5 Easy Steps to Defrosting Bananas — Peeled or Unpeeled

Do you currently have an arsenal of bananas in your freezer because you got overexcited at the supermarket and now don't want them to go to waste? We've been there! Banana bread is a great way to use your stock, but there is much more you can do — from filling smoothies to delicious protein shakes to straight-up decadent desserts — that is, once you've figured out how to defrost the fruit without leaving a mushy mess behind (and no, just leaving bananas out on your counter and waiting hours is not the best option).

The National Center For Food Health Preservation recommends this easy five-step process to defrost bananas:

  1. Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water, unless you want your bananas to be soft (for banana bread or a smoothie, for example). If that's the case, opt for warmer water.
  2. If not already bagged, put the frozen bananas (peeled or unpeeled) in a storage bag.
  3. Submerge the sealed bag into the water and let it sit for five minutes.
  4. Remove the bag from the water. If the bananas are still too hard to cut, replace the warm water. Let the bag sit in the bowl for a few more minutes and repeat the process if the bananas are not yet thawed.
  5. If your bananas are not peeled, now is the time to do it. To avoid mushing the banana, use a small paring knife to make a long cut lengthwise through the peel, then simply unwrap the fruit.

According to the FDA, frozen bananas stay fresh and maintain their flavor for two to three months, so make sure you use your frozen fruit before that deadline. Dating the bag in which the bananas are stored will help keep you organized.