Make Frozen Bananas (like this) for the Best Smoothies Ever
Wanna know the secret to making the perfect smoothie or shake?
It’s not that you need a Vitamix; that’s no secret. 🙂
The secret is frozen bananas.
Frozen bananas make perfect smoothies and shakes
Once you’ve had a smoothie or shake with a frozen banana, you’ll never go back.
It becomes a problem, actually.
If you find yourself without any frozen bananas, you’re not gonna make that smoothie or shake you originally craved.
When you use frozen bananas in your blended drinks, they turn out:
- Thick, but not icy.
- Creamy without actual cream.
- Cold without causing brain freeze. (That’s what folks in the industry call “warm mouth-feel.”)
My buddies’ reactions wouldn’t have been the same from this smoothie without frozen bananas.
Here’s the only problem.
You can’t get frozen bananas in a bag at the grocery store.
Yes, they are quite easy to make. But you gotta know the method.
The Wrong Way to Freeze Bananas
There are two disastrous methods for freezing bananas. I’ve done them both to save myself time.
Learn from my mistakes.
1. Freezing the whole banana with the peel on.
This is by far the laziest “method” of freezing bananas.
Don’t try it.
If, however, you like burglarizing houses by breaking a window with a brick, use this method. You’ll be prepared just in case you run out of bricks.
For fun, let’s say you use this method and try your luck cutting it open. Here’s what to expect:
Even with the sharpest knife, you’re not getting the peel off without all your weight. Once you do get through, you’ll end up taking a huge slice of banana flesh (the part you eat) with you. So if you’re lucky enough to not slice your fingers off, your (now) peeled frozen banana is about 40% the size it once was.
2. Freezing peeled, whole bananas.
This is one step less lazy because you actually took the time to peel the bananas.
But here’s why it’s still a poor method.
If you’re very strong, you may be able to manually break the banana with your hands. But no matter how fast you do it, you’re left with slimy banana hands.
What about a very sharp, hot knife? Well, even with a good knife and strong shoulders, it’s not easy.
A note for the record: For over a year, I employed this method AND supplemented it with a no-container, Lincoln Log stacking formation in my freezer.
The Better Way to Freeze Bananas
It’s so obvious, at this point, but you ought to take the extra two steps. After you’ve peeled them, cut them into four even pieces.
This way, they’re pre-cut and perfect-sized nuggets to throw in your blender.
There’s just one problem with this method. If the bananas are touching each other, they’ll freeze together. Then, you’ll need an ice pick to get one out.
So if you want to avoid that, do this.
The Forest Method: The BEST Way to Freeze Bananas
First of all, credit to my lovely fiancé for coming up with this technique. She claims she made it up all by herself. I believe her, but should note that I found this article describing the exact same method.
Either way, I’m calling this “The Forest Method.”
“The Forest Method” gets you frozen banana pieces that:
- Don’t stick together.
- Are perfect sized.
- Are easy to pop off and quickly put into your blender.
Get a cookie sheet or similar flat pan. Then, make a banana forest with the banana quarters you cut.
Throw ’em in your freezer and you’re done!
If you want to go the extra mile, place them in a Tupperware after they’re frozen through. Keeps ’em from getting discolored or freezer burned.
Here’s a silly little video walking through all of this frozen banana stuff.
Here’s a tidy summary of the frozen banana method.
- Peel the banana.
- Place 2-inch pieces on a cookie sheet so it looks like a banana forest.
- Freeze sheet of banana “trees.”
- Place frozen banana pieces into a Tupperware (and back in the freezer) to store.
How long can you freeze a banana for?
It’s usually not an issue for me since I eat them often. But, I’ve found one “hiding” in back and used it without any issue. As a general rule of thumb, they’re good for a few months. So, if it’s been in there longer, give it the sight and smell test. Overall, it’s a whole food. So you’re pretty safe to eat it if it looks good.
Besides smoothies and shakes, what else do you use frozen bananas for?
They’re good for dessert. This recipe for banana ice cream is incredible.
QUESTION: How have frozen bananas changed your life?
Martin Lennon -
I have a Professional Series 300, the wide base means if I make ice cream I need to do it in bigger batches, any way around this other than buying another container? what other containers are compatible with my machine? Cheers
I’m grossed out by the texture of banana and not too particular about the taste.
Hoping the Vitamix will help me incorporate them into my diet.
Lenny Gale -
You and Shalva the same! Our green juice is a great way to incorporate (as she does).
Kathy Tobacco -
I freeze bananas as I go on a case by case basis. As my bananas get ripe to barely over- ripe, and I know it might not get eaten, I peel it whole on a piece of saran wrap and make three pre- cuts. Then I wrap the banana with the saran wrap and put it in the freezer. When I need it, the banana easily breaks apart inside the wrap.
Lenny Gale -
Great idea! I’ll try that method with the batch on my counter!
Mary W -
how can you not know bananas in pajamas LOL now I’ll probably never get that out of my head! 🙂
bananas in pajamas are coming down the stairs
bananas in pajamas are coming down in pairs
bananas in pajamas are chasing teddy bears
I chop up my bananas and put them in thick freezer baggies and bang them against the counter when I take them out of the freezer to break them apart…if I were to try to put them in like a ‘forest’ there would probably not be any left in the pan by the time i went to get them out. someone would knock them out or they would get eaten before they are completely frozen!
i wouldnt say frozen bananas have changed my life, but I am happy i can have ‘ice cream’ again! plus my dad has esophagus cancer, hes getting his esophagus removed in a couple weeks. so he will be eating plenty of banana ice cream. only soft foods and liquids for life!
thanks for the fun video!
Lenny Gale -
Glad you like the video. 🙂
Hope he does well with his surgery (and has a Vitamix)!