Bananas spoil quickly, so to save them, pop them in the freezer. Frozen bananas are an incredible addition to smoothies or for baking. But if you want a frozen banana ASAP, you may wonder how long it will take. How long does it take to freeze a banana?
It takes about two hours to freeze a banana. The best and fastest way to freeze a banana is to peel it, slice it, lay the slices spaced out on a tray, cover it with plastic, place it in the freezer for about 2 hours. After the banana slices are frozen, place them into a lidded, freezer-safe container, and store them in the freezer.
The smaller the banana is sliced, the faster it will freeze. By slicing and freezing individual slices, you can easily remove however many slices you need, whenever you need them – for smoothies or baking.
Read on to find out more on how long it takes to freeze a banana and the steps for freezing it fast.
How Long Does It Take to Freeze a Banana?
You know how important it is to save on your cost of household groceries. That is why you take steps in making sure that you have minimal to no food waste in your house. If you have a bunch of bananas that are expiring before you can finish them, or you have a desire to add frozen bananas to a smoothie, you can freeze the bananas very easily.
When you freeze the banana, you actually retain its nutritional content. Bananas are actually a great fruit to keep frozen because they do not have much water content. This allows it to freeze well, and the potassium that can be found inside it will not be lessened as a result of it being frozen.
On average, it takes two hours to freeze bananas. To ensure it freezes within this period of time, you would have to slice it into small pieces before freezing it so that you can have all the pieces frozen well.
After they are frozen, what you need to do then is to have them placed on a container that is safe to put inside a freezer. This container must have a lid that is tightly shut. You would then need to label this container with the date of when you have the bananas inside it frozen so that you would be reminded of how long your frozen bananas have stayed there already.
Many people stick the whole banana into the freezer, peeled or unpeeled. If you leave the peel on, the banana will become mushy. If you peel the banana before freezing, it won’t be as mushy, but it will take longer to freeze.
To make it freeze faster and in a better way, simply slice the banana into pieces before freezing. And to ensure the banana slices freeze in about 2 hours, your freezer also has to be at or near the normal household freezer temperature, which is 0° F (-18° C).
There are basically two ways of freezing a banana. The way that you freeze a banana depends on where you will use it. If you are going to use the frozen bananas for a smoothie, you should slice them before freezing. If you are going to use it for baking, you can peel and then freeze the whole banana if you prefer. Keep reading as I list the best steps for freezing the banana fast and effectively.
Freezing Bananas for Smoothies
To freeze bananas for healthy smoothies (or the world’s best ice cream), follow the below steps:
Step 1 – Peel
Peel ripe bananas. You need to choose bananas that are already ripe or are starting to get brown spots on their peels. You want this kind of banana as they are at their sweetest and have the best texture. If you choose the green-colored bananas to freeze, they won’t have the same taste as those ripe bananas. Your smoothie will taste different as a result of you using green-colored bananas.
You also need to peel the bananas as these will turn slimy and black in the freezer if you don’t remove them. You will also have a harder time removing the peel after they are frozen. You will have to wait even longer to use the banana as you’ll need to wait for it to thaw before peeling.
Step 2 – Slice
Slice the bananas into 1-inch thick slices. There is no need to reach the exact measurement of 1-inch thick. You can just approximate it. Simply cut it into small pieces so that when you freeze it, it won’t be clumped together, and it will be easy for you to take some pieces that you will be using for your smoothie. The smaller the slices, the faster they will take to freeze.
Step 3 – Place on Tray
Lay out the small sliced pieces on a baking sheet or tray. You need to place them apart from each other (not touching) so that when they get frozen inside the freezer, they won’t be frozen together. This ensures that you can still make use of them individually.
Step 4 – Cover with Plastic
Cover the tray or sheet with plastic wrap to protect the bananas from ice and other particles from getting on them as you are waiting for them to freeze. Wait for about two hours in order for it to be frozen solid.
Step 5 – Transfer Slices to a Container
After two hours, take out the tray with the sliced bananas, then transfer the frozen bananas to a plastic bag or a container with a lid that is safe to put inside the freezer.
Label the container or plastic bag of the date on when you had the bananas frozen there. Peeled, frozen bananas last about 6 months in the freezer. So by labeling the container, you can keep track of how long they have been in there for.
You can then pull slices from the container whenever you need them for smoothies or one-ingredient banana ice cream. Add to a blender or food processor, and the frozen banana will blend into a soft, sweet treat.
Freezing Bananas for Baking
If you are going to freeze the bananas with the intention of using them for baking banana bread or banana muffins, then follow the steps below. The steps are similar to freezing for smoothies, except that you don’t have to slice the banana if you will be using it all for the baking.
Peel the bananas, and then you can then simply put the whole bananas in a plastic bag or container and put it in the freezer. You can also mash the banana using a spoon or a fork in a container. Mashing them allows for an easier way of storing them in the freezer as they take up less space when mashed.
After mashing the banana, you need to place them in a freezer-safe container and place the container(s) in the freezer. Put a label on the container so that you’ll know how long the life of your frozen bananas is.
After about 2 hours, or when you need them for baking, simply remove and thaw out the banana. Even when baking, I still slice the bananas for freezing, as they freeze faster, and if I don’t use all the slices for baking, then I can easily separate the amount I need.
Factors That Affect the Banana’s Freezing Time
There are different factors that can have an impact on the time it takes for a banana to get frozen inside the freezer. Below you will find out about some of these different factors that affect the banana’s freezing time.
Temperature of the Freezer
The temperature of the freezer must be cold enough in order for the banana to freeze within two hours. So you must ensure it is set to the right temperature, approximately 0° F (-18° C). If the freezer temperature is greater, then it will take longer than two hours to freeze the banana.
So it is important that you check if the temperature of the freezer is at freezing temperature. This ensures that you will have frozen bananas in just two hours or maybe less.
Space in the Freezer
The space of the freezer can have an impact on the freezing time of the banana. If the freezer is large and there are many things that are also inside it, then it might take a longer time than two hours for the banana to get frozen. If there is nothing inside it except the bananas, then it will take a short time for them to be frozen as the cold will be concentrated on them (not distributed to other food).
Typically the bigger the space inside the freezer, the longer it might take for you to have frozen solid bananas. The smaller the space of the freezer, the faster it may take to have frozen bananas as there is less room for the freezing cold temperature to circulate in. Also, if there are few other foods in the freezer, the bananas will freeze faster. If the freezer is packed with other foods, it will take longer for the bananas to freeze.
Size of the Banana
The size of the banana also has an impact on the length of the freezing time. If you are freezing whole bananas, then it might take longer than two hours for them to be frozen solid. If you want the fastest way of freezing bananas, then you need to make them smaller first by having them sliced into small pieces. That way, they get frozen fast when you lay them on a baking sheet and leave them in the freezer for two hours.
How Often You Open the Freezer Door
Opening the freezer door often will lengthen the time it takes for the banana to be frozen. That is why if you want your bananas to be frozen fast, then you should avoid altogether opening the freezer door for two straight hours because that is the average time of freezing bananas.
If you open the freezer door often, then the cold will escape, and this, in turn, will make the freezing time of the bananas inside it longer than the average time of two hours.
How Long Should You Keep Frozen Bananas?
Freezing bananas are great for prolonging their shelf-life without diminishing their nutritional content. By freezing the bananas, you can have a ready source of ingredients for your smoothies or your baked goods. But how long should you keep frozen bananas?
If your bananas are peeled, then they will typically keep in the freezer for up to 6 months, and possibly even more than 6 months if really well-stored. Remember to label the container the date when you first stored them inside the freezer. By labeling, you will know how long they’ve been in the freezer for and avoid them spoiling.
If it has been longer than 6 months, then it is best that you throw them away as the quality of the banana – taste, texture, and nutritional value – will be significantly diminished. Sure, they could possibly keep longer, but they are so cheap; just get a new bunch.
How to Use Frozen Bananas?
If you are going to use frozen bananas for a smoothie, all you need to do is to take out a few pieces of it and add them to your smoothie. Frozen bananas can make your smoothie have a creamy and milky texture. Since it has a frozen texture already, this may result in needing less ice for your smoothie.
If you are going to use your frozen bananas for baking, then you need to follow the amount of frozen bananas that are outlined in the recipe. Typically this is measured in cups. If you mash your bananas before freezing them, then it will be very easy for you to measure them out in a cup to use for your baking.
How long does it take for bananas to freeze? It takes about 2 hours to freeze a peeled banana. If you slice the banana into smaller pieces, it can perhaps freeze faster.
So if you have a bunch of bananas that are about to go bad, get them in the freezer fast so that they will freeze and therefore last longer. Then remember to keep your frozen stock replenished so that you always have enough for smoothies or baking when you need it.