Why You Should Think Twice Before Freezing Whole Bananas

Another week, another batch of bananas you don't know what to do with; It's happened to the very best of us. You do your weekly grocery shopping and grab a generous batch of bright yellow bananas only to find them browned and uneaten a few days later — you've either overestimated your banana consumption rate or underestimated their rapid ripening ability. So, now what do you do?

The most sensible thing you could do would be to find a banana bread recipe and bake to your heart's desire, that is, if the pandemic hadn't happened. Now, the very thought brings back memories of stay-at-home orders, toilet paper hoarders, your short-term move back to the suburbs, and the endless images of banana bread loaves on your Instagram feed (via Refinery29). But, what if we told you there was another option? What if you froze them instead?

It's not a mind-blowing idea, but freezing your bananas offers you a lot more options in the sense that you'll have many more ways — and a lot more time — to use them. But that all depends on how you do it.

Whole frozen bananas vs. sliced

There are a couple of ways you can freeze your bananas, either sliced or frozen whole. Either way, you'll want to wait to do so until they've become slightly overripe, with lovely brown spots developing on their skins. According to Pop Sugar, this is when their flavor is the most pronounced. In general, the only time you'll want to freeze your bananas whole is if you're planning to use them in banana bread. After freezing, you'll just need to thaw and peel the frozen bananas before mashing them up as you usually would.

However, if you're wanting to use your frozen bananas in your morning smoothies, slicing them is the way to go. According to Eating Well, frozen foods can be really hard on your blender's blades, causing them to dull much quicker than they typically would. So, by peeling and slicing your bananas into 1 to 2-inch slices, per Pop Sugar, you'll be helping it out a lot. Just be sure to lay them on a tray to freeze individually, so they don't all stick together; That way you can just take as many pieces as you need.