The Muffins That Almost Weren’t

Recently I shared these muffins. What I didn’t tell you is they almost didn’t happen. Weekly I buy bananas but sometimes we don’t get to them as fast as we should. It rarely gets to the point that I’ve forgotten about them entirely and they have to be tossed. Though one week I decided instead of risking too many going bad before we’d have a chance to eat them, I froze four. I’d asked my lovely blogger friends on twitter if it was doable. We have a deep freezer but in all honestly, it doesn’t get used like it should. I’m not overly familiar with what really can or can’t be frozen or best practices… at least on a personal level. I usually ask around for advice or simply google. What would we do without google?

Anyway… so I froze some bananas. I had read it’s best to peel them before freezing. Easy enough. Peel, toss in a bag, push out as much air as possible, then seal that sucker up and freeze. Great. Done. Now what?

Well… here’s where the problem came in. No where had I read info on defrosting bananas for baked goods and no one had told me what to expect either. I think a lot of times people freeze bananas they end up geting tossed into the blender partially frozen for smoothies so thawing isn’t a huge deal. Maybe some people have never even bothered to thaw them? Trust me, thawed bananas can be a scary sight. I’m not even remotely joking here.

I took two of the four bananas, tossed them in a container one night before bed and let them thaw out in the fridge. In the morning I was horrified. They were a brown soggy messy. Sure they still had what appeared to be the general look of bananas but upon a wiggle of the container I was brought back to the Dirty Jobs gooey duck episode. I won’t go into details. If you’ve seen it, maybe you’ll understand.

The color, the general sogginess and all of the liquid sitting in the container made me sad. I was sure they weren’t usable in baked goods. My sadness and general lack of patience brought me to the conclusion that they were completely and utterly ruined and not usable. I drained the liquid, closed the container and pouted off into the other room. Then I went back to google.

I should have googled first, supposedly you can use these bananas just fine with or without the liquid and not have your muffins or whatever else be strange. I still don’t like the idea of it, but know that it can be done. I then remembered there were still two bananas in the freezer and I really wanted to make muffins. So what’d I do? I tossed the bag into a bowl and left it on the counter for 30-45 minutes before checking. I simply went about my business for a while and then came back to find they were softening nicely on their own. No brown gunk, no liquid, nothing scary at all. When they were soft enough, I squeezed them by hand while they were still sealed in the bag. It worked like a charm.

So let this be a lesson… brown, strange and liquidy doesn’t always mean it’s bad. Sometimes there are other ways of doing things you might not have thought of before. And… have some patience. Do your research before you get into something new. Also, extra ingredients is always a good thing for when mishaps happen… and they DO happen. :)

**And btw… for those of you who commented on how much you love the pretty blue liners. They’re from my favorite baking supply shop: Bake It Pretty

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14 Responses to “The Muffins That Almost Weren’t”

  1. #
    Elizabeth — August 15, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I can attest to 1) the ugliness of thawed bananas and 2) that they are perfectly usable, liquid and all, in baked goods. If you want to see really unattractive, forget to peel them before freezing and then thaw.

  2. #
    Jan — August 15, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Defrosted bananas are quite the site! Loved reading your first experience with them :)

  3. #
    Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen — August 15, 2011 at 9:25 am

    LOLOL and ewwww :D

  4. #
    Emily — August 15, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I like to save the bag and just freeze them in the peel. And yes, they look pretty gross when you thaw them, but they work great! We like to make Cinnamon Banana Pancakes with them!

  5. #
    DessertForTwo — August 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    I know exactly what you’re talking about with defrosted bananas. It doesn’t scare me anymore, but I was making pancakes for my honey once with them, and he walked in the kitchen and saw them and was a litle concerned with what I was putting in his pancakes. Needless to say, the taste won out in the end :)

  6. #
    natalie (the sweets life) — August 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    great story! I actually freeze them in the peel and then let them sit on the counter to thaw…sometimes I also defrost in the microwave if I’m in a hurry!

    Gross looking but effective and soo worth it for banana bread :)

  7. #
    alex — August 15, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    yeah..they look terrible, but taste just fine. I like to use the liquid too..I think it adds flavor.

  8. #
    Denise @ Creative Kitchen — August 15, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Too funny! I’ve been freezing bananas & thawing/baking for ages it seems. I can see how that would definitely frighten off some people :)

  9. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — August 15, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    HA! I can totally relate! I have learned they are ok to use though. Your muffins look great!

  10. #
    marla — August 16, 2011 at 9:15 am

    So happy you told us that about the thawed bananas. I had no idea!

  11. #
    Isabelle @ Crumb — August 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I freeze overripe bananas all the time, and I know exactly what you mean about how scary they look when you thaw them out… thankfully, you can’t taste the difference at all once they’re baked. :)
    I’ve got a few bananas in the freezer right now, actually. You’ve just reminded me I’m long overdue for a batch of banana muffins!

  12. #
    Sandra — August 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

    They used to creep me out too and your finished product looks great.

  13. #
    Elle — August 19, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    i always freeze bananas if I can’t use them right away. Sometimes, I don’t even peel them! Other times, I peel and smush them, put them in a zip top bag, flatten them out and get all of the air out. They thaw quickly when they’re flat. And I use them straight out of the bag.

  14. #
    Caneel — September 2, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    LOL! I freeze bananas all the time and yes, they are disgusting when they thaw out – I had the same thought when I first did it. But I use them all the time, liquid and all – usually defrost in the microwave for a few minutes at 30% for quick use. – and everything seems to come out fine.

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