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.
Does anybody know the perfect number of bananas to buy so you don’t end up with over ripe ones?
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 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.
Let’s hear it for the banana!
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.
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.
But it doesn’t mean they’re unsalvageable! Mash the bananas and place them into a resealable airtight and freezer-safe container.
The positive thing about extra ripe bananas is that they’re extra sweet!
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 bananas can last in your container for up to 3 months after that.
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 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 bananas to your smoothies, you’ll probably be able ditch other added sugar or sweeteners – which is a big win!
How Do I Freeze Bananas (For My Smoothies!)?
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:
- 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 on top of a layer of parchment paper on a baking pan and place these in the freezer for around 2 hours.
- Step 3: Transfer the frozen slices into an airtight container.
- 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 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 in a Ziploc bag, simply place the bag under running water. Just make sure it’s sealed well!
**Some people will also defrost frozen bananas with a microwave 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?
Try the following:
- How To Make Frozen Yogurt + 4 New Frozen Yogurt Recipes
- 1 Ingredient Banana IceCream Recipe
- Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
- Banana Protein Shake
This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.