Bananas have to be on the list of most perfect foods. They are delicious, full of potassium and fiber, and come in a convenient peelable package. What’s not to love?
I personally buy my bananas a little on the green side, because if I don’t there are always 1 or 2 that turn brown before we can get around to eating them.
Unfortunately, even with my buying strategy, there are still times that a few bananas get left behind, so to avoid waste they get thrown into the freezer.
So if you’re like me and refuse to waste a good banana and now have a freezer-full, you’re probably wondering, do frozen bananas go bad? Frozen bananas are technically safe to eat forever, but their quality begins to decline after 2-3 months.
Do Frozen Bananas Go Bad?
The answer really depends on what you mean by “go bad”.
Frozen bananas that have been properly stored and stayed constantly frozen at or below 0°F (-17.8 °C) are never going to give you a nasty bout of food poisoning. On the other hand, frozen bananas past the 3-month mark are going to start to decline in taste and quality.
While bananas on the counter are notoriously short-lived, that totally changes once they become frozen. These handy yellow fruits can last you an incredibly long time, and for a good portion of it will still super fresh!
According to FoodSafety.Gov, once those yummy fruits pass the 90-day mark, they are going to start to taste a little less than fantastic.
Not even the world’s best freezer can keep a banana in tip-top shape forever, so even though you can get way more mileage out of frozen bananas, there is still a time limit for them to be pleasant to eat.
What is the Best Way to Store Frozen Bananas?
There are two main ways to store frozen bananas: peeled and unpeeled. Either way you decide to freeze them, try and find a way to label them with the date they were frozen.
In the Peel
It’s perfectly acceptable to toss unpeeled bananas in the freezer and call it a day, especially if you’re going to use them for baking.
Most recipes call for one or more whole bananas. It’s rare to run across a recipe that calls for half of a banana, so freezing them whole with the peel still on works great and keeps the banana in its natural storage container.
Peeled and Sliced
Another great way to store frozen bananas is to peel the banana, slice it, and store them in a plastic bag in the freezer with as much of the air removed from the bag as possible.
Removing the peel, discarding it, and slicing the banana allow you to grab the exact amount of banana you need for your favorite milkshake or smoothie. Just be sure to write on the bag how many bananas it contains and the date frozen.
When to Freeze Bananas
The right time to freeze bananas really depends on what they’re going to be used for.
Frozen bananas that are going to be used in the place of fresh bananas should be frozen when they are ripe.
A good way to tell if a banana is ripe is to look for the little brown dots starting to appear. Before that, when the banana is solidly green or yellow, they aren’t quite ripe yet. Give them a few more days before freezing in this case.
If you’re going to use your bananas for baking, it’s best to actually let them become a little overripe. The browner the banana, the more flavor it’s going to impart to your baked goods.
A brown banana is also going to be softer, and while this makes it unpleasant to eat, the banana is much easier to mix into a batter or dough.
Don’t wait too long, though! Once a banana becomes complete mush, it’s unsuitable for eating or freezing.
Uses for Frozen Bananas
Frozen bananas are just as versatile as their fresh counterparts, if not more so! Here are a few awesome ways to enjoy your frozen bananas.
Smoothies and Milkshakes
Don’t go to that local smoothie joint and pay $5 for a drink you can easily make at home anytime! Frozen bananas are easily blendable and make the perfect addition to any smoothie or milkshake.
The most ubiquitous use for frozen bananas is baking. Obviously, banana bread is a great choice for your frozen fruits, and is crazily customizable as well! Add some chocolate chips, a delicate vanilla glaze, or make banana nut breakfast muffins with your favorite banana bread recipe. The possibilities are endless!
That’s right! Bananas that were frozen while still fresh can be used to make banana pudding whenever the craving strikes. Don’t forget the Nilla Wafers!
Banana Ice Cream
The easiest ice cream you will ever make. Just blend your frozen bananas, and voila! Banana ice cream! Banana ice cream is the perfect base for some hot fudge or whipped cream.
- Bananas that have been frozen can last a very long time, forever even, but start to decline in quality in 2-3 months.
- Bananas that are going to be used whole can be frozen in the peel, while bananas that are going to be used piece by piece are best frozen peeled and sliced. Either way, try to log what date your bananas were frozen.
- Frozen bananas that are going to be used in place of fresh bananas should be frozen right when they’re ripe. Bananas used for baking should be frozen when they are over-ripe.
- Frozen bananas are super versatile when it comes to their uses. Smoothies, milkshakes, banana bread, muffins, banana pudding, and banana ice cream are just some of the ways frozen bananas can be used.
Frozen bananas don’t ever go completely bad, stay delicious for months, and can be used for hundreds of recipes! What an incredible fruit!