Banana is described as the perfect food especially for athletes because it is rich in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It is also a very convenient fruit that you can eat anytime of the day.
Those who enjoy eating bananas can also have different preferences as to the type of banana, and whether they liked it very ripe or just about. Others love to make dishes with bananas while some like to bake goodies with it.
If you are fond of cooking or baking with bananas, then you surely have some mashed bananas ready. So, what if you have prepared more than what you need for cooking or baking, can you store the leftovers? Can you keep it frozen?
Certainly, you can keep mashed bananas in the freezer for days to weeks provided that you were able to package it correctly. However, you need not worry if you do not know how to because we will give you the guide and other important information on how you can freeze your mashed bananas.
How to Freeze Mashed Bananas
You only need to follow some easy steps in freezing your mashed bananas so it can remain best for consumption. You maybe storing some leftover or just prepared it beforehand for your cooking or baking need does, the steps to freezing it is the same.
If you just freeze some bananas to mash them later, remember that it will retain moisture and will become softer after thawing so it will be easier to mashed it using fork. Making a puree out of it using a food processor or a blender will also be easier.
When freezing mashed bananas, it is important to use an airtight container with lid or a resealable freezer bags to package it. If you chose to place mashed bananas in a food container, be sure to cover the container with a plastic food wrap before putting on the lid to ensure that no air can sip in and prevent possible reasons for it to become spoiled. Also, the plastic cover will prevent the bananas from forming ice crystals which makes it watery after thawing.
It is also a good technique to package mashed bananas in small portions into different containers or freezer bags so you can only get what you need for a particular recipe and you need not thaw the lot of mashed bananas. These small packages will make it easier for you to thaw it.
It is also recommended that you put labels on your packages or containers to remind you of its shelf-life and when it is still good for consumption.
How long will bananas stay fresh in the freezer?
If you were able to package mashed bananas into airtight food container or vacuum sealed freeze bags, then it will remain best for at least six months.
When it reached the third or fourth month in storage, mashed bananas may taste less than freshly mashed bananas. Also, its taste will be affected by ripeness of the bananas. Fully ripe bananas are usually sweeter than newly ripe bananas when mashed.
If you labeled the mashed banana packages or containers before freezing it, it will be convenient for you to know if it has turned bad or if it is still good for consumption.
Alternative Ways to Freeze Bananas
Bananas kept in the freeze will never ripen and it will likely taste less sweet after thawing.
We do not normally mashed unripe bananas but if it is needed in your recipe, remember that once it is frozen it will become starchy after thawing.
It is also important to know the type of bananas you need for your recipe and also learn how to correctly store them.
1. Whole banana with the peel
When ripe bananas are left sitting on your countertop or table, it will attract fruit flies because of its sweet smell. So, if you plan on using it in a recipe or mashed it for later, you can keep the whole bananas in your freezer until needed.
Freezing whole bananas with peel is the easiest way to preserve it because you need not package it. You can just put the bunch in your freezer and just take it out and thaw it when needed. You can wrap in plastic if you like but it is not really necessary.
Once frozen, the banana peel will turn dark in color, but it will not affect the banana itself and it will remain as it is. The peel can also turn slimy and very soft, but it does not mean that the banana is rotten.
2. Whole bananas without the peel
Banana cake is just one of the many baked goodies you can do with banana and in every dish you think of preparing with bananas, you need to have them prepared whether you need it sliced, pureed or mashed.
If you do not need to prepare mashed bananas in advance, you might just prefer to keep unpeeled whole bananas refrigerated or frozen. In this case, you can peel off the bananas and wrap the bananas individually or the lot in a plastic food wrap before freezing them or put them in a food container with lid.
It is best to wrap bananas without peel individually in a plastic wrap so it will not clump together when frozen. It will be easier to take it out one by one when you need to thaw it. It can also prevent it from forming ice crystals which somehow changes the texture of the bananas.
It is also a good practice to stack them nicely in your freezer not only to save space but to make it easier for you to take it out of the freezer.
3. In bite-sized pieces
Those who love to add bananas in their ice cream, cereals or make banana smoothies prefer to dice bananas into bite-size before keeping them in the freezer. This makes the bananas handy or ready whenever they crave for it.
If you prefer to slice or dice bananas before refrigerating or freezing them, here are some tips.
- Lay out sliced bananas in a flat food container or baking tray such that it will not touch each other and put a food wrap or parchment paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking together.
- Pre-freeze the slice bananas for about thirty minutes and be sure that each piece is frozen.
- Take each slice of banana and place it all together in a food container with lid or a resealable freeze bag and store it again in the freezer.
Ripe bananas are naturally sweet that you can even smell it, that is why it is important to package it in an airtight container or resealable freezer bags to prevent its smell from rubbing of to the other food in the freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Bananas
The basis of how you will thaw frozen bananas depends on what will you do with the bananas after thawing and how you freeze them.
Here are the simple steps for thawing frozen bananas for baking:
- Take out the frozen bananas from the freezer. If it is in freezer bags, put it in the bowl or tray and leave it to thaw under room temperature. It will take around an hour or more depending on how frozen the bananas are.
- If the bananas are frozen in a food container, place the container in a basic with lukewarm water until it has completely thawed. It will take about thirty minutes or more depending on how frozen the bananas are.
- If you want to thaw frozen bananas immediately, you can use a microwave. Simply put the frozen bananas in a microwaveable dish or container and microwave it in short bursts of twenty to thirty seconds until it has completely thawed.
If you are thawing the bananas for your cereal or you do not wish to cook or bake it, it is best not use heat in thawing. If you need them on your ice cream or smoothies, then you can just add it right away without thawing it.
How to ripen bananas quickly?
Naturally ripen bananas are the best snack and best ingredient to any recipe. If you want to ripen it at home, just place the bananas inside a paper or plastic bag and leave it at room temperature. Be sure to seal the paper or plastic bag so the ethylene gas the fruit is producing will remain inside and ripen the fruit.
Others use the apple technique, they said that putting an apple together with the bananas in a bag can help in ripening it fast.
Some also suggested microwaving bananas in short burst but that is simply to soften it and not really to ripen it.
How much mashed banana can I get from a medium banana?
If you need a cup of mashed bananas you will need at least three medium ripe bananas. However, it is not an exact measurement, so it is best to have extra bananas ready if you wanted to be exact with the amount as needed in the recipe.
Do frozen bananas have less nutritional value?
Freezing is usually done to preserve the food and its nutrients, so it is the same with bananas. When bananas are frozen, the nutritional content is not diminished only preserved but it can become softer after some time as it gets overripe.