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Freezing Bananas?

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Sometimes I score a dollar bag of bananas from the take-it-away corner of the produce section. I tried peeling them, cutting them into chunks and freezing them is zip-lock baggies. They ended up brown and unappetizing-looking. They got tossed.

Anybody had luck with freezing bananas?

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  1. I freeze them when I cannot finish them in enough time before they go bad...in the skins...yes the skins will turn brown, but they will not freezer burn. I use them later for something like oatmeal or fruit smoothies. If you have Popsicle sticks, you can make frozen bananas and dip them in chocolate for a frozen treat

    1. I freeze them, too, and then use them for banana bread, muffins etc. Works beautifully. Definitely freeze them in their skins, as fourunder said.
      Don't you feel better already? :) I hate throwing out food I just didn't get to.

      4 Replies
      1. re: fern

        Do you have to thaw them to get the peel off? Do they discolor at all when frozen in their jackets? I was thinking of using them in smoothies where the frozen state is a plus, and appetizing color is a must.

        1. re: Sharuf

          I have frozen them peeled as well, without any adverse reactions. After which used in a milkshake and it was the best. makes the shake creamier without adding any cream. smoothies and shakes is the way to go with frozen bananas.

          1. re: foodwich

            if you pull the out of the freezer the night before you're planning on using them, you can chop off one end and basically squeeze the banana out (kinda like a piping bag)
            I only do i cause it makes me giggle

          2. re: Sharuf

            I frozen bananas once a week in a peanut butter, yogurt, banana smoothie. I just run the banana under some cold water for a few minutes and it helps in getting the peel off. I usually have to finish getting the "strings" off by just scraping them off with my fingers. The peels turn completely brown but the fruit itself is fine. Not sure why perfect banana color is a must for you in your smoothie. Using frozen bananas makes the smoothie nice and cold, my one complain before using room temp bananas in my smoothies!

        2. I'm with fourunder, ferm, and foodwich--they can be frozen in skin. Usually when we've forgotten that we had them and they were over-ripe; the added sweetness is far better when making baked goods.

          We save them primarily for making banana muffins, bread, or pancakes, or for butter replacement in certain other baked goods. If I drank smoothies, which I might when it's over 18F out, this would be perfect. Or to add to frozen rum drinks (ie a modified bushwaker, using banana instead of the coconut cream).

          They don't thaw well if you want to serve them defrosted; best in blended or baked goods.

          1. discussions on freezing them here:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/277125
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/578489

            and ideas for using them (fresh and frozen) here:
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/274839
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/430834
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/403188
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/315417
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/283260
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/348136
            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/399596

            1 Reply
            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Wow, Jackpot! Perfect day to think about baking something.

            2. I also freeze mine to use in fruit smoothies/banana bread- the only problem I have is peeling them after. I usually end up using a knife like you'd peel a cucumber. the bananas are still nice and yellow and delicious inside but my fingers are freezing off getting to them! Any tricks of the trade out there?

              5 Replies
              1. re: CoryKatherine

                I run the peels under hot water for a minute to loosen them from the fruit. Works OK, but I'm open to other suggestions.

                1. re: aravenel

                  If you snip the top off after rinsing under hot water, they squeeze out. Bloop!

                  1. re: Caralien

                    haha that bloop made me ewwwww

                    1. re: CoryKatherine

                      Apologies. I have been coming up with ways to teach a niece how to cook, laughter being crucial. :)

                      1. re: Caralien

                        no! the bloop was the perfect sound effect! haha

              2. They freeze fine, but only for using in baking or ice cream. You wouldn't want to eat a defrosted one plain--they're all mushy.

                1. Do you want to freeze them when they're still OK to eat, or after they're turned spotty or brown? If you want to make banana pops, peel and then skewer them and put them in the freezer on a cookie sheet. My guess is that you'd need to eat them in a day or so; otherwise, they'd start to dehydrate.

                  As for freezing leopard bananas, here's another vote for freezing after removing peels. I also smush them with the back of a fork before popping them in the freezer. They're great for things requiring the flavor and the moisture of a banana--e.g., baked goods, smoothies--but are no good for eating out of hand.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Erika L

                    Hi,

                    I have frozen some smashed riped banans a couple of days ago, and I would like to make some banana muffins with it, now do I need to throw frozen mashed bananas before I make muffins? This will be my first time to make banana muffins. Thanks for the advise. :))

                    1. re: ijeny

                      the bananas should be thawed if possible, as that way they'll mash with the batter better. All things considered, banana bread/muffins/pancakes taste better if you let the batter sit for a day in my not very humble opionion. Just stir again before pouring.

                      1. re: Caralien

                        Thank you, Caralien. So do you put the batter for a day in a frige??

                        1. re: ijeny

                          1 day is very good, 2 days not recommended, but if that happens, add an additional soup/tablespoon of flour and a pinch of baking soda, at which point it should be made. Pancakes, muffins, loaf. Otherwise, it gets thin and odd, with indeterminate results including bitterness, lumpiness, and inedible textures.

                  2. Peel, break into chunks and place in sealable container. We use them in smoothies and banana bread/muffins.

                    1. We're totally into fruit smoothies in our house and I use all frozen fruit, so I don't have to dilute them with ice. Frozen sliced bananas are perfect.

                      1. I peel frozen bananas and process them with a couple drops of water in the Cuisinart. It becomes almost indistinguishable from gelato and it's very healthy. I even do this by choice, rather than by necessity.

                        1. Hi,

                          I have frozen some smashed riped banans a couple of days ago, and I would like to make some banana muffins with it, now do I need to throw frozen mashed bananas before I make muffins? This will be my first time to make banana muffins. Thanks for the advise. :))

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: ijeny

                            Yes, thaw the bananas first. The Home Cooking board is a great place for this type of advice. Happy Chowhounding!

                            1. re: iluvcookies

                              Childhood favorite: chocolate cover frozen banana on a stick. Yum.

                              1. re: DallasDude

                                this wouldn't work with frozen old bananas! You really need fresh, ripe bananas to get this version!

                          2. Banana freezes just fine... but it is not directly edible afterwards. Next time you have too many bananas, mash up the excess and freeze them in small containers. You can pull one out and put it into your cake and it doesn't matter that it's not a very appealing colour...

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: Kajikit

                              If you peel them and break into chunks before freezing, instead of mashing, they don't change color much.

                              1. re: lgss

                                You can also squeeze a little lemon or lime juice on them when you stick the peeled bananas in the freezer and it helps prevent discoloration.

                                1. re: deibu

                                  I have some frozen bananas in a glass container and after thawed, I noticed there are lots of water in the container. I have drained out water, but there are more coming out from them. What should I do so it will not affect muffins and/or breads texture?

                                  The recipe origianlly calls for 1/2 cup of vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt. Thanks a lot~~

                                  1. re: ijeny

                                    I thawed out some bananas last night to make a cake; they do contain a lot of water, so I just drain them in a colander and using the heel of my palm, I press down on the bananas to release the moisture...works perfectly for me.

                            2. Hey, Sharuf! I'm always freezing my bananas whenever they get a little riper than I prefer, and then use them to make smoothies. I do exactly what you did...peel them, break them into chunks & put them in ziploc freezer bags. They brown only slightly but taste just fine, & they make great smoothies cuz I never have to add ice! Make sure you use FREEZER ziplocs & dont leave them in the freezer too long, like months, cuz then they do turn an unappetizing brown. I never have that problem cuz I make a lot of smoothies & use them up quickly. One of my favorite smoothies: Blend frozen banana chunks, frozen mango chunks, frozen pineapple chunks, organic low-fat vanilla yogurt, orange-pinapple juice & shredded unsweetened coconut. Yummy! Hope this helps!