Freezing Bananas For Smoothies (The Right Way)

Have you ever brought home a bunch of bananas that are that a perfect yellow color with greenish ridges, only to have them freckle and turn brown overnight?

Perhaps you bought these bananas to make a smoothie. Did you know when you freeze bananas, they help healthy shakes taste like milkshakes?

So, if you see your bananas about to turn and become an ingredient in another banana bread that you didn’t quite intend to make, you might want to ask yourself, “Can I freeze bananas for smoothies?”

The answer is yes, you can freeze bananas for smoothies. In fact, it is a great idea, as frozen bananas taste quite like ice cream.

Freezing Bananas for Smoothies

Freezing Bananas For Smoothies

The following is the best way to freeze bananas for smoothies.

1. Select a firm yellow ripe banana with next to no brown spots.

2. Slice bananas into 1/2 inch pieces.

3. Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper or freezer paper.

4. Arrange the banana slices on the freezer tray, then flash freeze them for two hours.

5. After the banana slices are frozen solid, transfer them from the cookie sheet and place them in the zippered freezer bag and put them back into the freezer for storage.

Freezing Brown Bananas (Any Issues?)

Freezing Brown Bananas

There is no harm in freezing brown bananas for banana bread. Just make sure to package them tightly in a zippered freezer bag.

Brown banana chunks, however, are not a good choice for smoothies. Degrading bananas have a very starchy, sweet taste that is akin to the taste of brown sugar.

Brown bananas are so overripe to start with that any oxidation from air exposure in the freezer will probably make things worse quickly, and they will be less than ideal for smoothies.

The main concern about brown bananas or bananas with a lot of brown spots is that they make a fertile field for the growth of bacteria, so if you are going to freeze them, you’ll want to use them within three days or so.

So, it’s always best to freeze bananas before they become overly ripe.

Can You Freeze Whole Bananas In The Peel?

You can freeze whole bananas in the peel, but be aware that they will turn brown rapidly and possibly add a strong sweet smell to your freezer. It is always best to peel bananas before trying to freeze them and place them in an airtight container or a freezer bag.

Do Frozen Bananas Go Bad?

Frozen bananas will most definitely go bad over time, especially if you don’t package them properly. In fact, bananas are voted as one of the fruits most likely to turn brown in the freezer.

If your frozen bananas are brown, shriveled, and covered in ice crystals, it means that they have freezer burn. This is due to air exposure, which causes oxidation and tissue rot.

A bad frozen banana will taste very sweet and a bit fermented. This is a sign that all of the carbohydrates and nutrients have disintegrated.

Once this happens, it’s best just to throw the frozen banana away.

How Long Do Bananas Last in The Freezer

How Long Do Bananas Last in The Freezer

As is true of most fruits, it is best to use frozen bananas within three months. The only possible exception to this rule is if you pack them individually using a vacuum sealer.

How to Thaw Frozen Bananas

Most people are fine with using frozen banana slices in smoothies, as they give the smoothie a frosty thickness that is reminiscent of a milkshake. So, in this case, you don’t need to thaw the banana slices out at all. Just take them out of the freezer and pop them into your blender.

However, if you’d rather defrost the banana before putting them in your smoothie, the best way is to take them out of the freezer and then, while still in the bag, run cool water over them until they are thawed. This will generally only take a few extra minutes.

Banana Smoothie Recipes

Now that you’ve got some frozen bananas ready to go, here are some classic banana smoothie recipes you’ll want to try. Each recipe makes one serving.

Banana Strawberry Smoothie

Banana Strawberry Smoothie

Simply add the following to a food processor or blender:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 to 1 cup frozen banana slices
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla or plain yogurt
  • A splash of skim milk
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds

Whirl ingredients together until smooth, and serve.

Mango Orange Banana Smoothie

Simply add the following to a food processor or blender:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1/2 cup frozen sliced bananas
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

Process all of the ingredients together and serve.

Banana Prune Smoothie

Simply add the following to a food processor or blender:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup frozen banana chunks
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 prunes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Blend until smooth and serve.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie (My Favorite!)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Simply add the following to a food processor or blender:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup frozen banana chunks
  • 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • A splash of milk

Blend until smooth and frosty and serve.

Green Smoothie With Banana

In a blender or food processor mix:

  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 cup frozen banana slices
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • A handful of spinach
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 Medjool date, stoned

Blend until smooth and serve.

Other Frozen Banana Recipes

Banana slices can also be used to make other frozen treats.

Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream

Making banana ice cream is simple if you have a blender or food processor.

The traditional way is to add 2 cups of sweetened condensed milk to two cups of frozen banana slices and blend until the mixture has the consistency of ice cream.

Frozen Banana Pops

Spear banana slices on wooden skewers. Dip in melted chocolate or chocolate syrup and place on parchment paper in the freezer.

Freeze until solid and serve.

Pineapple Banana Freeze

In a food processor or blender add:

  • 1 cup frozen banana slices
  • 1 cup canned or frozen pineapple
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Blend until the mixture is frothy. Spoon into individual serving dishes and place in the freezer until it is partially frozen.

The frozen slices give the dessert a slightly mushy texture, like a sherbert. Top with additional whipped cream and a cherry, and serve.

See the best way to freeze bananas for smoothies.

Other Uses for Frozen Bananas

Frozen banana coins can be very decorative. Use them to decorate the top of a cake or as a filling between layers.

Frozen sliced bananas can also be placed at the bottom of a muffin tin and baked whole inside the muffin. Additionally, frozen slices can be added to pancake batter or tossed in oatmeal.

Float banana with frozen fruit in Jello or blend a whole frozen banana with coconut rum and mango juice to make a tropical cocktail. When you add frozen bananas to anything, you’ll always have a creamy taste.

Once you know how to freeze bananas, you are bound to find a way to put them in delicious smoothies, baked goods, or desserts. This is a great way to save money as well as have a nutritious, potassium-rich fruit on hand.

Freezing Bananas For Smoothies – Conclusion

Freezing bananas for smoothies is not only convenient but the creamy texture of a frozen banana will add to the deliciousness of the smoothie.

The first key to freezing bananas is to freeze them before they start turning brown on your kitchen counter. The second key is to wrap them thoroughly and package them in a freezer-safe bag to prevent any direct contact with the cold freezer air.