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Bananas are a great fruit for nearly any occasion.
Whether you want to make a tasty smoothie, or put them in a delicious ice cream sundae, or bake banana bread, they’re a versatile, yummy fruit.
But, bananas do not have a very long shelf life.
Even if you purchase the greenest bananas at the store, they are not likely to last more than a week on the counter.
Even if you take precautions like separating your bananas and wrapping the tops in plastic, they will turn brown in a few days.
So, what can you do with bananas once they’ve reached their due date?
All is not lost; don’t throw them in the trash!
You can vacuum seal bananas and store them in the freezer to use at a later date.
How to vacuum seal bananas
Storing bananas is actually very easy.
Luckily, it requires very little preparation on your part, so you can get them into the freezer with just a few minutes of work.
First, peel the bananas.
To vacuum seal bananas, first remove the peels.
This will save you a big mess and headache when you go to use them fresh out of the freezer.
Have you ever tried to peel a frozen banana?
While it’s possible, it’s not a fun time.
It’s messy, it’s cold, and you end up losing a lot of the banana if you want to remove all of the peel.
You will be ahead of the game if you peel bananas before vacuum sealing them.
To peel a banana, start at the end without the stem.
While this may be contrary to your natural instincts, it’s actually much easier to peel a banana if you start from the bottom end.
By peeling a banana from the bottom, the peel separates much more easily from the fruit, and you get a cleaner peel.
It will begin to feel more natural after a couple of peels.
Of course, you can peel the banana any way you prefer – just make sure that it’s peeled.
Slice the bananas if you choose.
Before you vacuum seal the bananas, go ahead and slice them if you like.
You can freeze them either whole or sliced with no ill consequences.
However, if you plan to bake with sliced bananas once you remove them from the freezer, it’s a good idea to slice the bananas at this point.
When you remove them from storage, you can add them directly to most desserts, regardless of if they are still frozen.
If you want to use sliced bananas in your dessert, it will be much easier to slice them before freezing.
If you don’t mind using whole bananas, you can skip the slicing step. Bananas will freeze well frozen or sliced.
It’s your decision!
Place bananas into the vacuum sealer bag.
Before you put bananas into the bag, think about the recipes that you will make with them.
Store the bananas in quantities according to the number of bananas that you are likely to use at once.
For example, if you will use the bananas to give your smoothies a creamy texture, store only one or two bananas together at a time.
On the other hand, if you want to bake several loaves of banana bread at once, feel free to store five or six bananas together.
Remember, once they’re stored together, you will probably need to use them at the same time.
Trying to re-vacuum seal bananas that have already been frozen is a hassle, and it generally does not turn out well.
So, make a point to store bananas in quantities that you will be likely to use at once.
If you do not know how many bananas you will use, store one or two together at a time.
When you’ve decided how many bananas you want to store together, place them inside the vacuum sealer bag.
Make sure that they fit closely together, and pack them flat for easy storage.
You’ll freeze them in the shape that vacuum sealing molds them to, so make sure that they will stack nicely in the freezer.
While you cannot make them perfectly flat, hedge your bet by packing them in the bag in a single layer next to one another.
Once the bananas are in the bag, place the open edge into your vacuum sealer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
After the bag is sealed, label it with the date and contents, and place it in the freezer.
Bananas will store for a few months in the freezer without worry.
If you’ve done a good job of vacuum sealing, they will stay good for up to a year.
When you want to use the frozen bananas, just cut the bag open, and add them to your favorite recipe.
Be sure to allow for a little extra baking time if you’re using frozen bananas.
They’ll also add some liquid to the mix, so be sure to account for this in other parts of your recipe.
As you can see, vacuum sealing bananas is a simple chore with big rewards.
Now, you can make banana bread anytime you want using your fresh, frozen bananas!
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