Canning Bananas?

kriswrite(zone 8)April 25, 2012

Just ran across a blog post ( )about canning bananas to use for banana bread, etc. It's an interesting idea, but I've never seen an approved recipe for this. Thoughts?

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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

She suggests "a small amount of lemon juice (a couple of teaspoons per 4 quarts or so), Fruit Fresh or citric acid to prevent browning" - at no point does she address bananas being low acid, or higher in ph than is in the range recommended as safe.

I wouldn't touch it. Bananas are available for approximately the same price year round here and we're hardly banana growing climate :), I can mash a few in about one minute.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 9:23PM
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Just throw your over ripe bananas in the freezer, they'll keep fine for banana bread.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 11:51PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Ripe bananas are 5.0-5.29 pH, which is well above the line for water bath canning. They are also dense, which presents additional problems. I suppose that's why no testing has been done to determine the appropriate amount of acid to add, but I'm guessing it would alter the flavor significantly.

Aside from that I can't imagine expending the jars and utilities when a few extra bananas can be tossed in the freezer. Given the usual low price of bananas, I can't see the advantage of stocking up in bulk, even if it were possible to do safely.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 12:47PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Agree with all of the above. Even some of the most adventuresome canners I know - those who make me cringe with some of the things they will can - don't recommend this one. Freeze or dehydrate bananas is the standard practice.

If safety in canning is at all of interest then stick with reputable sources rather then things like this.


    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 1:41PM
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kriswrite(zone 8)

I already freeze overripe bananas, but I do like to have things that are shelf stable. Thanks for the advice!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 3:47PM
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You should seriously consider dehydrating them instead of canning -- definitely "shelf stable" for a couple of years IF dried and packed properly. And, very easily rehydrated for cooking IF they make it that far -- they make a wonderful snack food.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2012 at 9:03PM
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kriswrite(zone 8)

Yep, I dehydrate them, too. But they never last long because the kids and hubby eat them like candy :)

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 3:03AM
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I am not at all trying to be argumentative. Just curious.

Here is a recipe I have used in the past from Sure-Jell. Is this recipe not safe?


Here is a link that might be useful: Sure Jell Banana Butter Recipe

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 5:17PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

It is safe because it has added acid, and it also has sugar to help preserve it. The high amount of sugar binds up the water, which allows bacteria to grow. It is called water activity. That is why dehydration works for most foods, it removes the water/moisture so the foods don't have a food source to grow.
Just canning bananas with some lemon juice will NOT be safe.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2012 at 8:23PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

You will also notice that recipe contains a half-cup of lemon juice, which is quite a lot. That changes the equation considerably. It might be more accurate to say it's Banana-Lemon Butter.

Recipes like that are tested, which Sure-Jell, like other big companies, has the resources for.


    Bookmark   May 15, 2012 at 4:11AM
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Thank you Carol and Linda Lou. That's what I needed to know. I appreciate your expertise. I've been reading a lot of different references and I have been sticking with the Certo, Sure-Jell, Ball Blue Book and NCHFP and I like the book Small Batch Preserving (Ellie Topp?). Anyway, thanx for taking the time to provide the explanation! I sure do like making jams and jellies! But, safety is my priority. I figured Sure-Jell was ok, I just needed to know why. Thanx again!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2012 at 11:32AM
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