The best way to freeze bananas is to peel and slice them before putting them in the freezer. Spread sliced bananas in a single layer on a baking sheet and chill for 2 hours. Then take the banana slices off the tray and place them in an airtight container, plastic wrap, or a freezer-safe bag. Return the partially frozen bananas to the freezer. These frozen bananas will stay good for 3 months.
5 Steps to Freeze Your Bananas Without Discoloration
Freezing fresh bananas is a quick process. Frozen banana chunks can be kept from turning brown with just five simple steps. Here’s the process:
1. Peel Your Bananas
Take any unpeeled bananas you intend to freeze and peel them. This allows you to easily use your frozen bananas in smoothies or other recipes later.
Removing the peel is vital. A banana’s peel becomes extremely difficult to remove once they are frozen, so the peel should always be removed before freezing.
2. Cut Bananas into Slices
Once your bananas are peeled, cut them into slices. Make sure each slice is roughly the same thickness so they all freeze at the same rate.
Thin banana slices respond better to the freezing process and will retain a fresh taste. I get the best-tasting banana smoothies when I cut my bananas into slices that are ¼-inch thick (6 mm).
3. Place the Slices on a Baking Sheet
Place your banana slices on a baking sheet with parchment paper. You can use wax paper or aluminum foil instead of parchment paper if you prefer.
Spread your banana slices on a single layer with none of them touching. Overlapping banana pieces will not freeze properly and can gain a gummy, mushy texture.
4. Partially Freeze Your Slices
Place your baking sheet of banana slices in the freezer for two hours. This method will partially freeze the bananas for easy storage but will prevent freezer burn.
Do not leave the bananas in the freezer on the baking sheet for more than two hours. If they are left uncovered for too long ice crystals will form on the banana pieces. This leads to bad-tasting frozen bananas.
5. Move Your Bananas Slices to a Freezer-Safe Container
Once your bananas are partially frozen, remove them from the baking sheet and place them in a freezer-safe container. Then, put them back in the freezer. They’ll stay fresh for up to three months. You can use them frozen, or thaw the slices to add them to baked goods, such as banana bread.
When freezing bananas, be sure to remove as much air from the container as possible. This will help prevent oxidation and keep your bananas from turning brown.
Why Do Bananas Turn Brown in the Freezer?
Bananas brown due to oxidation as the fruit interacts with the air. A ripe banana blackens or browns more quickly in the freezer as a result of high water content. When the water inside the banana freezes, the resulting ice crystals expand and rupture the banana fruit. These ruptures then expose the banana to more air which causes the oxidation process to speed up.
- Bananas brown because they oxidize when exposed to the air.
- Frozen bananas brown quicker because ice crystals rupture the flesh and thus expose bananas to more air than usual.
This harmful oxidation process is why it’s vital to pre-freeze banana slices for a couple of hours. It allows smaller, less damaging ice crystals to form. This reduces the potential damage a banana can take from the crystals. Then, the frozen slices must be placed in an airtight container to prevent oxidation from turning your banana slices brown.
How Long Can You Keep Bananas in the Freezer?
Frozen banana slices will keep for two to three months before freezer burn sets in. Overripe bananas are usually the best choice for freezer storage. Look for bananas with bright yellow peels where brown spots are just starting to form. Those ones are ready for freezing.
- Bananas will keep for 2–3 months in the freezer.
- Use proper storage containers to minimize the chance of freezer burn setting in early.
Long-term storage of your frozen bananas depends on having the right container. Freezer-safe bags make for more effective storage than standard Ziploc bags. Use these gallon freezer Ziploc bags to safely store your sliced bananas in the freezer.
What is the Best Way to Freeze Bananas?
The best way to freeze bananas is:
- Peel any bananas you plan to freeze.
- Slice the peeled bananas into discs 1/4-inch thick (6 mm).
- Place your banana slices on a baking tray lined with a piece of parchment paper.
- Place your bananas in the freezer for 2 hours.
- Move frozen slices to an airtight container or freezer bag for long-term storage.
- Frozen bananas will keep for up to 3 months.
That’s all you need to know to safely freeze bananas. There are plenty of great banana recipes that work well with frozen bananas. My favorite is making acai bowls—just blend the frozen bananas into your acai base.