Bananas are a delicious fruit used all over the world on a daily basis. Some are used as a topping for breakfast, some are used to make smoothies, and others are deep-fried and smothered in maple syrup. No matter how you enjoy your banana, you can’t deny that they are versatile. Bananas are loved for their flavor, easy-to-peel packaging, and their high levels of potassium and fiber.

Yellow ripe bananas isolated on white background

Why freeze a banana?

There are many reasons someone would freeze a banana. It is actually quite common to do so, although the banana is typically prepared in some way first such as having the peel removed. Although, if you can’t be bothered to do so, it is perfectly fine to leave them in their natural storage container.

One of the main reasons people freeze bananas is because of how little time they last out in the open. Most people strategize and buy their bananas before they are fully ripe and still green. This is because buying a bunch of ripe bananas usually means that at least one of them will be overripe and start turning brown before it can be eaten. So it is more logistical to buy them just before they are ripe as by the time you only have one left, it is a ripe banana instead of a brown-peeled gooey mess.

Frozen banana slices

Another reason to freeze a banana is if it is cut into slices. This can be a great snack for the summer, or if you just enjoy something cold and crunchy. Banana slices are healthy and thin enough that they will crack just like a chip when you are eating them. It makes them a perfect substitute for anyone wanting to have a better diet and eat healthier food.

Ice cream

How to store a frozen banana

If you are on board with the idea of freezing your bananas then you may also be wondering if there is a proper way to do so. While there is no law on freezing bananas, there are certain methods that provide efficiency in both freezing times and storage space.

With the peel on

It really is as simple as it sounds, although I would recommend getting a sandwich bag or some cling film first to protect your banana from any bacteria or cross-contamination from frozen meats. However, placing your banana straight into the fridge is completely fine. The browning process will be halted and the banana will stay ripe for a while. This method is somewhat recommended against, though, as getting the peel off of your frozen banana can prove difficult.

Sliced

Another way to store and freeze bananas is to peel them first, and properly discard the peel. Then slice them into your preferred sized slices, and throw them in a plastic bag. This method takes up little space and increases how many bananas you can store at once. It also proves for your bananas to be accessible so that you can grab the required amount for a smoothie or milkshake. It is also worth writing on the bag how many bananas you have peeled and sliced so that it is easier to figure out how many slices you need for any recipes that require a whole banana. If you do not have a bag on hand, then an airtight container is also a good idea. As long as the banana is at least stored in a separate draw to any meat then you should be fine.

When to freeze bananas

You can obviously freeze your bananas whenever you want to, but there are certain times where freezing is the most efficient. For instance, if you intend to use the bananas for baking with then waiting until they have started to go brown is completely fine. This is because browned bananas are more flavorsome so the flavor will be more noticeable in baked goods. The banana will also be softer which may seem unappealing when you want to eat it, but it actually makes it a lot easier to incorporate your banana into your batter or dough. This is one of the best uses for overripe bananas.

Bananas are perfectly ripe when they are yellow and have a few brown dots starting to form. Anything before this, including a perfectly yellow banana, is unripe. There is no point freezing an unripe banana as it will still be unripe once you have frozen it. Freezing a ripe banana, however, will make sure it maintains how ripe it is so that when you decide to thaw frozen bananas from your freezer, they are still ripe and ready to eat.

Why do bananas go bad?

Similar to most other fruits, bananas are always producing and reacting with an airborne chemical called ethylene, this helps with the ripening process. It breaks down the acid that is found in unripe fruit and makes the fruit softer. The color also changes as ethylene breaks down chlorophyll pigments, which are responsible for unripe fruit being green.

Compared to other fruit, which only produces a tiny amount of ethylene while they ripen, a banana will produce a large amount. This in turn will eventually progress the ripening process so much that it goes past the yellow and edible stage, and will end up going brown and mushy.

A similar process happens when a fruit is damaged and becomes bruised. When damaged, a lot of fruits will start to produce more ethylene to heal themselves. Because bananas produce too much ethylene, they are prone to lots of bruising and going brown once damaged.

As you can imagine, freezing a banana slows this process down. The freezing of a banana will stop it from producing any more ethylene, which halts the ripening process and stops the banana from turning brown and mushy. This is effectively the same thing as submerging apple slices in lemon juice to stop them from going bad.

yellow banana fruit in close up photography

How long do frozen bananas last?

You may be wondering how long the ripening process is stopped for once freezing the banana, and you will be happy to hear that it is permanent. However, there is still a time period in which the taste and quality of the banana will start to decline. Any banana that has been properly frozen at 0 degrees Fahrenheit will never go bad and give you food poisoning, but after 3 months the banana will start to decline. As long as you freeze your bananas before they start browning, you will never have to deal with spoiled bananas again.

The shelf life for bananas is famously short, yet once in the freezer, they can last for ages without spoiling. But it is heavily recommended that they are consumed within 90 days. That should be more than enough time for you to eat your supply of frozen bananas unless you plan on stockpiling them for the apocalypse.

yellow banana fruit on white textile

So, Is freezing bananas Okay?

As for final thoughts, freezing a banana is completely fine if you want to avoid them turning brown before you can eat them. no one likes a mushy banana and it is important to maintain the best quality possible so freezing a banana is a great thing to do. Frozen bananas are best when they are starting to go brown as you can still use them for baking muffins and other baked goods.

Bananas ripen very quickly when left on the counter but that process does not continue after they have been put in the freezer, thanks to the production of ethylene being stopped. All it takes for you to enjoy a banana after this is to simply defrost it and enjoy. Frozen bananas can be stored in slices to make them super easy to add to smoothies or any recipe that may call for them while baking.

Can old frozen bananas make you sick?

Frozen bananas will not poison you or make you sick but after 3 months of being frozen their flavor and quality starts to decrease, and it is recommended that they are no longer eaten.

When should you throw out a frozen banana?

Frozen bananas should be discarded after they have been frozen for 90 days or three months. They are not spoiled or bad, but their flavor and quality has declined after this period so it is advised that they are discarded.

Can you eat bananas after they have been frozen?

Bananas are perfectly edible after they have been frozen. They can be defrosted and eaten, or used in smoothies, milkshakes or any recipe that may call for them while baking.