One thing is for sure; bananas are good for baking. Nothing goes with a morning coffee quite like some freshly toasted banana bread. There are all kinds of baked goods that can be improved by bananas, like muffins, breakfast bars, brownies, waffles and even cakes.
But fresh bananas can be a difficult fruit to work with, particularly for cafes and eateries that buy bananas in bulk. Not only do bananas take a few days to ripen to the point where they can be used in baked goods, but the window in which you can use the bananas before they spoil is also very tight, lasting approximately 2-3 days. This can result in both food and money being wasted.
Are frozen bananas a viable alternative though? Freezing bananas makes them easier to preserve, extending their lifespan from a few days to a few months. However, there are many that believe that frozen bananas have their taste and nutritional qualities adversely affected by the freezing process, making them less ideal for baking than fresh bananas. The question remains; are frozen bananas good for baking?
Do Frozen Bananas Work for Baking?
The short answer is Yes.
The longer answer? Not only do frozen bananas work for baking, but they arguably work better for baking than fresh bananas. Not only does the freezing process not affect the taste or the nutritional value of the bananas, but defrosting bananas makes them softer and therefore easier to mix into batter.
How to Use Frozen Bananas for Baking
Before any baking can be done, the bananas need to be defrosted. This can be achieved in multiple ways, such as:
- Leaving them in a bowl to thaw on the kitchen counter.
- Thawing them in the microwave on low for three to four minutes (or using the defrost setting).
- Placing them in a bag and then submerging the bag in warm water for about 10 minutes.
It’s worth noting that, regardless of the method you use, it’s important to keep the bananas in a container, as the defrosting process tends to result in a build up of water that can cause a mess. Once the bananas have been defrosted, you can add them to the batter of your baked good of choice (as per the recipe, of course).
How to Store Frozen Bananas for Baking
Freezing bananas is as simple and straightforward as you think it is. Simply take your bananas, place them in a freezer bag and then place them in a freezer. Anyone can do that, but did you know that bananas can be refrozen?
If you thaw your bananas and then decide you’re not going to use them all, you can freeze them again with minimal changes to nutritional value and taste. Additionally, before you refreeze your bananas, you can mash them so that you won’t have to later on when you’re prepping for your next baking project.
What You Can Make With Frozen Bananas?
The amount of recipes that frozen bananas can be used for are not just limited to baked goods. On top of the previously mentioned banana bread, muffins, breakfast bars, brownies, waffles and cakes, you can make delicious smoothies, frozen yoghurt, ice cream, etc.
What makes bananas perfect for any kind of food prep is not only their taste and versatility, but also their many health benefits, such as;
- An abundance of nutrients including potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, net carbs, fiber, protein and fat.
- A richness of different kinds of fiber such as pectin and resistant starch, which aids digestion.
- Low calories, aiding weight loss while also being very filling.
Fresh vs. Frozen Bananas – Can You Taste the Difference?
The answer to this question depends entirely on personal taste. Some people do not notice a difference, while others have noticed that bananas become sweeter after being frozen.
There is a scientific explanation for this involving the water contained inside the banana freezing and breaking down the cellular structure of the banana, releasing an enzyme known as amylase that deconstructs the starch into various substances including glucose.
However, the difference is very slight, and it should not deter anybody interested in trying frozen bananas.
Contact us to learn more about our frozen banana options and make an order.