If you have ever become ill after enjoying this icy fruit, you may be wondering, can frozen bananas make you sick?
Does it make a difference if the bananas are frozen unpeeled?
How long do bananas last in the freezer?
Is there any reason you shouldn’t freeze bananas?
Do they need thawing out before you can eat them?
Let’s discover the cold, hard truth about frozen bananas!
Frozen bananas are unlikely to make you sick. However, they do need to be kept at a constant temperature of 0 °F (-17.8 °C) to ensure they remain at their best quality. And ideally, bananas should be eaten within three months of freezing. However, if the banana was already starting to rot, then freezing it will not kill any harmful microbes. They can be frozen whole or peeled and then mashed or sliced. If required for eating as a snack or for use in a recipe, the bananas should be defrosted at room temperature. Bananas do not need to be thawed when added to a smoothie.
Is It Safe to Freeze Bananas?
So, why would you freeze bananas in the first place?
Typically, when you buy a bunch of bananas, they are unripe and not quite ready to eat.
However, once they start ripening, the process is pretty quick, and you may find yourself with too many overripe bananas.
If you don’t have any intention of using them immediately, perhaps for banana bread, you can freeze them.
You can simply throw them unpeeled into the freezer.
Or you can peel them and either mash the banana or slice it.
Mashed banana is perfect for recipes, and the sliced fruit can be added to smoothies.
In fact, you don’t even need to defrost the banana slices for a smoothie; just pop them in the blender as they are.
Otherwise, you will need to thaw the frozen bananas at room temperature, which takes about 24 hours.
Do note that a whole banana will become very mushy when thawed and may only be suitable for baking rather than as a snack.
It is perfectly safe to freeze bananas, but keep them at 0 °F (-17.8 °C) to retain their quality.
Try and use them within three months.
The only situation when you wouldn’t freeze bananas is when they have already started to rot.
Although freezing them will halt the process, as soon as you thaw the bananas, the rotting will continue, making them inedible.
Why Do Bananas Change Color When Frozen?
One thing you may notice when freezing bananas is that they change color.
If you were to freeze a whole banana, then the peel is likely to turn black.
The same thing happens when you pop a whole banana in the fridge, but freezing them speeds up the process.
Banana peels have a lot of water content, and this turns into ice crystals in the freezer.
Eventually, these crystals expand, and this ruptures the banana’s skin.
As a consequence, polyphenols are released, and this turns the banana skin black.
But don’t worry, it will still be perfectly safe to eat.
A similar thing happens when the banana is peeled and sliced or mashed.
The fruit turns an unappetizing shade of brown.
Once a banana is cut and exposed to the air, the process of oxidation begins.
However, the taste is not affected, and again, the banana is safe to eat.
If you want to try and stop the browning, then squeezing lemon juice over the banana slices may help.
This is said to inactivate any enzymes that cause the color change.
How to Freeze Bananas
Frozen bananas will not make you sick, although it is recommended to eat them within three months of freezing.
Don’t try and freeze bananas that are already starting to rot, as once thawed, the rotting continues.
They can be frozen whole or sliced, or mashed.
Bananas may turn brown or black in the freezer, but they are still perfectly edible.
Enjoy your frozen banana, safe in the knowledge that it won’t make you ill.
On a similar topic, you might want to know if it’s possible to freeze the batter for banana bread.