How to Freeze Bananas – A few easy tricks make this the BEST way to freeze bananas for smoothies, banana ice cream, baking projects, and more!
There are a few things I pretty much always guess wrong in the kitchen–how much pasta my family will eat for dinner, how many scrambled eggs to make for breakfast, and how many bananas my family will eat in the week. Anyone else?
Some weeks, we FLY through our bananas in just a few days. Other weeks, I feel like the bananas have somehow multiplied and we have more than we started with!
When I guess wrong (which, I’m sorry to say, is pretty often), I need to do something with all those lovely ripe bananas. When I don’t have time to make banana bread, banana cake, or banana muffins, I love freezing my bananas for later.
Frozen bananas are great for smoothies, banana ice cream, baking projects, and so much more. While you can absolutely just put them in a bag whole and pop them in the freezer, I’ve found that this is the very best method for freezing bananas… they’ll thaw faster for baking, blend better for smoothies, and won’t freeze together in a giant clump…
THE BEST WAY TO FREEZE BANANAS: MY TOP 3 TRICKS
1. FREEZE BANANAS IN SLICES – Bananas cut into slices freeze faster, thaw faster, store more neatly, and blend better. This makes them ideal for using frozen in smoothies, blending into banana “nice cream,” or thawing to mash for banana bread, banana muffins, pancakes, etc.
2. CUT YOUR BANANAS INTO EVEN AMOUNTS – I cut all my bananas into 8 slices. That way I always know grabbing 8 slices = 1 banana, or 4 slices = 1/2 a banana, etc. It makes for easy measuring for recipes!
3. FREEZE BANANA SLICES IN A SINGLE LAYER BEFORE PUTTING THEM IN A BAG. By flash-freezing your banana slices before transferring them to a bag, they won’t stick together in a large clump. It’ll be easier to pull out exactly what you need and easier to use them when you need them!
HOW TO FREEZE BANANAS, STEP-BY-STEP:
- Set out a baking sheet or tray and line with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Peel ripe bananas and discard peels
- Cut each banana into 8 slices (this way it’s easy to measure out 1 banana later)
- Arrange banana slices on your prepared baking sheet so they aren’t touching (that way they won’t stick together!)
- Freeze bananas in a single layer for at least 45 minutes or until no longer tacky
- Then, transfer to an airtight bag or container. (We like these)
- Return to the freezer and store up to 2-3 months in the freezer.
HELPFUL TOOLS FOR FREEZING BANANAS:
OUR FAVORITE WAYS TO USE FROZEN BANANAS
FOR SMOOTHIES! A Few of our favorites:
- Our Favorite Chocolate Smoothie
- Chai Spiced Banana Smoothie
- Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie
- Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
FOR BANANA NICE CREAM + FROZEN TREATS
- Healthy Snickers Shake
- Cookie Dough Banana Nice Cream
- Healthy Homemade Fudgecicles
- My friend Cassie has a great tutorial for 8 flavors banana ice cream
FOR COOKING & BAKING!
- Blender Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
- Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
- Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Banana Bread
- Almond Flour Banana Cake with Chocolate Ganache
FAQ + TIPS & TRICKS FOR FREEZING BANANAS
CUT THE BANANAS INTO EVEN SLICES. I know I mentioned this above, but in case you missed it, I suggest cutting all your bananas into 8 (or 10) slices. That way, you know how many to grab for a recipe. It’s an easy way to keep things simple later!
FREEZE THE BANANA SLICES A BIT BEFORE TRANSFERRING TO A BAG. I recommend not skipping the initial freezing step–partially freezing them on the baking sheet before transferring to a bag, keeps the bananas from freezing in one giant clump makes it easy to blend or thaw them later!
TRY A SILICONE BAKING MAT! To cut down on kitchen waste, you can use a silicone baking mat instead of parchment paper. These reusable nonstick mats are also great for making cookies, making focaccia, and so much more!
GREAT REUSABLE FREEZER BAGS. Another way to reduce kitchen waste is to use reusable silicone bags instead of plastic ones. We LOVE silicone bags because they’re freezer, dishwasher, oven, refrigerator, microwave, and boiling water safe. They can handle it all! I *will* say that if using the bags for frozen bananas, I typically don’t keep bananas in there longer than 2 months.
HOW LONG WILL FROZEN BANANAS STAY FRESH? This comprehensive guide from the FDA says frozen bananas are safe for at least 2-3 months in an airtight bag. Technically, the bananas won’t go *bad* longer than that, but they will likely be susceptible to freezer burn, which can impact the flavor.
HOW DO YOU THAW FROZEN BANANAS? If you’ve prepared them as I suggest, banana slices thaw in just a few minutes! Know that frozen bananas will seep out some of their liquid upon thawing. I always use the thawed bananas (liquid and all) for things like smoothies, etc. Some people prefer to drain this liquid before using bananas for baking projects. It’s up to you!