use your bananas mashed, like for banana bread or cookies, then you can prepare them and then freeze to be able to use them quickly. This is also a good way of storing brown, overripe bananas before they go bad.
Flattening the freezer bags makes it easier to take out the frozen mashed content, as freezing it in a lump may make it difficult to cut through.
You can store banana puree in this manner for baby food, but do not keep it for more than 2-3 days for this purpose.
For a smoothie or milkshake, you can add the frozen bananas into the blender directly from the freezer bag. If making bread or muffins, take as much as you want to use out of the freezer bag, place them in a bowl, and keep in the refrigerator for a few hours till they thaw to their original consistency.
Frozen bananas can last for up to 6 months when stored properly, but it is better to use them within 3-4 months. Unpeeled frozen bananas stay good for just about 2 months.
The most notable nutrient in this fruit is potassium, with a large banana containing around 450mg of the essential mineral. Freezing the fresh fruit at home does not have any effect on its potassium content, keeping them equally safe and healthy after thawing.
It might be a little different with commercially frozen bananas as they are blanched (putting them in boiling water and then plunging in cold water) for about 30-40 seconds before freezing and packaging to increase their shelf life. Still, it only makes the fruits lose a little bit of its potassium content, keeping them almost as nutritious as fresh bananas.
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