Bananas are one of the fruits you learn to love at an early age because they’re delicious and nutritious at the same time. They’re a great source of potassium and fiber and are recommended to be part of your daily diet because of their numerous benefits.
Getting a bunch of bananas can sometimes be worrying though as a few always seem to blacken and become unfit for consumption. Due to this, a lot of people turn to freezing bananas in order to make them last longer. But the question is, how long do frozen bananas last?
How long do frozen bananas last?
A frozen banana is safe for consumption and can technically last forever as long as it’s frozen correctly. They have zero risk of causing food poisoning and shouldn’t pose any health risk even if you eat them after being stored for a long time. The only drawback of freezing a banana is that it tends to gradually lose its taste and quality after a few months.
Do I peel the skin of the banana before freezing?
Freezing the banana with its skin on is fine but take note that peeling it will be very difficult when the fruit is frozen. A frozen banana with its peel on is a great way to keep it in its natural state. It’s ideal to put a banana in a separate drawer so the skin doesn’t absorb smells of other items in the freezer.
One of the benefits of freezing an unpeeled banana is that the fruit will be easier to mash after defrosting. Refrigeration meanwhile will turn the skin black but doesn’t generally harm the fruit.
What’s the best way to freeze a banana?
There are a lot of ways to freeze a banana and they generally depend on the type of recipe you intend to make. If the recipe calls for a smoothie or ice cream, then it’s better to freeze the banana in small slices. Freezing the fruit in a few hours or overnight is ideal to create the perfect morning smoothie. Peeling the bananas and slicing them into smaller pieces makes it easier for your blender to work with.
If you’re going to bake a banana recipe, then freezing them in larger chunks may be beneficial. Removing the skin is recommended to make defrosting easier. Place the banana in a zip-locked bag to prevent the absorption of unwanted smells. Unpeeled bananas are easier to mash but may take a lot longer to defrost.
Mashing overripe bananas is also a fun way to save the fruit that may otherwise get thrown in the trash. Freezing your mashed bananas to create banana cakes, banana butter icing, ice cream, or flavored jam is a delicious recipe you can do with endless possibilities.
How do you know if the frozen bananas are turning bad?
Even though frozen bananas are edible for a very long time, you should still look for signs when the fruit is starting to rot. Once this happens, the banana is no longer safe to eat. One of the first things you’ll notice when the banana has turned bad is if it develops mold. They look like a fuzzy white felt and will typically form at the tip of the fruit that’s opposite the stem side.
Another clue will be a slimy liquid that usually forms beneath the resting fruit. This means the banana has started to rot. Freezing overripe bananas that are already starting to mold deactivates the mold microbes but they will become reactivated as soon as you thaw the fruit. Simply put, freezing will not kill harmful microorganisms.
What should I do when the frozen bananas turn brown or black?
Bananas brown over time when sliced open just like other fruits like apples and avocados. It’s a pretty common process known as oxidation that occurs when the fruits are exposed to air. While freezing fruits dramatically slows down the oxidation process, browning will still occur.
The browning of the fruit does not mean the fruit is unsafe to eat as oxidation is completely harmless. The bananas are still perfectly fine for consumption. Additionally, browning doesn’t impact the nutrient quality of the fruit. In fact, this particular state is even better for baking because the fruit becomes really mushy when thawed, giving you a thoroughly workable batter.
Once the fruit has browned, they’ll soon turn black when you refrigerate them. This process accelerates when they’re frozen as the water content of the fruit turns into ice crystals. Whole bananas are more susceptible to blackening as the ice crystals expand and cause the cells in the banana skin to rupture. This rapid expansion releases polyphenols which will speed up the blackening process.
The color change is nothing to worry about as the banana will still be perfectly safe to eat. Browning or blackened bananas have a distinct, sweet flavor which adds a big part to the taste when making your favorite banana recipes.
What are the different uses for frozen bananas?
Frozen bananas are one of the most versatile fruits you can use for a lot of recipes. They’re perfect for making smoothies or milkshakes as the banana can easily be blended, unlike other fruits. Frozen bananas are also the easiest ice cream you’ll make as all you have to do is blend them. Bananas work well as a base for hot fudge or even whipped cream.
They can also be used as banana pudding when the craving strikes. Lastly, the best use of frozen bananas is definitely baking. Bananas are a great choice for baking due to their highly customizable nature. Simply add chocolate chips, some vanilla glaze, or other ingredients to create a lot of delicious recipes that come to your mind.
Frozen bananas last for a long time but their quality will start to decline after a few months. They can be frozen whole or sliced depending on the recipe you’re trying to create. It’s best to log the date when you froze the bananas so you’ll have accurate data when it’s time to use them. This delicious fruit stays perfectly fine for months even with browning or blackening which make it a highly versatile fruit to use in your recipes.