How to Freeze Bananas for Smoothies
Frozen banana pieces are great to add by the fistfuls to your blender for your smoothies. But, they’re also great to have on hand to make “nice cream”, banana nut bread or to toss into your oatmeal while it simmers on the stove in the morning. Here’s a little tip on How to Freeze Bananas for Smoothies.
Adding frozen bananas to smoothies rather than room temperature bananas makes them richer and creamier. Here’s a little tip on how to freeze bananas and up your smoothie making mornings!
CAN YOU FREEZE BANANAS
YES!! You can! You’ll want to use organic bananas that are fully ripe with a little browning.
FREEZING BANANAS FOR SMOOTHIES
Freezing bananas for smoothies is so simple!! If you don’t add frozen bananas to your smoothies, you don’t know what you’re missing out on! Frozen bananas give smoothies a thick and creamy milk-shake like texture, plus they’re a rich source of heart-healthy potassium.
HOW TO FREEZE BANANAS
Here is an easy way to freeze bananas so they don’t clump together and they won’t tear the heck out of your blender.
- Peel the bananas: Peel ripe organic bananas and discard the peel
- Slice bananas: Slice bananas into in 1/2 – 1-1/2 inch pieces (they don’t have to be perfectly sized)
- Cookie sheet: Lay the banana slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet (you can lay down a piece of parchment paper first if you want).
- Freeze bananas: Put the cookie sheet with the banana slices in the freezer for 2o minutes
- Loosen banana slices: After 20 minutes lift the banana pieces up from the baking sheet with a spatula so they won’t stick during the remaining freeze time. Then pop them back in the freezer to freeze for about 2 hours
- Transfer to freezer bag: Use a spatula to loosen the frozen banana slices from the cookie sheet and transfer them to a plastic freezer bag
HOW LONG TO FREEZE BANANAS
All in – it takes about 2 hours and 20 minutes to freeze bananas
- 20 minutes initial freeze time
- 2 hour additional freeze time
HOW TO USE FROZEN BANANAS
- Add to smoothies
- Blend them in a blender or food processor to make “ice cream”
- Add to banana nut bread batter
- Toss them in oatmeal as it simmers on the stove
- Add them to pancake batter
HOW TO THAW FROZEN BANANAS
You’ll want to thaw frozen bananas if you’re using them to bake with.
- Remove the amount of frozen bananas you’ll be using
- Place the frozen bananas in a bowl to thaw
- Mash the frozen bananas with a fork or potato masher before they are fully thawed
BANANA NUTRITIONAL VALUE
- Heart health: Bananas are rich with fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C and antioxidants. People who maintain a high fiber diet may have a lower risk of heart disease and may have lower levels of LDL cholesterol (the bad kind of cholesterol). (1) The potassium found in bananas helps to maintain fluids in the body and helps regulate muscle contraction and nerve cell response (which regulates the heart beat). One medium size banana contains approximately 422 mg of potassium.
- Blood sugar levels: Because bananas are rich with fiber, the fiber found in bananas may help lower blood sugar levels and may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (2)
- Memory and mood: Bananas are also rich with the amino acid known as tryptophan, an amino acid that may help boost mood, enhance memory and the ability to learn new things. It also has a high content of dopamine (a type of neurotransmitter that our nervous system uses to send messages between nerve cells). Dopamine plays a role in our ability to think, plan and focus. It also plays a role in our mood. (3)
- Digestion: The fiber in bananas (may keep things regular) which can enhance digestive health.
BANANA FOR WEIGHT LOSS
Bananas are rich with fiber and low in calories. One medium size banana contains about 105 calories or 200 calories per 1 cup mashed banana. Fiber rich foods like bananas are more satiating and have been linked to lower body weight. (4)
Follow THE HARVEST KITCHEN on Pinterest for more great recipes!
SMOOTHIES WITH FROZEN BANANAS
Originally published August 31, 2017 – updated June 8, 2020
- Organic Bananas, peeled and sliced in 1/2 - 1-1/2 inch pieces
- Spread the banana pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet
- Freeze for 20 minutes then using a spatula - lift them from the cookie sheet so they don't stick
- Freeze uncovered for 2 hours
- Using a metal spatula, loosen the banana pieces from the cookie sheet
- Transfer to a freezer safe bag or container
- Store in the freezer