Today it’s all about the best ways to preserve bananas. Are bananas one of your favorite fruits? Many people love them because of their naturally sweet taste!
It’s always good to have bananas around in the kitchen, whether you’re planning to peel them and eat them like that, slice them up and add them to your favorite fruit salad, or even use them in recipes to make banana-flavored treats, such as muffins, loaves of bread, and even pies.
No matter what you plan to do with them, it’s essential to know how to preserve the bananas to keep them fresh so that they don’t go to waste. You wouldn’t want to spend money on bunches of bananas only for them to go bad. It’s much better to eat them outright or add them to any number of great recipes that call for them.
So, follow these helpful tips to preserve your bananas. You’ll notice these extra steps make all the difference in helping keep them as fresh as possible. My favorite, Banana Slicer!
If I plan to preserve my bananas I have to buy extra. Mark enjoys bananas with his morning cereal, so I often go looking for fresh slightly green bananas and they seem to all get used. We also really enjoy bananas on top of a scoop of ice cream as an after-dinner treat. Life is good when you have bananas available!
The Best Ways to Preserve Bananas
Keep Them Away From Your Other Produce
One mistake people often make is that they start hanging their bananas too close to other fruits in the kitchen:
- If you’re buying many fruits, including apples, oranges, and pears, try to keep them separated from your bananas.
- There are a few reasons to keep bananas away from the other produce. For example, suppose your other produce starts going bad. In that case, it could negatively impact the bananas, causing them to ripen more quickly and eventually go bad before you’ve had the time to use them.
- Another reason to keep them away from the rest of your fruit is to minimize the occurrence of fruit flies that get on the bananas.
- If you have a swarm of fruit flies on your bananas, they can eventually cause the bananas to break down at a faster pace, causing them to go bad much faster than you anticipated.
Finally, there is nothing more annoying than going to grab a banana only to realize it’s no good.
Place Some Plastic Wrap on the Stems of the Bananas
You might think that the best thing to do when buying bananas is to keep them attached, grabbing one at a time when you plan to eat the banana or using it in a recipe. However, this isn’t the case.
Instead of doing that, remove the bananas from the bunch, separating them so they are no longer attached together. Once you do this, grab some plastic wrap and individually wrap it around each of the stems of the bananas. I’ve found it’s handy to use an elastic band to hold the plastic wrap in place.
You’re probably wondering why you’d need to go through the hassle of wrapping the banana stems with plastic wrap, but it’s pretty simple. When wrapped in plastic, the bananas contain more of their ethylene gas, which prevents the ripening process from happening too quickly.
If you don’t want the bananas to end up ripening fast before you’re ready to eat them or use them to make something, this is an important trick that will extend the life of the fruit.
Put Your Bananas in the Fridge
Did you know that you can place your bananas in the fridge to keep them fresh for extended periods? It’s a trick that works, but you’ll need to make sure you’re putting the bananas in the fridge at the right time.
For example, if you put the bananas in your fridge before they’ve started to ripen, the cold temperatures will keep them from ripening at all, or in the time you want to use them. If they don’t ripen some, it’s difficult for you to use the bananas because they’ll lack that sweet taste that you love and enjoy when eating them.
So, the best time to put the bananas in the fridge is after they’ve started to ripen. You can do it as soon as you notice they’re turning more yellow and possibly getting a bit softer than they were to halt the ripening process and keep the bananas fresher for even longer. It’s a great way to keep your bananas in good condition.
Put the Bananas in the Freezer
Like the fridge approach, you can put bananas in the freezer when you need to keep them fresh. You’ll need to wait until the bananas begin to ripen before you place them in there.
Some people put the bananas directly in the freezer because the peel keeps them protected.
However, some prefer placing the ripe bananas in a large food storage bag and then putting them in the freezer. This will keep them fresh for more time than they’d stay fresh if you were leaving them out on the kitchen table.
I place some sliced bananas on parchment paper placed on a small cookie sheet and freeze them. After they harden up from freezing for about 2-3 hours, I place them in an airtight container and return them back to the freezer.
I also peeled and cut the bananas in half and then placed two or three bananas in a Zip Lock bag before placing them in the freezer. This way I have enough bananas for most of my recipes and I just pull them out an hour or so before adding them as an ingredient.
Make sure that you don’t forget about your bananas. You wouldn’t want to leave them in the freezer too long, or else they’d no longer taste as good as they would after the first few days.
Frozen bananas taste like banana ice cream to me. I love them!
Toss Sliced Bananas with a Bit of Lemon Juice
If you’ve sliced your bananas but would like to keep them fresh, even though you don’t use them all, you have options rather than throwing them out. I’ve learned a trick that will keep them from turning brown quickly. While bananas can turn brown within hours of being peeled, there is a way to preserve them so that you can come back later and enjoy them when you’re in the mood.
You’ll need to add one cup of lemon juice and one cup of water to a bowl and toss your banana slices into the bowl, this is optional.
The acidity of the lemon juice keeps them fresh and prevents them from becoming soggy and brown. If you don’t have lemon juice, you can use a different acidic juice, such as lime juice or pineapple juice.
Even when you’re using the juice on the bananas, it doesn’t drastically alter the taste of the fruit. So, you can expect your bananas to still taste great.
You Can Dehydrate Bananas
I love to dehydrate bananas and they make great healthy snacks as well! In case you missed this post, How To Dehydrate Bananas. When my family comes to visit, they look for the pint-size mason jars I have filled with my dehydrated fruits and vegetables, including dehydrated banana chips. If dehydrated properly they are a good option for long-term storage since the process extends their shelf life.
These are great for snacking, taking camping, and sending a baggie full in lunchboxes for the kids. I use this slicer to make the banana slices as consistent in thickness as possible. Banana Slicer
Here is my dehydrated banana chips recipe that is pretty simple for anyone to follow.
Step 1: Peel and Slice the Bananas
Once peeled, try to cut or slice the bananas as evenly as possible. I put them in the lemon juice as mentioned above so they don’t turn brown during the drying process.
Step 2: Place the Slices on Your Dehydrator Trays
Each of my trays or racks has a perforated plastic sheet so the slices aren’t as likely to stick. Make a single layer of sliced bananas so they can dry more quickly and have a consistent leathery crispness.
Step 3: Set the Temperature and Timer
My Excalibur Dehydrator book said to set the temperature at (135°F) = (57°C) degrees. Turn it on while you slice the bananas. Depending on the humidity of your location and the room where you normally dehydrate your foods, the time and temperature will be different. There are also a number of brands of dehydrators, so yours may work differently than mine. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
I have an Excalibur dehydrator that I love. It has nine shelves, so I can dehydrate a fairly large “batch” of fruits or veggies.
Step 4: Check the Banana Chips
You need to check the banana chips from time to time to make sure they are drying as expected and have the texture you want.
Step 5: Gently Remove the Banana Chips
Once the dehydration process is complete, remove the chips gently and place them in airtight containers.
Step 6: Condition the Banana Chips
If you live where it’s HUMID: “To condition the fruit, take the dried fruit that has cooled and pack it loosely in plastic or glass jars. Seal the containers and let them stand for 7 to 10 days. The excess moisture in some pieces will be absorbed by the drier pieces. Shake the jars daily to separate the pieces and check the moisture condensation.” https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/pack_store.html
I used to live in the DRY DESERT: I set my fruit and vegetables on my countertop for 5-7 days. Ten days is even better to make sure everything is dry before using your FoodSaver unit.
- 6-8 bananas
- 1 cup lemon juice (optional)
- 1 cup water (optional)
My Excalibur Dehydrator book said to set the temperature at (135°F) = (57°C) degrees. Turn it on while you slice the bananas.
Lemon water recipe: 1 cup water to 1 cup lemon juice (optional). Dip the peeled and sliced bananas in the lemon juice mixture to keep the sliced bananas from darkening. Drain the sliced bananas.
Place the sliced bananas on your dehydrator racks as evenly as possible without having them touch each other.
These took 4 hours today, the time will always depend on the thickness of the bananas and the humidity of the room you are using to dehydrate the bananas. The finished product should be leathery.
Be sure and "condition" your bananas before storing them.
If you live where it is HUMID: "To condition the fruit, take the dried fruit that has cooled and pack it loosely in plastic or glass jars. Seal the containers and let them stand for 7 to 10 days. The excess moisture in some pieces will be absorbed by the drier pieces. Shake the jars daily to separate the pieces and check the moisture condensation." https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/dry/pack_store.html
I use to live in the DRY DESERT: I set my fruit and vegetables on my countertop for 5-7 days. Ten days is even better to make sure everything is dry before using your FoodSaver unit.
I use my FoodSaver to store these dehydrated bananas without oxygen absorbers, they will last for one year safely.
Are there other ways to dehydrate or dry bananas and other fruits and vegetables?
Yes, there are other options. You can use your kitchen oven if you can set the temperature low enough. They suggest 170 degrees, if possible. If you can’t set yours that low, put it on the lowest setting and leave the oven door ajar using a wad of foil. You’ll want to put your bananas on cookie or baking sheets with a small amount of cooking spray or use parchment paper.
I haven’t done it before, but some people sware that using their air fryer to dry out food products by air frying works great. You should be able to find a quality air fryer recipe to make your fir fryer banana chips if you want to try that approach. Air fryers are becoming very popular these days!
These are some of the best ways to preserve bananas when you want to keep them ripe and fresh. If you don’t want the bananas to ripen too fast or turn mushy and brown to the point that you can’t use them, try one or more of these different techniques, all of which work wonders to extend the life of the fruit. May God Bless this world, Linda