Learn how to freeze bananas so you’ll never toss a perfectly good fruit in the compost again! Whole, halves, slices, mashed, or even skin-on, this detailed guide has it all! After you’re done here, no questions will be left unanswered.
No bananas left behind
Are you the type of person who buys multiple bunches of bananas with high hopes of finishing them all? When mid-week rolls around, brown spots start showing up. Before you know it, you’re throwing black bananas in the compost just to ward off the fruit flies.
Freezing bananas is the best way to preserve them when they’re perfectly ripe. Use them in smoothies, banana bread, cookies, banana “nice” cream, and so much more! Armed with these simple freezing techniques, you’ll always have bananas on hand when you need them most!
How to freeze bananas
Whether you’re using them for smoothies, banana bread, muffins, or oatmeal, knowing how to freeze bananas is such a useful kitchen hack! Read on to find out how to freeze banana halves, slices, and mashed bananas.
Peel the bananas
First things first, get that peel out of the way! Peeling bananas before freezing them is by far the best route to go. I’ve tried it both ways, and there is nothing messier than trying to remove a peel from a frozen banana.
Can You Eat Banana Peel?
Fun fact…yes, you can eat the banana peel! This is a great way to reduce food waste and get some extra fiber into your diet. Be sure to wash it well before enjoying. My favorite way to eat banana peel is to throw it in a smoothie! Hint: this smoothie bowl is perfect for it.
How to freeze banana halves
After the bananas are peeled, cut or break the fruit in half. Pop them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then into the freezer they go for about 2-3 hours. Just a side note, make sure the baking sheet will actually fit into your freezer.
Once the bananas are solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container labeled with the date. Use banana halves for smoothies, banana bread, muffins, or nice cream.
How to freeze banana slices
Cut the peeled bananas into rounds, about ½-inch to ¾-inch thick, then transfer the coins to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure they are spaced out in a single layer to prevent them from sticking to one another. Once again, leave the bananas in the freezer for about 1-2 hours, or until they are solid (slices will freeze faster than halves).
Transfer the bananas to a labeled container or freezer-safe bag, and pop them back in the freezer for later! Frozen banana slices are great for oatmeal, baked goods, or smoothies if you don’t have a high-speed blender.
How to freeze mashed bananas
To save time on baking days, you can freeze mashed bananas too! Mash the peeled bananas on a plate until the texture is smooth. I like to portion mine into a silicone ice cube or popsicle tray. This way, I know exactly how many cubes I need for a recipe! So easy.
Freeze the silicone tray for about 2-3 hours, or until the texture is solid. Transfer the cubes or pieces into a freezer-safe bag with a label. Thaw the mashed bananas and use them just as you normally would for all your baking needs!
How to peel a frozen banana
While it’s definitely easier to freeze bananas without their peels, we’re all guilty of quickly throwing dark brown bananas in the freezer so they don’t go to waste. If this sounds like you, you may now be wondering how to peel a frozen banana. Don’t worry, just follow these steps:
- Step 1: Thaw the banana on the countertop for 4-5 minutes so it starts to soften and isn’t so cold to the touch. Alternatively, you can thaw it by running it under hot water or microwaving it for 10-15 seconds.
- Step 2: Cut the ends of the banana so it will be easier to peel.
- Step 3: Cut the banana in half.
- Step 4: Make a slit down each half of the banana.
- Step 5: Wedge your knife between the skin and flesh, and peel it off.
As I always say, it’s better to take the extra few minutes and peel your bananas before freezing them. But, this method works in a pinch!
Tips for freezing bananas
- Label the bag: Labeling the bag with the date and amount of bananas helps you stay organized and keeps everything fresh. I’m all about kitchen efficiency!
- Use ripe bananas: Only freeze bananas that are ripe and overripe. They should have brown spots on them, and they can even be frozen if they’re completely brown.
- Let them thaw: If you’re using frozen bananas for baked goods, make sure they’re completely thawed and drained of excess liquid.
How long do frozen bananas last in the freezer?
After your hard work is complete, you may be wondering “how long are frozen bananas good for?” I’ve got good news! You can count on bananas lasting in the freezer for at least 6 months. After that, they may develop a little freezer burn, but they’re still completely safe to eat!
How to use frozen bananas
You can use frozen bananas in all sorts of recipes. Whether frozen or thawed, this list will give you something to start with!
- Banana halves: Use these for strawberry banana smoothies, banana bread, or nice cream milkshakes.
- Slices: Great for nice cream, stuffed banana bites, or banana Thai curry.
- Mashed: Use puréed bananas for recipes like banana pancakes or banana popsicles.
It’s always best to freeze bananas without a peel. This way, they are quicker to use when you need them rather than having to peel a frozen banana.
Most recipes call for ripe or overripe bananas, so it’s best to freeze them when they are nice and spotty! Remember, the more spots you see, the sweeter they’ll be!
Frozen bananas that turn brown are caused by exposure to air. The best way to prevent brown bananas is by storing them in an airtight freezer-safe bag. If color is important to you or your recipe, try to use them within 3 months since they darken the longer they’re stored.
- Ripe or overripe bananas
- Peel: Remove banana peels before freezing.
- Option 1 – Halves: Cut or break the fruit in half. Pop them onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, then freeze for about 2-3 hours. Once the bananas are solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container labeled with the date.
- Option 2 – Slices: Cut the peeled bananas into rounds, about ½-inch to ¾-inch thick, then transfer the coins to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Make sure they are spaced out in a single layer to prevent them from sticking to one another. Freeze for about 1-2 hours, or until solid. Transfer the bananas to a labeled container or freezer-safe bag, and pop them back in the freezer for later!
- Option 3 – Mashed: Mash the peeled bananas on a plate until the texture is smooth. Portion into a silicone ice cube or popsicle tray. This way, you know exactly how many cubes you'll need for a recipe! Freeze the silicone tray for about 2-3 hours, or until the texture is solid. Transfer the cubes or pieces into a freezer-safe bag with a label. Thaw the mashed bananas and use them just as you normally would for all your baking needs.