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What To Do With Ripened Bananas

Ripened BananasBananas were on my grocery list this week. There are three already sitting on my counter at home, but they’re over-ripe and the family just isn’t interested in eating them anymore. What a waste!

Truth be told, I really love when this happens… because it means it’s time to make some banana bread! (or banana muffins or banana cake or banana cookies or a host of other delightful banana baked goods)

I only used two of the bananas in the bread and didn’t have the energy to whip up some muffins too, so I faced the age-old dilemma of what to do with the remaining over-ripened banana. I refuse to hand it over to the compost pile.

Fortunately, you can freeze bananas for future use.  But should you save them in the peel? Peel before storing?  The simple answer is – any way you want. But consider the following:

  • Always keep them in a well-sealed freezer storage container. You don’t want them picking up flavors from other food in the freezer.
  • Don’t worry when the bananas turn black. The oxidation process is nothing that will affect baking with them. Nor is the sheen of frost that might develop on them.
  • Saving them with their peel protects the fruit inside a bit from odors in the freezer, but then — so does the freezer storage container.
  • Peeling them before freezing saves you the trouble of taking off the slimy peel after thawing the bananas.
  • You might want to cut the banana into 3 or 4 pieces before freezing. That will make it easy to use in smoothies too.
  • You can mash them before freezing, but it doesn’t save you any time later. You’ll need to re-pureé them before use.
  • Try to use your ripened treasures within six months. Everything has its limits.

Bottomline, if you like baked goods with bananas, you should be freezing those ripened ones.  Get past the look of the mushy fruit that you’ll get once they thaw and save a few bucks that might have just gone to waste if you’d thrown those over-ripened bananas away. You’ll be glad you did!

Banana Bread

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