I love to eat bananas but when I buy a lot they often go brown before I can eat them all. And very often they end up in the garbage
I however saw some blogs talking about how they make banana ice cream by freezing bananas, and I wondered if they would go brown in the freezer.
So, I’ve done some research and found the answer very interesting…
Exactly how to freeze bananas so that they don’t turn brown needs further explaining.
That way they have the same taste as fresh bananas when you use them to make ice cream, smoothies, or other interesting recipes.
So, read on to discover what causes bananas to go brown in the freezer, and the best way for you to freeze them to avoid this happening.
What Makes Bananas Turn Brown In The Freezer?
Although, no one knows exactly why they turn brown in the freezer many people have reported that bananas turn brown in the freezer when:
- They aren’t vacuum sealed
- They aren’t kept completely frozen
And that when you prepare them a certain way (which I’ll explain further below), they will last in the freezer for 6 to 8 months without turning brown, according to Spruceeats.com
When Bananas Aren’t Vacuum Sealed
Bananas in their natural state will turn brown when they react with the air.
A complex chemical discussion for another day.
The temperature also speeds up or slows down how long they take to turn brown.
And then into a super sweet gooey mess once the skin turns black.
So, when you prepare them to go in the freezer you are slowing down how long they take to break down.
But, if you store them with air, each time you open the freezer they will thaw slightly, and the air will interact with the surface of the banana causing them to ripen slightly.
Over the many times you open and close your freezer it will slightly ripen the bananas until you notice the outer parts start to turn brown.
However, when you vacuum seal them there is very little if any air, and the air doesn’t circulate causing a chemical reaction on the surface.
Which slows down how long they take to ripen more and turn brown.
Your Bananas Aren’t Kept Completely Frozen
Each time your frozen bananas thaw out a bit, the edges will begin to ripen.
If you take your package or container of frozen bananas out of the freezer.
And only use a few bananas for a smoothie, you want to put the rest of the bananas back into the freezer very quickly.
When you are thawing out your bananas to be used in a cake or banana bread it’s perfectly fine to thaw them out completely.
Because once you cook them you won’t notice the texture.
Although, the ideal bananas to use are fresh bananas that aren’t frozen.
Oftentimes it’s more convenient to freeze them.
That way you can use them whenever you want, and don’t have to rush to use them once they become over ripe.
There is a slight dip in taste, between frozen bananas used in baking, relative to fresh bananas. But, in my opinion it’s worth it, especially if you love to make banana cakes, bread, or muffins.
For smoothies and banana ice cream it’s best to keep them completely frozen until you plop them into your blender.
That way you won’t get that slimy consistency.
And the ice content in the will get spread out through the rest of the smoothie.
Now that you know what makes bananas turn brown in the freezer, you’ll want to know the best way to prepare bananas for the freezer so that they don’t turn brown, And that’s the topic of the next section.
What’s The Best Way To Prepare Bananas To Be Kept In The Freezer?
If you don’t prepare your bananas correctly they won’t be the same as when you froze them.
They will begin to ripen in the freezer and turn brown.
So, I will explain exactly how to prepare bananas for the freezer so that they don’t turn brown.
1. Prepare bananas that are the right ripeness
If you are freezing bananas for smoothies or ice cream then you want to use bananas that are perfectly ripe.
Where the skin has started to turn slightly brown, and has spots on the outside.
If you are using bananas for baking then you can use ripe bananas or overripe bananas.
If the skin is completely yellow all over, they are definitely still nice to eat.
But in my opinion they aren’t as delicious as perfectly ripe ones.
So, plan ahead for how ripe your bananas will be when you want to freeze them.
2. Peel and package them
Now you want to peel all of your bananas and package them.
You can also slide them up in the small pieces if you like.
This often makes them easier to use in a blender, and to mash up in your baking recipe.
But, when you bake them you can slice them up after you have thawed them out.
In my opinion the most convenient is to use a large zip lock plastic bag.
Because the bananas fit really well side by side.
And once you’ve filled it up, you can stack them on top of each other.
With airtight plastic containers and mason jars you often have some space left over in the container.
Which can’t get used for anything else, and it’s a bit of a waste especially if your freezer is chock full.
3. Into the freezer they go
Now, you’re ready to freeze them. A pretty self-explanatory step here, but put them in the freezer.
And they’re good to do.
Can you eat frozen bananas on their own?
Many people use frozen bananas in smoothies, or thaw them out to be used in baking.
But, you can also eat them frozen.
As a kid my parents knew a place where you could get a frozen banana on a stick, dipped in chocolate, and covered in nuts.
Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to find a similar store again.
Frozen bananas are just a bit too hard to bite into.
But as they melt they become softer and softer before you need to eat them really quickly and they turn mushy.
Bananas do turn brown in the freezer, and it’s because they aren’t kept airtight, or they aren’t kept completely frozen.
In summary – Frozen bananas are great for use in smoothies, to keep them extra cold, banana ice cream, and are often frozen to be used later for baking.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.