I love bananas, for the simple reason that as soon as they start going bad you can put them in the freezer and then forget about them until you want to make banana bread or smoothies or any number of things.
They are good fresh or frozen and can be used in so many different recipes.
Bananas are the most popular fruit in America, they are actually categorized as a berry, the are packed full of potassium; bananas are amazing.
The biggest question though, once you’ve tossed them in the freezer, is how long can you freeze bananas?
The short answer is indefinitely. As long as they are stored properly. If you want to maintain the best quality and taste, 2 to 3 months is best. Obviously your freezer will need to maintain the proper temperature over the entire time but given that they will truly last indefinitely, but please don’t do this. Stick to the 2 to 3 month window for best results.
The key to keeping your bananas “fresh” even when they’re frozen is knowing how to store and prepare them properly.
When freezing food items, the goal is to avoid freezer burn. By doing this, your food has a much better chance of maintaining its flavor and quality. You can freeze bananas with the peel on, and even though that helps add an extra layer of protection against freezer burn I would not suggest this route. Have you ever tried to peel a frozen banana? Let me save you the hassle; it is not easy.
Bananas, like apples, peaches, pears and a variety of other fruits, produce ethylene gas which causes other fruits to ripen more quickly. Fresh bananas should be stored on the counter but away from other fruits unless you need them to ripen. Often times I will place my unripe avocados by my bananas to encourage the ripening process. If you’ve peeled a banana and eaten half of it, make sure to put it in the fridge. It’s not advised to leave the half-peeled banana out unless you want to attract fruit flies.
Once a banana has ripened it will last about 5 to 7 days in the fridge. By putting them in the fridge, you can anticipate the peel turning brown, but this is not an indicator that the banana has gone bad.
The three tell tale signs that a banana has gone bad is the presence of mold, there is liquid or it is brown and mushy. Mold is a pretty obvious sign, but if you’re unsure what mold looks like on bananas you can do a quick internet search for reference. If you see it on the peel, toss it. The next thing to check is if there is any liquid coming from the banana, and if there is it’s gone bad. The third way is to simply peel the banana. If the flesh is brown and really mushy, it’s done. A banana will also emit a fermented or ammonia-like smell when it’s gone bad.
For many the question when buying fruits and vegetables is do I buy organic or conventional. Personally, I always reference the dirty dozen list. Bananas are not on the dirty dozen list due to the thick peel they have that protects the fruit from the majority of the pesticides and insecticides used. Granted, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a small chemical presence from the sprays used on the soil. At the end of the day, it’s up to you, your budget and values, but if you’re moving towards buying organic start with the dirty dozen and go from there.
Have a freezer full of bananas and need some ideas of what to do with them? Here are my top three suggestions!
Here’s a fun fact for you. The most searched recipe during this time of quarantine has been banana bread! Banana bread is a delicious staple, really hard to mess up and perfect for those frozen bananas. This recipe from Food.com is a winner and for a gluten free option this is a great recipe for the gluten-intolerant from the Minimalist Baker.
Frozen bananas make the perfect addition to smoothies. They create that thick and creamy consistency without having ice chunks, and they add flavor as well.
Have you ever heard of “nice cream”? The idea is you use frozen bananas, a little milk and sweetener or other add-in’s of your choice, you blend them all up and you have a healthier version of ice cream with a similar consistency and great flavor. You can check out several variations and recipes all in one place from Chocolate Covered Katie.
I wanted to make sure I covered all the bases when it comes to frozen bananas, so here is a list of FAQ’s hopefully answering any other banana questions you may still have.
My hope is there is now no question in your mind of how to freeze your bananas, how long to freeze them and what to do with them.
So go freeze those bananas and join everyone else in quarantine making that banana bread.
Photo by Security from Pixabay
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