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