If you have ripe bananas on hand, you can learn how to freeze bananas for smoothies, ice cream, and oatmeal. Just follow this easy step-by-step guide.

Ripe Bananas

Bananas are ripe when they are soft to the touch, have brown spots on them, have a mild or strong odor of bananas, or have turned brown around the edges. Some types of bananas may not have obvious signs of ripening, so you do need to keep an eye on them.

You’ll know when a banana is not ripe when it is hard, green, or has no odor. Sometimes it can take up to several days for a banana to ripen on the countertop. If you want to help a banana ripe faster, you can always place them in a paper bag for a few days.

The problem is that when a banana ripens, it can go bad pretty quickly. A banana is over-ripe when the skin turns black or it becomes mushy.

But, don’t worry! You can use frozen ripe bananas in so many ways, including in smoothies, ice creams, dairy-free soft serves, oatmeal, and in baked goods.

How to Freeze Bananas

bunch of ripe bananas on a white background

Step One

The first step for freezing bananas is to remove the skin. Some people just pop a ripe banana on the freezer with the skin on, but I don’t recommend this method. If you freeze a banana with the skin on, it will make it very difficult to remove the skin.

Step Two

The second step to freezing bananas is to either break them in half or cut them into slices. Depending on what you plan to do with your frozen banana will dictate if you slice them or just break them in half.

For example, if you have a high speed blender like a  a Blendtec or a Vitamix, then you can just freeze your bananas in large halves, or even whole. A high speed blender will have to problem blending large chunks of frozen banana.

If you just have a regular blender or you are planning to make soft-serve with your frozen bananas in a food processor, then you should slice your bananas before you freeze them.

sliced bananas on a baking sheet

Step Three

After you freeze or slice your bananas, you can lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. This will prevent the banana from freezing into a large clump.

Freeze the baking sheet for at least 2 hours before transferring the frozen bananas into a zip-top bag from long-term storage.

frozen bananas in a zip lock bag

FAQs

How can I tell when a banana has gone bad?

There are a few ways to tell when a banana is rotten. If your banana smells bad or is very mushy, then you will need to throw it away.
However, if your ripe banana isn’t too mushy, then you can probably cut away the bad parts and still freeze the good parts.

What can I do with frozen bananas?

You can serve frozen bananas almost the same way you would use a fresh banana. Once you have frozen bananas, it’s best to use them frozen as opposed to defrosting them.

Do I have to defrost bananas before using them in baked goods or oatmeal?

Ideally, you would use bananas frozen. But, if you are making muffins or another recipe that calls for ripe banana, you can defrost the frozen banana ahead of time in the refrigerator.

Here are some recipes using frozen bananas:

Other Guides to Freezing Food

Here is the printable guide for freezing bananas:

How to Freeze Bananas

bananas chunks on a plate

This post shares how to freeze ripe bananas that you can use later in smoothies, ice cream, and oatmeal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $1

Materials

  • Ripe Bananas
  • Zip Top Bag

Tools

  • Knife
  • Baking sheet

Instructions

  1. Peel your bananas.
  2. Slice the bananas or break them into lage chunks.
  3. Lay the peeled bananas chunks on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  4. Freeze the baking sheet for at least 2 hours before transferring the bananas to a zip top bag.

Notes

You can keep frozen bananas in the freezer for up to 2 months.

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