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Can You Freeze Bananas?

The short answer is yes! But there are tricks to make sure those frozen bananas last until you're ready to enjoy.

Bananas make a fabulous (and healthy) snack—and serve as the basis of many delicious baked goods and smoothies. But they also have a notoriously short shelf life (especially if your family doesn't dig the brown spots!), so finding a way to save ripe bananas is essential to avoid food waste. The answer: freezing your bananas.

But while you can freeze bananas, there are tricks you should follow to ensure your bananas avoid freezer burn and are ready to use whenever you need them. Here's how to freeze bananas for your next smoothie or banana bread fix.

Related: How to Store Bananas So They Don't Turn Brown

<p>Tomjac80/Getty Images</p>

Tomjac80/Getty Images

How to Freeze Banana Slices

Freezing bananas already sliced is great for smoothies, as they'll be easier to break up in your blender. They'll also thaw faster when you need them for baking, as there's more surface area for warmer air to hit. And these slices will still hold their shape, so you can use them in recipes that call for sliced bananas, such as a banana cream pie.

Related: How to Ripen a Banana in an Hour—or Overnight

To freeze banana slices:

  1. Peel the banana

  2. Slice the banana as you wish (into coins, or long slices)

  3. Place slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

  4. Put them in the freezer for four hours

  5. Move banana slices to a freezer bag to store

How to Freeze Whole Bananas

Freezing whole bananas is great for using in recipes like banana bread or muffins, where they're more likely to be mashed. To freeze whole bananas:

  1. Peel the banana

  2. Place the bananas in a freezer-safe bag, on a baking sheet

  3. Put them in the freezer for several hours, until they are firm

  4. Remove baking sheet

How to Thaw Frozen Bananas

While you may want to use bananas straight from the freezer for some recipes, like smoothies or frozen desserts, it's better to thaw them out before using them in baked goods—especially if you need to mash them before you mix them into the batter.

Unlike meat, your frozen bananas won't go bad if they're left out on the counter to thaw, but for the best quality, take it slow and thaw the bananas overnight in the fridge. If you place them out on the counter, it'll take about three hours for your frozen bananas to thaw.



Drain off any excess liquid

You may see some additional liquid on the plate or bowl after your bananas have thawed. That's just condensation—so go ahead and drain that away, rather than mixing that into your banana recipe.



How to Use Frozen Bananas

Many banana-based baked goods (like the go-to banana bread) can use fresh bananas—or thawed frozen bananas—to give you that sweet and creamy flavor. But you can also use them as-is to create frozen desserts. Try using your frozen banana stash in these banana recipes.

Coffee-Tahini Smoothie

Caitlin Bensel
Caitlin Bensel

Get your fruit and your caffeine fix combined in this fresh take on a smoothie, featuring tahini for additional protein (and creaminess).

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Frozen Banana Ice Cream

Tatiana Volgutova/Getty Images
Tatiana Volgutova/Getty Images

This one-ingredient dessert is super-easy to prepare—and whipped frozen bananas definitely give you that creamy ice cream texture.

Pro tip: Mix in shredded coconut, chocolate chips, or even a tablespoon or two of cocoa powder to turn it into a tropical (or chocolatey!) treat.

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Boozy Dole Whip

Debbie Galbraith/Getty Images
Debbie Galbraith/Getty Images

Frozen bananas are essential for this tropical transport-you-to-the-beach cocktail. (Just skip the coconut rum for an equally tasty mocktail.)

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Banana Bread

Grace Elkus
Grace Elkus

This is the quintessential way to make use of overripe bananas—and you can always freeze overripe bananas in the freezer until you're ready to make it.

Related: 5 Foolproof Tips to Bake Even Better Banana Bread

This particular recipe makes a few healthy swaps (like applesauce for some of the sweetener and oil/butter), along with using whole wheat flour for a wholesome (and totally delicious) treat.

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Chocolate Banana Bites

Getty Images
Getty Images

If you're looking for a cool snack for hot summer days, this easy frozen banana recipe is definitely it.

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Kale Smoothie With Pineapple and Banana

Frozen bananas and pineapple lend plenty of sweetness to this green kale smoothie.

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Butterscotch Bananas With Vanilla Ice Cream

Con Poulos
Con Poulos

You don't even have to thaw your frozen bananas before you cook up this fast and easy banana dessert. (They'll thaw as they're heated in the buttery brown sugar sauce.)

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Sourdough Banana Bread

Getty Images
Getty Images

Need to give that sourdough starter a good workout? This delicious combo of two delicious bread types makes good use of any discard you have.

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Mocha Smoothie

<p>Fred Hardy</p>

Fred Hardy

The only thing better than chocolate and bananas is chocolate, bananas, and coffee. Try them together in this easy breakfast smoothie.

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Raspberry Smoothie Bowl

Christopher Testani
Christopher Testani

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Banana Pudding Pie Bars

Brie Passano
Brie Passano

Use up frozen banana slices in this tasty (and super-easy) take on the Southern classic dessert. Note: The banana custard uses the yolks, and the whites make the tasty (and easier-than-you-think!) meringue on the top.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can you freeze bananas in their peels?

You can freeze unpeeled bananas, if you want—you'll just need to thaw them and peel them when they're ready. But keep in mind that bananas frozen that way get mushy when they're thawed, so you'll need to use them only for recipes that require mashed bananas.

How should I store bananas in the freezer?

To avoid the dreaded freezer burn, you'll want to avoid exposing your frozen bananas to air. Store them in a freezer-safe bag, taking care to remove as much air as possible from the bag before you seal it.

How long do frozen bananas last?

Frozen bananas will last for months in the freezer (especially if well protected from the dreaded freezer burn). But for the best quality, use frozen bananas within two to three months of freezing.

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