Freezing Bananas for Baking? (What You Should Know)
Bananas are a kitchen staple that gives baked goods a lovely sweetness and moistness. It’s often tough to keep fresh bananas on hand because they go bad so quickly. That’s where freezing bananas for baking comes in handy!
How to Freeze Bananas For Baking
There are a several different ways to freeze bananas, and each has its benefits. The way you freeze bananas depends on whether they’re ripe bananas, peeled bananas, or mashed bananas.
Ripe bananas can be frozen whole, in slices, or mashed. And you can even freeze bananas with the peel on or off. You can eat frozen bananas or use them in various baking recipes.
With so many options, you’ll want to freeze bananas in a way that’s best for your end use.
Let’s look at several of the different ways to freeze bananas specifically for baking.
Freezing Whole Bananas for Baking
One of the simplest ways to freeze overripe bananas is to leave them whole and unpeeled. Just throw a few bananas in the freezer as-is, and they’ll be ready to use when you need them.
Alternatively, you could peel a few very ripe bananas and put them in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.
Benefits of Freezing Whole Bananas
The main benefit of freezing bananas whole is that they’ll retain their shape. This means they’re great for using in smoothies or for slicing and adding to things like banana bread.
To use frozen whole bananas in baking, simply thaw them in either a microwave or let them sit out for a while before using them. Peeled bananas thaw quickly and will be ready to bake with in about 15 minutes.
Freezing Banana Slices For Baking
If you want to add slices of banana to things like pancakes or waffles, or you want to be able to mash them easily after they are thawed, then freezing them in slices is a good option.
To freeze banana slices, start by peeling the bananas and then slice bananas into 1/2-inch thick slices. Place the banana slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer, ensuring they’re not touching.
Freeze the banana slices for about two hours or until they’re frozen solid.
Once the banana slices are frozen, you can transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag, pushing out as much air as possible.
Benefits of Freezing Banana slices
Frozen banana slices are handy for adding to pancake batter or waffles. They are also easy to mash for baking into banana bread, cakes, and cookies.
Freezing Mashed Bananas
Mashing bananas is great for baking as they add a lot of moisture and sweetness to whatever it is your making. And mashed bananas are also really easy to freeze!
To freeze mashed bananas, peel bananas and cut them into small chunks—Mash the banana pieces with a fork or a potato masher. You can then add a little lemon juice to the mashed bananas if you like to help prevent them from turning brown.
Then, spoon the mashed bananas onto a parchment paper or wax paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze for about two hours or until solid. Once frozen, add multiple portions to a freezer-safe bag, press out any excess air and seal tightly.
Pro Tip: Even better, you can use a measuring cup to measure out the mashed bananas into 1/2 cup portions. This will make it easy to use them in future baking recipes, as you’ll know exactly how much each serving is.
You can freeze the mashed bananas for up to 3 months.
Benefits of Freezing Mashed Banana
If you’re planning to use mashed bananas in your bake anyway, you’ll save time and effort by freezing them already mashed.
To use frozen mashed bananas, thaw bananas in the microwave or at room temperature. Then, add them to your favorite baked goods recipes.
Freezing Bananas With The Peel On
You can also freeze bananas with the peel on! This is a good option if you are freezing them to add whole frozen bananas for smoothies.
To freeze bananas with the skin on them, start by washing them well. Then, place them in a freezer-safe plastic bag or container. Seal the bag or container and freeze the bananas for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to use the frozen bananas, cut off the ends and throw the whole bananas, skin and all, in a powerful blender and enjoy!
However, remember that not everyone will want to eat the peel, so it’s a good idea to have some peeled and sliced bananas on hand as well.
How to Prevent Bananas from Turning Dark
Overripe bananas are ideal for freezing and using in baking, but if you’re not careful, they can turn dark or even black.
Bananas turn brown when they’re overripe. There are a few things you can do to prevent this from happening.
Store Bananas In a Cool and Dry Place
First, store your bananas in a cool, dry place. Bananas are a tropical fruit that ripens quickly in warm or humid environments. You can even place cling wrap around the bananas or put them in a covered fruit bowl to slow the ripening process.
Separate Bananas To Keep Them From Turing Brown
Second, try to separate the bananas from each other. If they’re touching, they’re more likely to turn brown. If you’re not going to use your bananas immediately, store them in the fridge. This will help slow down the ripening process.
Add Lemon Juice or Pineapple Juice To Slow Banana Browning
If you’re freezing the bananas, add a little lemon juice or pineapple juice to them before freezing. A little lemon or pineapple juice will help to prevent the bananas from turning brown to quickly.
With these tips, you can enjoy your frozen bananas for months.
When to Use Frozen Bananas
Frozen bananas are a great way to add flavor and sweetness to your favorite baked goods recipes. But, they’re also a good option for making quick and healthy snacks like smoothies and frozen treats. You can devour frozen banana chunks as is, too.
To get the most out of your frozen bananas, use them within 3 months. After that, they’ll start to lose their flavor and nutrition.
How To Use Frozen Bananas For Baking
Now that you’re a pro when it comes to freezing bananas for baking, let’s look at some of the best ways to use them in your favorite baked goods.
One of the most popular ways to use frozen bananas is in banana bread. Banana bread is a quick recipe that doesn’t require any rising time. This makes it a perfect option for using frozen bananas.
To make banana bread, start by thawing 3 or 4 frozen bananas. Once they’re defrosted, mash them up with a fork or potato masher. Then, add the mashed bananas to your favorite banana bread recipe.
Another excellent way to utilize frozen bananas is in banana muffins. Banana muffins are quick and easy to make and perfect for on-the-go snacking.
Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies
If you’re a fan of baking chocolate chip cookies, just wait until you try chocolate chip banana cookies. This is a great recipe to make if you’re trying to figure out what to make with all of your frozen bananas. The only bad thing is I couldn’t stop myself from eating these!
Freezing Bananas for Baking – Final Thoughts
There are endless possibilities when it comes to using frozen bananas in baking. So next time you have some overripe bananas, don’t throw them away – freeze them instead!
No matter which method you choose, freezing bananas ensures you have them on hand for baking. Just label and date your freezer bags or containers so you know how long they’ve been there.