Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Freezing Bananas

 

Stuck in self-isolation with a bowl of bananas that are past their prime? Those dark and spotty bananas…the ones that are so soft they practically peel themselves are the perfect base for a loaf of delicious banana bread. Since they are never ripe when I actually want them to be, I’ve taken to freezing them in this state for future use.

If you are going to bake with them, you can freeze them individually with the peel on. No need to wrap them first. When you are ready to use them, thaw them, and place the peeled flesh into a strainer and allow the excess liquid to drain off. When I make banana bread, I like to roast them on a cookie sheet until the skin is completely blackened before peeling and draining. This will give you a mashed consistency that mixes effortlessly into batters and a rich, sweet flavor.

You can also freeze them cut up to use for smoothies or ice cream. Slice the peeled bananas and freeze the pieces flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet until they are solid. At this point, you can transfer them to a zip lock bag or freezer-safe container. This will prevent the pieces from sticking together, so you can grab just what you need and leave the rest to use another time. If you would like to use them for baking, you can freeze the chunks in small bags, each containing the equivalent of one or two bananas. They will give off less liquid this way, and when a recipe calls for 3 medium bananas, you will know how much that is. ( Make sure you mark the bags so you know what is in them.)

Either method is workable and allows you to have super ripe bananas on hand all the time, without ever having to throw them away as they begin to overripen. It’s a win-win!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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