Can You Freeze Sweet Banana Peppers?

Sweet banana peppers are delicious and very popular. They are bright yellow in color and have a mild, but slightly tangy flavor. You can use them in stews and casseroles, in Mexican cookery, and simply stuffed and baked in the oven. You can use all sorts of ingredients to stuff these peppers. Perhaps go for a spicy minced meat curry or go vegetarian with rice or cheese. 

Sweet banana peppers are plentiful in the summer and are reasonably priced. There is a temptation to stock up on them, but what if you can’t use them all before they start to deteriorate? The answer is simple. Freeze them. They freeze really well as long as you prepare them in the correct way. However, it’s not advisable to eat them raw when you defrost them. Use them in cooking because they will have lost some of their texture. On the other hand, they will taste almost as good as before being frozen. The reason that it is not advisable to eat them raw after being frozen is that sweet banana peppers have a high water content so when thawed, they will be a little soggy. They can’t be stuffed, but they are a great addition to casseroles and stews. 

Freezing Sweet Banana Peppers

Freezing Fresh Sweet Banana Peppers

It is a good idea to choose ripe and fresh sweet banana peppers. There’s no point choosing peppers that look shriveled as freezing isn’t going to make them better. Once you have your peppers, rinse them under cold running water. Then cut the stem off with a sharp knife and slice the peppers in half. Get rid of the seeds and chop the peppers into slices. You can remove the skin if you want, but leaving the skins on helps them to retain the texture of the peppers.

The next step is to put the peppers on a wax sheet and then place this on a baking tray. Put the baking tray in your freezer and freeze for several hours or even overnight. This will freeze the peppers solid and then they can be put in resealable plastic bags. The slices won’t stick together as they have already been frozen. It is a good idea to remove as much air as possible from the bags as air can make the peppers get freezer burn. This means that they will dehydrate. 

After sealing the bags, remember to label them with the date they are put in the freezer. If you are freezing lots of different items, you may forget the date you put the sweet banana peppers in the fridge.     

Freezing Cooked Sweet Banana Peppers

You may have cooked too many stuffed sweet banana peppers, or even roasted or grilled them. So what do you do? You don’t want them to go to waste so why not freeze them? It is perfectly viable. 

Allow the peppers to cool completely. Freezing warm or hot food can bring up the temperature in the freezer which can mean that items in the freezer can spoil. 

When the peppers have cooled down, put them in an airtight container. Cover with cling wrap and seal. Don’t forget to write the date on a label before you put it in the fridge.

Other Methods You Can Use to Preserve Sweet Banana Peppers

Freezing is not the only way to keep fresh sweet banana peppers for longer. You can also can, pickle, or dry them out. We’ll take a quick look at these methods here.

Canning

Before you start canning the sweet banana peppers, cut off the stalk with a sharp knife and get rid of the seeds. Chop the peppers into the sizes you want and then put them on a lined baking sheet. Bake them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for around six minutes. By this time the skin should start blistering. Remove the peppers from the oven and give them an ice bath. This should enable you to remove the skins.

The peppers now need to go in the canning jars. These should be sterilized by boiling them in water for around five to six minutes. Then put in the peppers and a little salt. Fill the jars with hot water leaving an inch at the top. Close the lid and ensure it is closed with a lid ring. Put in the pressure canner.

Pickling

If you love pickled vegetables like gherkins and even pickled eggs, you will love pickled sweet banana peppers. 

The first thing you need to do is prepare a brine. Mix three tablespoons of salt and two tablespoons of sugar in a cup of white vinegar. Simmer this over a medium heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Allow this to cool.

Prepare the peppers as before and then put them in the pickling jars. Pour over the brine and add spices and herbs if desired. Store the jars in a cool place if possible.

Drying

Another option is to dry the sweet banana peppers. They still retain their natural flavors, and at the same time can be easily used in casseroles and stews. 

You can either air-dry the peppers or oven-dry them. Both produce great results.

  1. Air-drying: This is an easy way to dry sweet banana peppers. All you have to do is spread the sliced peppers on a flat baking sheet and put them in a place that gets good airflow and sunshine. It should take two to four weeks for the peppers to dry out. 
  2. Oven-drying: This is a quicker way of drying out your peppers. Place the sliced peppers on a baking sheet and bake for a couple of hours at 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Then cool with the oven door slightly open. This allows for any moisture to disappear. 

Once the peppers have dried out, put them in a plastic container. It doesn’t need to go in the fridge. Just take out the peppers when you need to use them. Submerge them in water when you take them out and they should be ready.

Thawing and Shelf-Life

If you store fresh sweet banana peppers in the freezer, they should last for six to twelve months. They should be at a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit for the best results. Frozen cooked bananas don’t last as long in the freezer. They have a shelf-life of four to six months.  

Once you have defrosted these sweet banana peppers, use them as soon as possible to stop them from losing their flavor.

When it comes to thawing frozen sweet banana peppers, just transfer them to the fridge. They should be fully thawed within a few hours. 

Conclusion

As we have shown, sweet banana peppers can easily be frozen if they are prepared in the correct way. They are a great addition to many dishes. Use them in Mexican enchiladas or in a Thai curry.

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