Choose ripe to slightly overripe bananas.
Bananas that have not fully ripened will not ripen correctly if frozen. As soon as a banana has ripened, it can technically be frozen. Freezing a banana just before it becomes overripe or during the beginning stages of being overripe tends to preserve a stronger flavor, though, and is generally preferred.
- 1. Peel the banana. If storing the banana as slices or chunks, you will need to remove the peel first. Removing the peel after the freezing process would be too difficult.
- 2. Cut the banana into even chunks. The size is up to you, but cutting the banana into 1- to 2-inch (2.5 to 5 cm) chunks makes it easier to use the bananas for frozen recipes like smoothies and shakes.
- 3. Freeze the slices on a cookie sheet. To prevent the bananas from sticking together as they freeze, place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure that the banana chunks are not touching. Place the tray in the freezer and keep it there for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the bananas have frozen solid.
- 4. Store the frozen slices in a plastic freezer bag. Transfer the frozen banana slices directly from the cookie sheet and into the bag. You may want to mark how many bananas are in the freezer bag, or you can store each cut up banana in its own freezer bag to keep track of how much you have. Squeeze the air out of the bag, seal it, and mark the date on the front. Stored this way, bananas can remain good for three to four months.
- 5. Use the banana either frozen or thawed. If using the banana for shakes, smoothies, or other frozen confections, you can use the chunks while they are still frozen. For baked goods, however, you should thaw them out first.