How To Freeze Bananas

Let's be real: bananas aren't expensive food to buy. But that still doesn't mean any banana should ever go to waste! That's especially true when there are many uses for frozen bananas, from breakfast smoothies to homemade banana bread. So if you notice your bananas are starting to turn a bit brown or maybe they're just a little mushier than you'd prefer to eat, don't toss them! Instead, try freezing the bunch.

Bananas are easy to freeze, take up little space, and the whole process takes less than five minutes from start to finish. It's a win for you right now (no bananas wasted) and a win for your future self, who will get to enjoy said frozen bananas, perhaps in some banana ice cream or a banana nut muffin.

The number one rule when freezing bananas — really, the only rule you absolutely need to follow here –  is to freeze them immediately after peeling. If you let bananas sit out on the counter, they will begin to turn brown. However, if you peel them, wrap the fruit, and freeze it all right away, you'll have beautifully cream-colored bananas in your future. If for some reason your bananas do sit out a little longer than intended, never fear. You can simply sprinkle them with some lemon or lime juice. This will kill off any bacteria that may have developed and help keep them as cream-colored as possible when freezing.

Peel your bananas

There is no trick to peeling bananas. Just like you would for any other banana-related recipe, simply remove the peel and you'll be ready to move on to the next step.

Choose whole or sliced bananas

When it comes to freezing bananas, you can choose to freeze them whole or sliced. Whole bananas are a smidgen easier to freeze (ultimately meaning there's one less step for you to manage) but they take up more space in the freezer as they need a larger container for storage. The other benefit to freezing bananas whole is you know exactly how many you have. So if you have a banana bread recipe that calls for two bananas, you'll easily be able to remove two whole bananas from your freezer and get to work.

The best way to freeze whole bananas is to place a piece of parchment paper in between each banana. This way they don't freeze together into one solid mass. When you need to defrost only one from the bunch, you can easily pull it out of the container thanks to that nonstick parchment.

As far as defrosting whole bananas go, they will not go back to the taste and texture most of us think of when we want to eat a fresh banana. Instead, they will be very soft. Though they're probably not suitable to eat with a spoonful of peanut butter, defrosted bananas still make for a great baking ingredient, so you can easily use thawed bananas in banana bread, banana nut muffins, and more.

Benefits of frozen banana slices

Sliced bananas are great for recipes where the banana bites should remain frozen, such as smoothies or ice cream. They also tend to take up less space in the freezer.

To freeze banana slices, simply place the banana slices on a piece of parchment paper that's been placed on a plate or a half sheet pan. Then put the banana slices in the freezer for two hours or until they are completely solid. Freezing the slice this way will help to keep them from merging together into one lump of bananas in the freezer. Once solid, transfer frozen banana slices into a resealable freezer bag and squeeze out as much air as possible. Seal the bag before placing it in the freezer.

Label and date all containers

Be sure to label anything you place in your freezer for an extended period of time. That way, you will have a good idea of how long it's been hanging out in the cold and whether or not you still want to use it. All you need is some masking tape and a permanent marker to do so. Make sure you include the food item name and the date you are freezing them. Place the label on the side of the container that is going to be facing outward so that when you open the freezer door, you can see right away which items are in which containers. Be sure to label your resealable freezer bags as well!

How To Freeze Bananas
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Bananas aren't expensive food to buy. But that still doesn't mean any banana should ever go to waste! Here's how to freeze bananas for later use.
Prep Time
Cook Time
five whole bananas
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 1 bunch of bananas
  • Parchment paper
  • Resealable bag or airtight container
  1. Peel as many bananas as necessary.
  2. For whole bananas, place them in an airtight container with slices of parchment paper in between individual bananas.
  3. For sliced bananas, slice bananas and place pieces in one layer on a parchment paper-lined plate or half sheet pan. Freeze bananas for two hours or until solid. Once frozen, transfer the banana slices to a resealable bag and place bag in the freezer.
  4. Label airtight container or resealable bag with the contents and date ingredients were frozen.
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