- Ease of storage, and ease of use (when retrieved from freezer).
- Taste. (I'm not considering texture, as this was lost in all cases.)
Following popular suggestions found on the web, bananas were either chopped before freezing or frozen whole (in the skin). Thawing was done either naturally or with the help of a microwave, and the banana was used in the yoghurt/cereal.
Bananas were either removed from the bag and the bunch broken up before being put "naked" in the freezer, or the bag was put in the freezer whole. I did not try freezing whole peeled bananas as I thought you may as well chop once you've peeled the thing.
In this case, each banana was peeled, sliced and frozen in a separate bag. (The packages, once frozen, are tiny, and using boxes for such small portions would take up too much space.) This is pretty labour-intensive as the recommendation is to process the whole bunch once bought.
For natural thawing, the banana (whichever way it was packaged) was left at room temperature. The microwave was also used on the complete banana; in the case of bagged slices, the bag was opened or emptied into a bowl. Whole bananas were either skinned by slicing down the length (once thawed), or squeezed out of the skin (like toothpaste) once one end had been cut off with a knife.
Slitting the skin on a thawed banana is tricky, so I settled on the toothpaste squeeze method. Figure 2 shows the squeezed out content of the banana in Figure 1, while Fig. 3 illustrates the microwaved equivalent. Despite the brown bits, I preferred the microwave version as it didn't remind me of one of the killer pond creatures from Prometheus.
The first method I tried was thawing naturally (Fig. 4). It could have been my imagination, but the banana tasted plasticky.
While a ready-sliced banana in a bag may seem the most convenient, given the thawing difficulty and taste problems, I have settled with freezing whole bananas. In fact, throwing the bag into the freezer as it is works as well as breaking the bunch apart.
- Chuck the bag in freezer.
- To use, tear open the bag, snap a banana off, put it roughly parallel to the circumference of a plate and microwave for 30s to a minute.
- Cut off one end with scissors (I chop the opposite end to the stalk, which I use as a handle), and while taking care not to burn yourself, squeeze the inside of the banana into a bowl.
- Chop and mix in the rest of your cereals or yoghurt.