Cooking Lovers

How to make your green bananas ripen faster?

Cooking Lovers

April 27th 2021 ・ 4 min reading

We’ve all been there, banana lovers. Sometimes, you really, really want to eat a tasty, top-quality Chiquita banana when you have a bunch sitting there on your counter, or in the store, looking tempting – and green. Completely unripe bananas! Or, you have a lovely bunch of perfectly yellow bananas and what you really need is some brown ones for baking. So, can you do anything with those green bananas to get them ready to eat? Or produce some brown bananas for delicious banana bread? Luckily, we have some great ideas for how to quickly ripen bananas to the perfect stage you need!

How to make your green bananas ripen faster

How can you ripen bananas faster?

  1. Keep them together
    If you want your green bananas to ripen faster than they naturally would, the first thing to remember is to keep them in a bunch. Bananas kept together in this way will ripen more quickly than they would if they are separated. Of course, if you want one or two bananas to ripen more slowly, so you can access that sweet banana goodness at your leisure, separating them will make sure they take more time to become that wonderful sunny yellow color.
  2. Keep them in a warm spot
    Putting your unripe bananas in a warm spot will surely help them to ripen faster – on a windowsill in the sunshine would be perfect, or on top of a fridge, towards the back, where the heat exchange radiator is located. Depending on how hard and green your bananas were when you bought them, it can take anywhere from one day to as much as four or five for them to reach your ideal ripeness.
  3. Put them in a paper bag with ripe fruit
    Some fruit (like bananas) give off ethylene gas as they ripen, and ethylene gas helps to convert starch into sugar, so this can also help to ripen the fruit around them. In fact, it’s often said that if you want another fruit to ripen, putting a very ripe banana close to them is sure to help. The rule of thumb is that fleshy fruits give off a burst of ethylene gas as they ripen – so if you have a fleshy fruit (like a tomato) that’s very ripe, put it near your green bananas rather than throwing it out! Place the bananas in a paper bag with your ripe fruit and fold the top of the bag to concentrate that useful ethylene gas. This way, your unripe bananas should go nicely yellow in a day or two.
How to make your green bananas ripen faster

Ripening bananas for baking

Okay, so how to quickly ripen bananas for baking? Recipes often call for overripe bananas, and if you want that level of ripeness the best way to achieve it is naturally, of course, allowing all those lovely natural sugars to develop as Mother Nature intended. But if you want banana bread now, there are some great hacks to get an acceptable brown banana for your bake. These methods are better used with yellow rather than green bananas, though nearly-ripe bananas would work.

  1. In the oven
    How to ripen bananas in the oven? First, remember to leave the peel on (otherwise the banana inside will lose vital moisture). Place them on a foil or parchment-lined baking tray in a preheated oven at 300F for 15 to 20 minutes, turning them halfway through, until they are completely black. When they have cooled, scoop out the soft pulp and mash it, ready for your recipe. Bananas baked this way should have a texture and flavor acceptably close to that of a naturally ripened banana.
  2. In the microwave
    Because cooking in a microwave is so quick, this method doesn’t allow the sugars to develop as well as oven baking so you may need to add a touch more sugar to your recipe. Peel your bananas before putting them in the microwave or they might burst. Just place a peeled banana on a microwave-safe plate for 30 seconds or so on high – they should be sizzling when they come out. It’s best to microwave them individually to ensure they are evenly heated.
  3. In the fridge
    Preparing ahead for baking isn’t as difficult as it may appear because bananas keep incredibly well in the fridge. If you have some brown bananas, pop them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge – remarkably, they will keep for up to eight weeks. This gives you plenty of opportunities to plan for banana bread when you have some free time. This way, even if all you have on the counter is unripe bananas, you still have a handy source for baking.
  4. In the freezer
    Bananas also freeze well, so if you have some overripe bananas just peel them and separate each one from its buddies with some greaseproof paper in a freezer-safe container, then freeze them. It’s also easy to peel and chop bananas and freeze them if you’re short of space – though don’t forget to freeze them individually so you get the portion size right for future recipes! Frozen bananas are a great option for baking because they are lovely and soft when defrosted, just right for mashing.

So, remember, if all you can find in the store are green bananas, they can be at the perfect stage of ripeness within a day or two of purchase. All you need is the know-how!

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