If you're a smoothie fiend, then you know that bananas are a valuable fruit to include for potassium and fiber.
Not to mention bananas also provide the perfect amount of sweetness and a thick and creamy texture.
Freezing is the best way to keep bananas fresh for as long as possible But, freezing bananas comes with a caveat and they don't last forever.
Therefore, if you're using frozen bananas, it is best to know how long they last and the telltale signs if they're starting going bad.
Let's take a look.
Do Frozen Bananas Go Bad?
Yes, but it takes quite a while for that to happen, roughly around 90 days.
However, it is unlikely that these bad boys will make you seriously unwell.
Although you can freeze and preserve them, there is a downside; they won't have the same taste or texture that we all know and love.
How Can You Tell if a Frozen Banana is Bad?
Just because you can't use browning as a way to decipher whether or not a banana is bad, doesn't mean there aren't other ways:
- Funky smell
- Slimy texture
- White mold, looks like fuzzy felt
These are all things to look out for. If you notice any of the signs, it would be best to chuck your banana in the trash.
Is It Okay if Frozen Bananas Turn Brown?
When bananas are on the counter, we correlate browning with the bananas going bad, but that isn't necessarily the case when they're frozen.
Bananas turn brown in the freezer because of polyphenol oxidization. The enzyme, Polyphenol oxidase reacts with oxygen which causes the browning of fruits, including bananas.
Luckily, this does not indicate whether or not the banana is bad, just that it has been exposed to oxygen and is undergoing oxidation.
Keep in mind, oxidation products don't always have the best effects on flavor. I'm sure you've experienced this with a banana you've left out for too long.
What's the Best Way to Freeze Bananas?
The best way to freeze your bananas will depend on how you plan to use them, but you do have a handful of options.
No matter the choice, it is best to freeze them when they are already ripe, because freezing stops (or significantly slows down) the ripening process.
For a whole peeled banana, it is best to put it in a Ziploc bag and be sure to take out all of the air.
- They're ready to grab when you need them.
- Easy to prepare.
- You don't have to worry about them bruising as easily.
- Whole bananas take up more space in the freezer.
- They can stick together, making it difficult to grab just one.
If you're planning on storing them unpeeled and whole, you can toss them in the freezer and take them out to thaw when you're ready.
- The peel acts as the container and protective barrier
- Can mash the bananas while peeling. Beneficial if you're using it for baking.
- The peel sticks to the banana, making it harder to peel without mashing it.
Peeled and Sliced
To store peeled and sliced bananas, spread them out on a flat surface and place them in the freezer. When they are almost frozen, you can transfer them into a Ziploc bag; this keeps them from sticking together.
- Easier to grab and use for smoothies or snacks
- Easier to store in smaller places
- If frozen correctly, they won't stick together
- Pieces could stick together if not frozen correctly
How to Thaw Frozen Bananas
Now that you know freezing is the best way to keep bananas fresh, you may be wondering how to thaw them.
There are a few methods you can choose from, but the most important thing is that you don't use a microwave. Using a microwave will cause them to become mushy, which we want to avoid.
Placing them in the fridge the day before you need them is the best way to defrost.
If you need a more immediate solution, place the banana in a Ziploc bag and soak it in a bowl of hot (not boiling) water for 5 to 10 minutes. Replace the hot water and soak the banana for longer if it is still not ready.
Can You Refrigerate Bananas?
So you don't want to deal with freezing and thawing your bananas? You can still refrigerate your bananas to keep them fresh.
The bananas won't last 90 days as they do in the freezer, but placing them in the fridge will buy you a few more weeks.
But just like when you freeze bananas, it is still best to place them in the fridge when they are already ripe. Putting your bananas at a cool temperature will stop the ripening process.
Also, the banana will still turn brown in the fridge. But again, don't assume that the banana is no longer healthy to eat.
Can You Freeze Banana Bread?
Yes, you can save banana bread from going bad by storing it in the freezer until you're ready to enjoy it.
You can store it in the freezer as a whole loaf, a half loaf, or individual slices. The way you store your banana bread depends on how much you plan to use at one time.
We recommend freezing your banana bread by individually wrapping slices, because they will freeze quickest, resulting in the least amount of changes during the freezing process.
The best way to freeze your banana bread is by wrapping it in plastic wrap, then foil paper, and finally placing it a Ziploc or freezer bag to protect it from drying out.
- DON'T store banana bread in the refrigerator because it will dry out the bread.
- DON'T place the banana bread in the freezer while it is still hot, because the heat and cold will create the ideal situation for bacteria to grow. Additionally, it will result in soggy bread.
Best Uses for Frozen Bananas
There's no denying that Smoothies and Banana Bread are great ways to use frozen bananas, but that's not all you can do with this versatile fruit.
Here are some other ways that you can use frozen bananas:
- Oatmeal topping with a mixture of Cocoa Nibs
- Banana Muffins
- Banana Pancakes (YUM!)
- Banana Popsicles. So many recipes from decorating it to look like a sundae to being dipped in chocolate and coated with almonds.
- Banana Ice cream. Plain or mixed with chocolate and peanut butter.
- Chocolate and Peanut Butter Banana Bites
Freezing is the best way to keep bananas fresh for a longer time, but only if you do it the proper way. Be sure to store them correctly and look out for any signs that the bananas might not be fresh anymore.
Also, be creative when you use bananas! There are so many wonderful banana recipes available that will help you to fully appreciate this fruit.
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any further questions or comments. We would love to hear from you.