Banana is the main ingredient for the most smoothie recipes and it’s the easiest snack. For this reason, it’s a good strategy to buy them in bulk. You can save money and time.
The United States is the biggest importer of bananas, with 25 percent of total global imports, second only to the European Union (with 32 percent) (1).
How do you keep bananas from spoiling?
Bananas produce ethylene gas from stems. This gas can speed up the ripening process of a banana. Ethylene gas can spoil nearby fruits, as well.
For this reason, you’ll probably see a plastic wrap around the stem of a bunch of bananas. Producers put it there to prevent the ethylene gas from spoiling bananas.
You should do this too. Whenever you take a banana away from the bunch, remember to put the plastic wrap back. In other case, all the nearby fruits and vegetables will get spoiled much faster.
There is a better solution, if you buy bananas in bulk, though. Freeze them. It’s easier.
Is it better to eat ripe or unripe bananas?
If a banana turns brown, you shouldn’t assume that it has gone bad.
You better peel it. Just to be sure. If flesh has a brown color, you better avoid eating it.
A brown banana or a banana with black spots in the peel, actually has more antioxidants, than a green under-ripe banana.
Additionally, a ripe banana contains significant amounts of fiber and polyphenol compounds.
Also, ripe bananas contain a high content of simple sugars making it suitable for sucrose replacement in bakery products, like cakes.
As long as you don’t see mold, they’re safe to eat.
Find more about the health benefits of ripe and unripe bananas, here.
Can you freeze a banana?
You can freeze bananas safely. Cold temperatures delay the ripping process.
If you freeze a banana you’ll delay it from ripening. This is effective. A banana can be preserved for months in a freezer. Cold temperatures slow down the chemical reactions of ripeness and the production of ethylene gas.
You have to be extra conscious while keeping bananas frozen:
- Keep bananas constantly frozen. That’s a simple rule, but many people fail it. They just cut bananas into pieces and put them in a food container. Whenever they take some banana pieces, they take the food container off the freezer. Frozen bananas stay for many minutes at room temperature. This is enough time to soften the frozen bananas. You shouldn’t put them back to the freezer. Don’t do this mistake.
- Prefer new air-tight food containers. Otherwise, bananas will absorb smells.
How long does it take to freeze a banana?
It takes 60-90 minutes to freeze a banana.
Bananas can stay in the freezer for a much longer time than at room temperature. If you properly store them, bananas can be stored up to 3 months.
Beyond that time they will remain safe for eating, but they may lose their flavor over time.
How to freeze a banana?
Freezing bananas is easy.
Remove the peel
The first thing to remember is to peel it. Why?
Just because it’s practical.
When a banana gets frozen, the peel will turn dark and soft.
There isn’t a reason to worry. You could consume a dark-peel banana without dangerous. Unfortunately, the quality of it may be diminished.
Secondly, if you remove the peel of a banana before freezing, you won’t have to do it later. It’s more difficult and time-consuming to remove the peel from a frozen banana than a fresh one.
The food industry uses the flash freezing technique to freeze foods, at extremely low temperatures, with circulating air. They try to freeze foods quickly with cold air. This way, frozen foods don’t obtain ice crystals.
Flash freeze technique has a totally different meaning for a home cooker. It’s just the practice of freezing individual pieces of food separately.
You shouldn’t cut bananas into pieces, and put them in a food container or a freezer bag at once. If you try to take one piece, you’ll see that it isn’t an easy task. All the banana pieces would have been glued together.
You’ll have to wait a minute or two, just to unstuck them, Unfortunately, the unfrozen process diminishes the quality of the banana.
That’s how people ruin their food… We shouldn’t put back to the freezer any food that has been unfrozen.
What to do to avoid all this trouble?
Cut bananas into pieces. On a try lay down a baking sheet. Spread all the banana pieces on this sheet. Only then you should freeze them.
The next step is to pack the frozen pieces in airtight containers or freezer bags.
This way, the individual banana pieces won’t glue to each other, during the freezing process.
Additionally, this way, you save room in your freezer, keeping the banana pieces in airtight containers or freezer bags, rather than on a tray.
How to freeze bananas for smoothies?
Flash freezing at home it’s a smart way to keep many bananas in your freezer.
You can use only the amount of food you need, the time you need it.
That’s work for all foods. You can freeze fruits and vegetables as well.
As a smoothie enthusiast myself, I want to have all the ingredients of my favorite smoothies at my disposal, at any time.
I put in smoothies frozen foods such as:
- bananas cut in pieces.
- washed baby spinach, kale, beet leaves.
- blueberries, strawberries, etc.
You have to remember just one thing…
Cut banana in small pieces. Otherwise, a blender couldn’t process them easily.
As a rule of thumb, frozen bananas and berries make a creamy effect.
Moreover, there is no need to put in ice cubes, whenever you use frozen fruits.
Smoothies are easy and healthy. One frozen banana, one portion of leafy greens, some fruits, water or some other fluid (soy, almond, oat, or coconut milk) and you’re good to go.
Always prefer vegan milk over cow’s. The reason here.
- NCBI: Ripe Banana Flour as a Source of Antioxidants in Layer and Sponge Cakes.