This is Why You Should Eat Frozen Bananas

Frozen bananas

Banana is one of the most widely available fruits in the world. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit with immense health benefits. The fruit comes in a plethora of varieties and flavors. It makes a good snack and blends well in numerous recipes like smoothies, cakes, pancakes, ice cream, muffins, bread, brownies, and tarts.

However, should bananas be frozen? Are frozen bananas good for you? Research shows that frozen bananas are as good as fresh ones. Let’s find out more.

Should you eat frozen bananas?

Banana is a nutrient-dense fruit. It is a rich source of potassium, magnesium, vitamins B and C, fiber, proteins, sugar, and antioxidants. It is good for maintaining good digestive health, blood sugar levels, heart health, and optimum weight.

However, banana has a short shelf life – they must be consumed within 10 days of plucking. In warmer climates, this gets reduced to a week. Once the banana is ripe, it soon catches mold or becomes mushy, or starts smelling bad.

So, what is the solution to increasing the shelf life of bananas? How do you preserve the fruit in your homes? How do you store them for future use? Yes, freezing them is the only option known to us as of now. However, is it a good option to freeze bananas? Is it safe and healthy to consume frozen bananas? Let’s break the ice.

According to experts, the US FDA, and the Department of Agriculture, freezing bananas is a healthy option. Freezing the fruit at the prescribed temperature has been shown to preserve the nutrients. According to the Department of Agriculture, the quality of frozen bananas is good for up to three months.

The nutrient value of frozen bananas depends on the freezing temperature – like already mentioned. Another influencing factor is the time of freezing. The retention of nutrients will be higher if the fruit is frozen soon after picking or when it is still fresh. If the banana has already sat outside the refrigerator for a few days, it is most likely to have lost a few nutrients.

Pros of frozen bananas

  • Have nutritional elements similar to that of fresh fruit.
  • Keeps the fruit fresh for several weeks.
  • Helps reduce wastage.
  • Is convenient to use as it is already washed and cleaned.
  • You can serve as much as you want and store the remaining for the future.
  • If the fruit is not available in the stores or in your garden, you can still make your banana smoothie or cake using the frozen fruit.
  • During thawing, the amylase and starch in the banana get diffused, making the fruit taste sweeter.

Cons of frozen bananas

  • Setting the bananas for freezing could be a long-drawn and time-consuming process.
  • Grabbing a fresh banana could be quicker as the fruit is available throughout the year.
  • Frozen banana looks unappealing while fresh fruit looks delectable.
  • Frozen banana loses their original texture and is not as enjoyable as eating fresh fruit.
  • Is suitable only for use in smoothies and other preparations and not eating the fruit as is because of the mushiness.
  • If you are freezing a large number of bananas but not maintaining the correct freezing temperature or not ensuring a constant power supply, there will be a huge wastage.
  • It may be rational to respect the laws of nature and consume the fruit fresh. Freezing the fruit is defying nature.

How to make frozen bananas?

Have a lot of bananas that are ripening at the same time? Don’t worry – just freeze them. The fruit can be frozen with or without the peel.

To freeze the banana with the peel –

  • Wipe the bananas clean to remove dust and grime
  • Put the bananas in food-grade plastic bags
  • Seal the bag by removing excess air
  • Place the bag on a tray and keep it in the freezer
  • Freeze at zero degrees Fahrenheit

To freeze the banana without the peel –

  • Wipe the bananas clean to remove dust and grime
  • Remove the peel
  • Cut the bananas in slices or in halves
  • Wrap them in baking sheets
  • Place the sheets in a tray and keep it in the freezer
  • After one to two hours of freezing, you can shift the banana slices to a food-grade plastic bag and keep it back in the freezer.
  • Freeze at zero degrees Fahrenheit

It would be a good idea to label the storage bags with the date when you started freezing the bananas.

How long do they last?

Frozen bananas last for nearly six months when stored correctly at zero degrees Fahrenheit. As per the US FDA and Department of Agriculture, frozen bananas can last in good quality for two to three months. The skin of the fruit may become black due to freezing but the fruit will be good to consume.

Thawing process

If you aren’t in a hurry, you can leave the frozen bananas in a bowl. In about two hours, the liquid will get accumulated in the bowl. You can also immerse the bag of frozen bananas in a bowl of warm water. It will get defrosted in around 10 minutes.

For quick thawing, you can microwave the frozen bananas by placing them in a bowl or plate. Defrosting in the microwave will allow the liquid to melt and collect in the bowl or plate.

If you have to remove the peel of the frozen banana, thaw the fruit for a lesser time just to allow the fruit to become soft. Then cut the edges and remove the peel with your fingers or using a knife.

Remember to not discard the liquid that is collected from thawing. The liquid was part of the fruit and contains nutrients.

Can you refreeze defrosted bananas?

Thawed bananas become squishy, but you can refreeze them. As per the guidelines of the US Department of Agriculture, it is not safe to refreeze frozen bananas that have been outside the refrigerator for more than two hours. This is because of the cutback in the quality of the fruit following the loss of moisture during defrosting.

Are your frozen bananas bad?

Frozen bananas look quite unappetizing after thawing. However, this doesn’t mean that they have gone bad. To check the quality of the defrosted fruit, follow these tips –

  • Check for the consistency of the bananas immediately after taking them out of the freezer.
  • If the fruit is soft and too mushy, or if there is a fluid build-up, it could have gone bad.
  • If the fruit has turned dark, it means it has got spoiled.
  • Check how the fruit smells. Rotten fruit smells dreadful and needs to be thrown away.
  • Do not judge the quality of the banana by looking at the peel alone. The peel could have become black or dark brown, but the fruit could be fresh.

Can frozen bananas turn poisonous?

Both sliced and unpeeled bananas have to be frozen at zero degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature must be constant. This way, the quality of the fruit can be maintained. The fruit may become toxic if the temperature is not as mentioned or is not kept constant.

While frozen bananas do not become poisonous with the correct methods of freezing, they will surely lose their texture, flavor, and taste through freezing.

Let us also consider the consumption of frozen bananas in the following scenarios.

Frozen bananas for babies

Banana is usually the first fruit to be introduced to babies. It is easy for babies to eat and is also packed with essential nutrients for growth. Frozen bananas are mushier, which makes it easier for babies to eat them. However, if not frozen properly or if spoilage of the frozen fruit goes unnoticed while feeding it to the baby, the outcome could be adverse to the baby’s health. If there is accessibility to fresh bananas, it is favorable to feed the baby with them.

For dogs

Yes, you can give frozen bananas to your dog. The fruit is rich in potassium, fiber, and vitamins – making it a good food for your dog. However, make sure that the frozen fruit is not spoiled.

For chickens

Of course! Bananas are a rich source of nutrition for chickens. You can preserve the fruit through freezing and feed them to your chickens as and when needed.

For bunnies

Bananas are healthy for bunnies too. However, the little creatures have to eat the fruit in small quantities. It may be simpler to freeze the fruit and take out small portions to feed your bunnies.