Here's a step-by-step tutorial on how to freeze bananas so you can easily add them to smoothies, muffins, breads, oatmeal, and so much more!
Reasons to Freeze Bananas
Y'all! Let me tell you. It is considered a real emergency around here if we run out of bananas. Both of my kids believe no breakfast is complete without them.
And so to avoid having to make multiple trips to the grocery store each week, I grab at least two bunches at a time, one that's ripe and one that's still green.
On top of that, my kids are also very particular when it comes to their fresh bananas. They have to be perfectly yellow with minimal brown spots. Not to mention, they also have a lot of opinions on how they should be sliced (or not).
Please tell me I'm not alone!!
All this to say I always end up with a bunch of rejected, ripe, brown bananas. Sure, I could make some banana bread, muffins, etc., but truth is I'm exhausted most of the time and I just want to retreat from the kitchen.
So what's the solution? Freeze the bananas before they pass the point of no return. That way, they will be there for you WHEN you need them!
How to Freeze Bananas
Super important! You want to start with ripe bananas so they will add the right amount of sweetness to whatever you are adding them to. They won't ripen further once frozen.
First peel your bananas as it will be much harder to do so once frozen. Not only that, the bananas will turn brown if frozen with the peel on.
Next, slice or mash, depending on how you want to use them in the future.
Whole or halved
I personally like to slice the bananas in half rather than keeping them whole because this makes them easier to use for recipes that call for ½ of a banana and easier to blend, if you don't have a high-powered blender.
- Place bananas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Freeze for at least 2 hours.
- Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container.
Sliced bananas also thaw more quickly than whole or halved.
- Slice into ½-3/4 inch rounds, arrange into a single layer on a parchment lined tray (otherwise it will be much harder to remove the bananas once frozen). Freeze for at least 2 hours.
- Transfer the frozen slices to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container.
While you can thaw frozen banana slices and mash, this is a good option if you want to save time later or have leftover mashed banana.
This will also allow you to grab exactly how much you need for any baked goods recipe.
Here's what you do:
- Mash and measure desired amount, I like to freeze in ¼ or ½ cup portions. Transfer mashed bananas to freezer trays, close the lid, and freeze overnight.
- Once frozen solid, remove from the tray and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container.
If using the freezer bags, be sure to squeeze out as much excess air as possible before sealing. This will help keep the bananas from turning brown and getting freezer burned.
And don't forget to label with the date.
Frequently Asked Questions
If using the bananas in baked goods, allow them to thaw in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for 1-2 hours, depending on the size of your banana pieces.
As they thaw, the bananas will release brown liquid. Go ahead and strain this excess liquid.
While you can freeze for up to 6 months, I recommend using within 3 months for best flavor, texture, and color. Note that the bananas will still turn brown in the freezer, although at a much slower rate.
If you prefer, you can transfer the banana pieces to a freezer-safe bag and spread them out flat in a single layer. Remove as much extra air as possible before sealing. Place them flat in the freezer and freeze for at least 3 hours.
However, if you are freezing a large amount, it would be easier to use the flash freeze method as shown here. It will also save you from having to use multiple freezer bags.
Favorite Banana Recipes
- Eggless Banana Muffins
- Healthy Carrot Banana Muffins
- Moist Spinach Muffins
- Pumpkin Banana Muffins
- Beet Muffins
- Healthy Pumpkin Banana Bread
- Strawberry Banana Pancakes
- Banana Overnight Oats
- Baby Banana Pancakes
- Banana Date Bread
- Banana Milk
- Healthy Banana Milkshake (3 ways)
- Creamy Banana Watermelon Smoothie
- Peach Banana Smoothie
- Kale Mango Smoothie
- Green Smoothies for Kids
- Frozen Peach Yogurt
Did you make this recipe? Leave a rating below and let me know how you liked the recipe! Your feedback means so much to me!
How to Freeze Bananas (3 Ways)
- 4 ripe bananas (with brown spots), peeled
Halved or Sliced
- Slice bananas in half or ½-3/4 inch rounds. Place bananas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Freeze for at least 2 hours. Transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container.
- Mash and measure desired amount, I like to freeze in ¼ or ½ cup portions. Transfer mashed bananas to freezer trays, close the lid, and freeze overnight.Once frozen solid, remove from the tray and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container.