Banana pudding, whether it’s homemade or store-bought, is a really delicious cold dessert. There’s so much to love about banana pudding. They’re made with vanilla wafers, banana slices, vanilla custard, whipped cream topping, and other individual additions that you might prefer. Banana pudding dessert is popular in so many homes across the globe.
The ingredients used in making banana pudding are usually stacked on each other in a number of layers. After the banana pudding is allowed to sit for a while, the individual ingredients start to interact with each other and flavors get absorbed – tasty custard flavor is absorbed by the vanilla wafers.
Usually, banana pudding shouldn’t be made in large batches for the purpose of preservation till a later date. However, you may also be in a situation where you’ve made more banana pudding than you planned to, which leaves you with leftovers. Whatever your situation is, you probably don’t want all that delicious goodness going to waste; leaving banana pudding exposed to room temperature for a long time will make the pudding inedible.
So, can you also freeze banana pudding? Yes, you can freeze banana pudding. Freezing banana pudding is a bit tricky because it contains lots of water. The presence of so much water in the banana pudding causes its texture to be compromised when it is being defrosted – water crystalizes when frozen and that causes alterations to the pudding’s original texture.
The fresh banana slices in the frozen banana pudding also undergo significant changes when being thawed. The banana slices lose their original texture and take on a brown coloration. When these changes happen, the banana pudding doesn’t look the same as it did before freezing, and that can be a turnoff.
Freezing Banana Pudding
Although banana pudding can actually be frozen, it isn’t such a simple process. Apart from the banana slices changing color and texture, there are other things that must also be considered before deciding to freeze your banana pudding. The milk or cream added in the pudding becomes saturated with water after being frozen and thawed.
Other ingredients in banana pudding, such as the eggs, also become significantly affected by the low temperatures of the freezer. You should know that banana pudding’s constituents are capable of absorbing other flavors present in the freezer – this means that the original taste and smell of banana pudding are easily compromised after some time in the freezer.
How to Freeze Banana Pudding
We have established that it is actually possible to freeze banana pudding. However, there are a couple of changes that you can expect to see when you defrost frozen banana pudding. Use the following steps to minimize such changes and preserve the banana pudding’s quality as best as possible:
Step 1: Dip Banana Slices in Lemon Juice
If you’re planning to freeze a batch of fresh homemade banana pudding, you should dip the banana slices in lemon juice while making the pudding. Pour enough lemon juice in a bowl and allow the banana slices to sit in the lemon juice for a couple of minutes. After that, take the banana slices out of the lemon juice and continue preparing the pudding.
The lemon juice is actually used to inhibit oxidation of the banana slices during freezing and when they’re being thawed. Once oxidation is successfully prevented, the banana slices won’t turn brown.
You should know that this process can’t work for store-bought banana pudding. There’s no way to take out the banana slices and dip them in lemon juice. So you’ll just have to deal with the brown color caused by oxidation.
Step 2: Pack Banana Pudding into Freezer-Safe Bags
Get your resealable freezer-safe bags and put the leftover banana pudding inside. Once the pudding is in the freezer bag, try to let out as much air as possible. After that, go ahead to write present date on the freezer-safe bag with a marker; doing this helps you keep track of how long the banana pudding has been frozen for.
Make sure that you don’t leave the banana pudding exposed to room temperature for too long before you tightly seal it in the freezer bag.
If you have store-bought banana pudding, make sure you take it out of its packaging and transfer it into a freezer-safe bag before placing in the freezer.
Step 3: Place in a Secure Freezer Compartment
As you place the banana pudding inside the freezer, you need to be careful not to put it where it will be crushed under the weight of heavier food items. Clear out a compartment in the freezer and dedicate that area to storage of the banana pudding.
How to Defrost Frozen Banana Pudding
Remember that we said banana pudding doesn’t freeze too well. For this reason, you don’t have so much time to keep the banana pudding preserved in the freezer. When it’s time to remove the frozen pudding for consumption, you’ll need to defrost it.
The process of defrosting banana pudding isn’t difficult. You can place it in the refrigerator to get thawed. The process of defrosting through refrigeration takes many hours – it’s best to do it overnight. Also, make sure you don’t refreeze banana pudding once it has been defrosted. Refreezing defrosted banana pudding will cause the quality of the pudding to deteriorate fast.
What Else Can I Do with My Leftover Banana Pudding?
Just in case you’re tired of eating the leftover banana pudding, there are actually a couple of other things that you can do with the pudding. Leftover banana pudding can be mixed in with portions of vanilla ice cream for more flavor and variety. It can also be used in ice pops and bread pudding. Based on your preferences, you can always utilize the leftover banana puddings to avoid wastage.
How Do You Know if Banana Pudding is Bad?
When banana pudding starts going bad there are some clear signs that you’ll notice. Appearance of watery liquids on the surface of the pudding and a change in taste are signs of the pudding going bad. There may also be appearance of mold on parts of the banana pudding.