My BEST Method to Slice & Freeze Bananas
Hey there, hi, hello!
I'm not sure about you, but I am PUMPED about the fact that we are halfway through this week and rolling into Memorial Day weekend! This will be the weekend swimming pools will open (if they aren't already) and everyone around will be in full summer mood. You'll be dragging out your sandals, making sure your tank tops are visible among your weekend-wear selection in your closet, and bathing suit buying will be all that you and your girlfriends talk about for the next few weeks (oh boy, here we go again).
I've mentioned it before, but I'll mention it again, this is typically the time that the smoothie recipes and healthier, beach-bod friendly recipes take center stage. I'm cool with this, really, because most of the recipes I create are already as simple and healthy as possible anyway. John & I really don't eat that much differently in the months leading up to summer than we do the rest of the year except replacing a lot of the warmer dishes for cooler ones.
I never really "give up" sweets leading into swimsuit season. I am so much happier with a healthier treat in my life. Seriously, I probably have some form of sweet treat every single day. Whether it's a "healthified" take on a dessert classic, piece of fruit with nut butter, dark chocolate, or unique little pick-me-ups like my 3-ingredient chocolate-covered banana bites (recipe coming super soon!), I really am a sweet treat addict. You know, I'm not mad about it, either.
If we can make healthier versions of our favorite sweets that are equally as delicious, why wouldn't we? Don't get me wrong, I'm perfectly happy to enjoy a piece of classic cheesecake every now and then, but I love the challenge of taking those decadent recipes and making them a little better for our belly and peace of mind. Especially as we roll into the summer months when we show more skin.
One of my favorite ingredients to use when creating those sweet treats is frozen banana slices. I'm sure this isn't new to you, but they really do have a similar consistency to ice cream. Of course, frozen banana slices are also a key ingredient in any good smoothie, in my opinion. The smoothie's I've made without them are just a little too tart and runny. I end up having to add ice, which waters down the flavor too much. All that being said, frozen banana slices are definitely a key ingredient to have for smoothies & sweet treats.
Oh, and one more fantastic benefit of freezing bananas, they last anywhere from three to four months. That's incredible! In the colder months we mainly keep banana's around the house for a snack or to add into pancakes and breads. When they would be on the brink of being a little too ripe and I didn't have a plan for them, we would slice and pop them in the freezer. Then once the warmer weather rolled around, we would throw them in the smoothies and cold desserts.
I've sliced and frozen a lot of banana slices in the last few years. I'll be honest, it wasn't always fun or pretty. In the beginning, I would simply slice up the bananas, throw them in a ziplock back all together in a large clump and put them in the freezer. Then, when I wanted to add half a frozen banana to a smoothie, I would have to chisel away a few chunks from the rest of the mound. After that method was a flop, I tried slicing them and stacking them in an air-tight container to put in the freezer. That worked a little better, but I still would have several chunks sticking together at a time.
I seriously used to dread slicing and freezing bananas even though they were so wonderful to have on-hand. The process used to drive me nuts (should I have said 'bananas' there and bene more cutesy there?)!
So now, what's the BEST method I have to store these banana slices? I'm excited to share with you. The secret is... wax paper!
Here's the full list of what you'll need:
- A gallon-sized ziplock bag
- Wax paper
1.) Cut a piece of wax paper the length of your ziplock bag. Then use scissors to trip the paper a little shorter than the edge of the ziplock bag.
2.) From there, have your wax paper near your cutting board where you're slicing bananas.
3.) Slice your bananas into half inch rounds and lay them flat on the piece of wax paper. You can fit anywhere from 2 to 3 bananas in slices on 1 sheet of wax paper to fit the gallon-sized ziplock (depending on the size of the bananas).
4.) Once you've laid out all your desired banana slices on the wax paper, pull it from the furthest size from you into the ziplock bag. Close the zip, then lay on a flat rack in your freezer. If you need to freeze more banana slices in the following weeks, you can slide another layer of banana slices of wax paper overtop the original layer.
Repeat these steps, and you can fit up to 3 layers in just 1 ziplock bag. The beauty of the wax paper is it prevents the bananas from sticking together. This helps so you can properly measure out slices for your smoothie and dessert recipes!
This is the best method I've found, and I use it exclusively now when slicing and freezing bananas. I hope you find this helpful! In the next post I'm sharing one of my favorite healthy "sweet treat" recipes, 3-ingredient chocolate-covered banana bites, woop woop! So be sure to check back, friend.
Have you tried other life-changing banana-freezing methods? If you try this one out, let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear.
Here's to a banana freezing and storing method that doesn't suck... Cheers!