What Can I Do With All These Bananas?
B-A-NA-NA-S….Bananas! Of course, I had to sing the song as I wrote that. Anyway, today I want to share all the amazing ways you can stock and store bananas, whether you grow them or snatch them from the store. Bananas only last about a week fresh, but they can last longer if you know how to do it!
What Can I Do With All These Bananas?
There are so many ways you can store and stock bananas. It amazes me everything we can do to take advantage of this delicious and cost-effective fruit. I suggest going to your local farmer’s market and grabbing as many as you can because you are going to love how many different ways you can keep them longer!
Freeze Your Bananas
Obviously, we can go to the store and buy frozen fruit in a bag, which typically contains bananas. But why do that when you can freeze your own? Keep in mind that when you freeze bananas, they are mushy once you thaw them, so you will probably want to use them in things instead of eating them directly. There are a couple of ways you can freeze bananas:
#1 Freeze them in Slices
Sliced bananas are great for throwing in your morning smoothie or making ice cream! Here’s how to freeze sliced bananas:
- Peel the bananas, first. Then, slice them to your desired size. I use this Banana Slicer, it makes the slices uniform in size.
Put your banana slices in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets. Freeze them for 2 hours. You can then pull a handful out when you need them. (They taste like ice cream to me.)
Next, transfer your frozen bananas into freezer Ziploc bags. Label and date your bags. You can also break the bananas into larger chunks that you can put into those same freezer bags without taking the time to cut them into slices and freezing them first.
#2 Freeze the Whole Banana
If you are feeling a bit lazy, you don’t even have to do all the work above. Here’s how you freeze a whole banana:
Peel the bananas and place them in a Tupperware-type container.
You can also freeze whole bananas in the skin. When you want to use them, the peel has naturally “mashed” them, making them great for baking. The skin will turn brown/black in the freezer, but they are still good to use.
Recently, we learned from Harvard Medical School that many baby food products were tainted with dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, cadmium, and mercury. With that being said, I would strongly encourage families with babies to make their own baby food. You can puree your own bananas! Here’s how:
- Slice a very ripe banana.
- Add it to the blender and blend until very smooth.
- Add flavorings, if you desire, and blend more.
- Stir in a few drops of fresh lemon or orange juice to prevent browning.
- Serve when made, or store for later.
- I used a Baby Food Grinder when I raised my daughters. Obviously, they don’t sell the kind I used 50 years ago.
How to Store Pureed Bananas
You can store your pureed bananas in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3-days. If you want to store it longer, there are a couple things you can do:
- Freeze it: To freeze it, place the puree in ice cube trays. Freeze them until they are frozen solid. Then, transfer the cubes to a freezer bag so you can easily pull a serving out for your little one. It’s good for up to 3-months.
- Canning: Bananas are not safe to can. You may see some posts on canning bananas for baby food, but it is not safe to do, my friends.
Dehydrate Your Bananas
Another great way to stock and store your bananas is to dehydrate them! Dehydrated bananas can last 6 to 12 months. I recommend dehydrating some of your bananas for the simple fact that it doesn’t require refrigeration. This means you will still have food even if you don’t have power! I have an Excalibur Dehydrator and I set my unit at 135 degrees.
They took about 4 hours to dry, the time to dehydrate will always depend on the humidity of the room you are using to dry them and the temperature of your unit. It took about four hours to dehydrate these to get to the stage I call leathery. Read my post How to Dehydrate Bananas to learn how. They make great snacks.
How to Use Bananas
In addition to stocking bananas for the long haul, there are lots of different ways you can use them. I like a good banana every day, but I wanted to figure out some other things I could do with the fruit and the peelings. So, here are some easy ways you can use them:
Peelings in the Garden
After you eat, freeze, puree, or dehydrate your bananas, don’t just throw the peelings in the trash. Banana peelings are great for your garden! In fact, bananas peels contain 42% potassium which is one of the 3 commonly used components of fertilizer. So, use them to help fertilize your garden bed instead. You can throw these cut peelings in your compost pile or turn them under in your garden beds.
Dehydrate Your Banana Peelings
Wash the bananas after removing the stickers on them. Cut the hard ends off (I discard those). Then slice the banana peelings about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch wide and 1-2-inches in length. Spread them evenly on your dehydrator racks. Set your dehydrator at 145 degrees for about 4-6 hours or until your peelings are crispy. The time to dry will always depend on the humidity of the room. You can pulverize them into powder or take them directly out to your garden beds to use as fertilizer.
You can use fresh bananas, or the ones you plopped in the freezer last month, to make a variety of different and delicious smoothies. Here are just a few different smoothie recipes you can enjoy:
- 5-Minute Banana Smoothie
- Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- Breakfast Coffee Banana Smoothie
- Chocolate Banana Smoothie
You might think that once your banana peel turns black that it’s time to throw them out. Before you do that, stop! The absolute BEST bananas for banana bread varieties aren’t yellow, they are black, or at least the brownish/black-streaked ones. The darker the better for a true banana flavor in the finished bread! If you have some overripe bananas, here are some delicious bread recipes to try:
My Banana Bread Recipe
- 1/3 cup butter (original recipe called for shortening)
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
- 1-3/4 cup white flour (I use bread flour)
- 1-2 cups mashed bananas (I like more banana in mine)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a bread pan and set it aside. Cream butter and eggs. Add the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Makes one loaf. Bake for 45-50 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack. Store in a bag to keep it fresh for 2-3 days.
In addition to breads, brown or overripe bananas are perfect for dessert recipes! Consider trying one of these delicious desserts:
Other Banana Posts to Read
I love bananas, so I have several posts on my blog where you can find recipes and learn more about bananas. In case you missed them, here they are:
- 20 Healthy Banana Recipes
- Bananas: Everything You Need to know
- How to Dehydrate Bananas
- Cranberry Banana Coffee Cake
What Can I Do With All These Bananas?
As a prepper, it is super important to know how to take the food that we can grow or buy fresh and learn to preserve and use it. Make sure you are learning how to stretch your food! Keep prepping my friends. May God Bless this world, Linda
17 thoughts on “What Can I Do With All These Bananas?”
Hi Linda, we eat hot cereal every morning, usually oatmeal. We each add a mashed banana to our bowls. When making cereal, I add a teaspoon of cinnamon, a teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of honey to 1& 1/2cups long cooking oatmeal(Bob’s Red Mill extra thick cut or Oat Groats) + ½ cup of oat bran, and 3 cups of water. This cooks overnight in a small slow cooker on Low. We add the mashed banana and a dollop of yogurt to eat bowl and it’s ready to eat. The banana, cinnamon, vanilla, and the honey added at set up, plus the yogurt,(plain, vanilla, or honey flavored) provide plenty of sweetness, at least for adults. It’s good for breaking away from those overly sweet, unhealthy, and flavored packets, and has a lot more fiber and nutritional value. Bananas make great healthy filling, nutritious snacks too. Out of hand, or sliced with wheat germ, or that small portion of nuts we are supposed to eat every day. I sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on them too. I buy about 14-16 a week. Banana fiber is one of the best fibers for preventing constipation and diarrhea.
Hi MaryAnn, I like hearing you add mashed bananas to your oatmeal bowl. I love cinnamon in just about everything! Bananas are so good! Linda
Hey Linda! I’ve peeled the bananas and vacuum packed them and the froze them. They’ve been if the freezer for a little over a year and still look good. I’ll I’ve them for my mom’s banana bread recipe. I also add more bananas than called for. Larry also ordered me 2 big bags of dehydrated bananas. I do have the banana slicer like yours. I was going to dehydrate some, but he bought them for me. The slicer would be great for making banana pudding, too. We love bananas.
Hi Deborah, I love banana bread and banana pudding!! I use that slicer when I want a dessert to look a bit fancier! Your hubby takes good care of you by ordering some dehydrated bananas! I love it! Linda
Yes ma’am, Linda. He does take good care of me, and I take care of him. He has Amazon Prime. LOL He did surprise me with them. If I find something I want, I put it in my want list and he’ll order it for me. He’s good like that.
Hi Deborah, I love those wish/want lists!! I love it! Linda
Great article. I dehydrate bananas for long term storage (up to 3 years) and freeze them for short term storage (three months or less).
Hi Roland, thank you for your kind words!! Bananas are the best!! Thank you for the 5 star! Linda
You left out freeze drying them. I know not everyone has a freeze dryer or even a good dehydrater, but freeze dried foods are great. Better than dhydrated. Lot better than canned. Then nothing beats the fresh picked items. Freeze drying comes closer than other ways of saving them.
I said a good dehydrator as we have two that are no longer made. No temperature or timer on them. Each has eight 17″ square racks which let you dehydrate a lot at once, and even puting onions in with other items have never had the other pick up any onion smell. The trays have a 1/2″ lip so doing fruit leather we put 18″ plastice wrap in and pour the mixtre on it and spread it around. When done just row it up in the plastic wrap, Easy to unroll. Put in air tight containers, (5 gallon buckets work). Have kept some several years if we can keep the kids and grandkids out of it, but a good snack for them.
Hi Chester, oh yes, freeze-dried is the best! I love dehydrating bananas, and freezing is awesome. Yes, fresh is best but it sure is nice to have some preserved for later! Great comment, Linda
I never vacuum seal bananas or go to the extra steps for the freezer. I freeze them in their skins (as long as there are no splits in the skin. Their skin protects the inside and I’ve kept them for a year or more before pulling them out, and they’re great. For smoothies, I put them in the blender whole. For banana bread, I have to thaw them first. So yummy. What a wonderful invention a banana is. The original banana is nothing like what farmers have engineered today.
For the garden, no need to dehydrating the peeling, just bury next to plants or under new plant.
When I dehydrating bananas mine will take longer to dry but we like them crispy. We are just completing dehydrating two FULL banana boxes my son bought for $2.50 each box. (I estimated about 120 banana in each box-GREAT deal he got)
After dehydrating I put in freezer bags, put in freezer for two days (to kill any bug eggs that may have got on) then store. 🙂
Hi Lav, oh my gosh, I love hearing stories like this! 120 bananas, how exciting! What a bargain!!! Thank goodness for dehydrators! Linda
Thanks for your info as always!
I need to send you bread recipe from 1979 Mo
Tab cook book. Not sure why most bread recipes do not include spices… this one does. Really adds flavor. Nuts too, and brown sugar.
Hi Dave, brown sugar???? That sounds really good! I forgot about putting nuts in!! Mark was helping me put the batter in the pans and he said “should we add nuts” as in walnuts!!! I was too tired to go get them from the freezer. I would love your recipe to try! Linda
Hello, I read your post I will try your recipe as soon as possible, I discovered another great content that gives the latest dessert ideas, I leave a link for that interested >>> https://food4rt.com/banana-bread-homemade-vegan-banana-bread-calories-100g /
Hi Darla, thank you for the vegan recipe! Yay! Linda