Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Frozen Ripe Bananas Thawed Out

This is a wet pile of black bananas, three bananas total. They were frozen and pulled out of the freezer to thaw in the refrigerator on this plate for three days.

If you have bananas that you stuck in the freezer in anticipation of using for some baking purpose, don't think for a minute you have to wait three days for them to thaw. That's simply not true.

If you have bananas that you stuck in the freezer and since removed to thaw
  1. in the refrigerator, you'll see they'll be ready the next day
  2. on the counter-top, they'll be ready to go in a couple hours
I've done both options plenty of times. My question was how long do thawed bananas stay good enough to bake with?

I pulled the ones pictured above out of the freezer four days ago, thinking I'd use them Sunday. Didn't happen. Tonight I'm finally going to use them. If the recipe goes
  • without a hitch, you'll see the results.
  • foul, you'll see the results.
  • foul due to bad bananas, you'll hear all about it, play-by-play
Trust me.

Crap, now I realize I don't have a label for this post!

I'll take a vote*: should I leave it label-less (other than an attention for voting) or label it something? If something, what specifically? Please leave comments with your vote. Voting ends midnight August 14, 2010 PST. Results will be posted by 9:42 p.m. PST August 15, 2010 unless I'm busy, then it'll be postponed for 24 hours. Thanks for your votes and your patience.

Better yet, vote and tell me how many days thawed out your bananas stayed good enough to use for baking. Either way, we're all going to get a prize.

*Yes, I realize that as of today there are no regular readers and thus, I'm supplying adequate time for me to improve my readership and thus get voters.

So what the hell did I do with those bananas?  Check it out: I made Hummingbird Cake
This week I tested it - bananas thawed out on the counter at room temperature and then stored in the refrigerator for 7 days are perfectly fine to use. They don't smell weird or look any worse than those used immediately after thawing. I'll show you when I get around to posting the pics.


Laura said...

I have never frozen bananas with the skins on, nor have I ever thawed them. I usually peel them, toss them in Ziploc, and then use them frozen for smoothies. I'm interested to see how this turns out!

I vote no label needed :)

The Cook said...

Nature's packaging works very well in the case of bananas. However, I see that if you just need a couple banana chunks to make a smoothie on the fly (ha ha!), you wouldn't want to wait for thaw time.

Word to the wise: those bananas look mushy and juicy-leaky because they are juicy and leaky. And quite mushy. I don't know that I'd be thrilled to knowingly have a smoothie made from these juicy-leaky-mushy jokers. But what do I know? I'm just The Cook.

Anonymous said...

Damn! I was hoping for some answers. I too have thawed frozen bananas in the fridge for two days and am wondering if I make banana bread will it taste like rot. Where is the play-by-play?!
If I decide to risk wasting a cube of butter, I will give it a go and let you know.

The Cook said...

Anonymous, you crack me up. If you haven't yet baked the bread and the bananas are still available, go ahead and do some baking. The results won't taste at all like rot.

I used those old bananas of mine to make Hummingbird Cake. (I'll update this banana post with a direct link straight away.)

I'll be waiting for you to come back and let me know how the bread turned out!!

Emily said...

I used thawed bananas for the first time and did a google search to see if the mushy texture was meant to happen and found your post. Love it! I am writing a post about my banana bread that I used them for... and will be linking back to you. Hope it brings you some traffic! Nice to "meet" you! :)

PS. Will be posting my write up this morning! Hope you come by and check it out!

The Cook said...

Hi Emily! So nice to "meet" you too! I checked out your post and your results sound about what I'd expect. In my experience, the mushier and gross the banana is in texture, the more moist the bread/cake. It's a weird phenomenon, but you gotta just roll with it sometimes, as in the case of awesome bread from funky-looking/textured bananas. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Just found this site. Hummingbird cake looks awesome! Quick question....I froze bananas with skins on. When I thawed them, I get excess juice in the bowl. Do I drain this before mashing or just leave it?

The Cook said...

I have never used the excess liquid in the bowl or plate used for thawing. I just pull away the skin and let the already mushy banana flop out into a clean bowl or directly into whatever I'm making. I hope that makes sense. :)

Cameron Strode said...

We're making banana bread today. The bananas were so mushy.Hope it tastes good.

The Cook said...

Cameron, the mushiness definitely makes one think there is no way it will turn out ok but it always has for me. I hope your bread was fantastic!

Anonymous said...

I just ate a thawed out banana with juice and all. Not so good looking banana but the juice is like syrup so sweet. So if you make bread, include the "banana syrup". Yum.

The Cook said...

The texture of a frozen/thawed banana might gross me out but definitely worth trying inclusion of the liquid in bread. Thanks for the comment, Anon!