How to Freeze Bananas (For Smoothies!)

Check on your bananas! If they are dangerously close to over-ripening, this post is for you. Follow along to learn the best ways to freeze bananas…for delicious smoothies.

How to Freeze Bananas (For Smoothies!)

Does anybody know the perfect number of bananas to buy so you don’t end up with overripe bananas?

If you do, send me a DM!

But if you don’t, and you’re tired of throwing them away, then this post is for you!

Honestly, I’ve baked more loaves of banana bread than I could possibly ever count. And not exactly by choice…(but do try my Healthy Banana Nut Bread Recipe).

So if you’ve got a bunch of ripe bananas, no time, and a preference for smoothies – the freezer is the way to go.

But be forewarned! There are a few steps that you absolutely cannot skip. Otherwise, you’ll end up with brown, freezer burnt bananas that will also end up in the trash (bummer!).

I’ll teach you how to best prepare your leftover bananas and the exact methods to freeze them, perfectly, for your smoothies!

Why? Because bananas are worth it. Not only are they super filling, but they have tons of nutritional benefits. They’re an excellent potassium source!

Let’s hear it for the banana!

How to Freeze Bananas (For Smoothies!)

Can I Freeze Whole Bananas?

YES—But you have to peel them first! If you leave bananas in their peel, it’s a big hassle and frustration to remove them post freeze.

Banana peels when frozen are really a pain to remove. Handling ice cold bunches of bananas is tough!

And the whole point of this post is to make your life easier.

Can I Freeze Over Ripe Bananas?

Yes, you can! Seeing spotty bananas on your kitchen counter is not an uncommon sight, especially when you have a busy schedule. A fresh banana becomes a brown banana in no time.

But it doesn’t mean they’re unsalvageable! Mash the bananas and pop them into a resealable airtight and freezer-safe container or a freezer-safe bag (I like reusable freezer bags).

The positive thing about extra ripe bananas is that they’re extra sweet!

Mashed bananas are great to have around when you’re craving a treat like banana bread, or a nourishing shake when you’re headed out the door in a rush.

How Do I Freeze Bananas Without Them Turning Brown?

By storing bananas in an airtight container, you can maintain their light yellow color. The brown discoloration is a sign that they’ve been exposed to air in the freezer, so if you see this happening you’ll know that your container has leaks!

A smart technique I like to use involves flash freezing the banana slices for about 2 hours before securing them in a glass mason jar or another freezer-safe container.

Frozen banana slices can last in your container for up to 3 months after that.

How to Freeze Bananas (For Smoothies!)

When Is The Best Time To Freeze Bananas?

When the bananas are ripe to overripe is the best time to freeze them. This is because the frigid temperature essentially stops their ripening cycle.

Thus, green bananas will stay green in the freezer and won’t have a nice soft texture (and they don’t taste as sweet).

Keep in mind that the riper the banana, the sweeter it will be. This is because the starches turn into sugar. So once you add ripe frozen banana pieces to your smoothies, you’ll probably be able to ditch other added sugar or sweeteners – which is a big win!

How to Freeze Bananas (For Smoothies!)

How Do I Freeze Bananas (For My Smoothies!)?

Below, I’ve given easy instructions for freezing bananas. You can cut your bananas into slices or large pieces, both using the flash freeze method I mentioned earlier.

True Story: I used to carelessly throw my unfrozen bananas into a bag. They’d then freeze together into one giant clump! Seriously, you’d have to take a knife to it or the blender would be very unhappy.

So save yourself some trouble with the following simple prep:

  1. Freeze them in slices: For easy smoothie recipes in my single serving blender, I think freezing bananas in slices works best.
    • Step 1: Peel the bananas and slice them to into half an inch pieces
    • Step 2: Place the slices in a single layer on top of a parchment paper lined baking sheet and place these in the freezer for around 2 hours.
    • Step 3: Transfer the frozen slices into an airtight container.
  2. Freeze them in large pieces: A regular sized blender can handle larger chunks.
    • Step 1: Peel the bananas
    • Step 2: Cut them in half or in thirds, depending on the size
    • Step 3: Place them on top of a layer of parchment paper on a baking pan and then flash-freeze for around 2 hours.
    • Step 4: Transfer them into an airtight and freezer safe container.

How Can I Use Frozen Bananas Besides In Smoothies?

Once you’ve got these handy frozen bananas in your freezer, they’re good to go for tons of recipes. Get ready to whip up nutritious and delicious banana muffins the kids will love. So much better than muffins from the grocery store.

Start the day off right with a batch of fiber filled banana pancakes made with oatmeal. Or grab a smoothie or shake after your workout. One of my faves is a banana protein shake because it’s a terrific after workout snack. Banana smoothie bowls are the best if you’re craving Greek yogurt and the crunch of pepitas!

Looking for even more nutrition in your banana based recipes?

I add cleanish Plant-Based Protein Powder for an easy 20 gram protein boost. Yep, Dustin and I created this product as part of our cleanish line cuz we know how important protein is. I sometimes switch it up though, when I want to bump up my collagen intake. I’ll throw in a scoop of cleanish Collagen Peptides as a way to improve my skin, hair and nails (and it does tons more too).

"How to Freeze Bananas (For Smoothies!)

How Do I Thaw Frozen Bananas?

To make things extra easy on your blender, you can thaw your bananas (before making a delicious smoothie). So for banana slices or chunks, all you need to do is take the amount that you need and thaw them at room temperature.

*A half an hour should do the trick. Although, for a complete thaw it takes 1-2 hours.

If your bananas are mashed and your storage method was a freezer bag, simply place the bag under running water. Just make sure it’s sealed well!

**Some people will also thaw frozen bananas in a microwave on the defrost setting for a few minutes.

Nicely frozen bananas are ready to smoothie, will make your life easier…and your drinks way creamier!

Also, here’s A Sweet Pea Chef shopping hack: keep an eye out for reduced-price bananas! Most likely they are fully ripe, which most people would avoid.

But because you now know the banana freeze technique…they’re perfect!

More Frozen Banana Recipes

Can’t get enough of that chilled banana flavor? With all of those frozen bananas in your freezer, you’ll save on prep time and easily whip up nutritious recipes.

Try the following:

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey there! I’m Lacey Baier and I’d like to welcome you! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, as well as cleanish, my clean-eating supplement brand. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Austin, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

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