Fresh bananas are delicious, healthy and can be used to make many dishes and desserts. Buying bananas when they are already ripe can cause them to rot sooner. This is why many prefer to get them when they’re still raw. The good news is that you can control the ripening process of these fruits from your kitchen. Practice these useful tips and learn how to ripen bananas at home.
Types of Bananas
Before you learn how to ripen bananas, you need to know which kind you are dealing with. The most common kind of banana is the Cavendish. When raw, it spots bright green skin that becomes yellow as it ripens. Other types the pinkish apple bananas, sweet Lady Fingers and plantains. While most banana types turn yellow or purple when ripe, plantains stay green throughout their life cycle.
How to Ripen Bananas in a Bag
You can ripen bananas the same way you do avocadoes. Place however many bananas you want to ripen in a large paper bag. Add apples to the bag; close it and set aside in a warmest area of your kitchen. This method is an effective way to learn how to ripen bananas, and the easiest. It works because fruits emit a gas called ethylene. The more fruits there are the more ethylene is produced. By trapping this gas in a bag, you can fast-forward the ripening process.
How to Ripen Bananas in the Oven
This method requires diligent monitoring and can take as little as an hour to achieve results. Simply turn your oven on to its lowest heat setting. This is usually around 77 degrees or 170F depending on your oven. Arrange raw bananas on a baking tray, making sure they don’t touch. Place in the oven and keep switching the light on and off regularly until bananas are yellow and ripe. Refrigerate immediately after.
How to Slow Down Ripening Process
It often happens that you only need a few bananas to be ripe and to store others for later use. To stop bananas from ripening quickly, separate them as much as possible. After separating, keep in a colder place around the home away from other fruits. If you refrigerate them, make sure they are not inside a bag that will trap ethylene.
Tips and Tricks
If you need bananas to make fruit salads, smoothies, and cold desserts or just want one as a snack, Cavendish and apple bananas are best. However, if you are planning on making baked goods or you want to add them to a savory dish, opt for plantains. Plantains are great for cooking and don’t need ripening before use.
When ripening bananas, make sure you monitor them frequently, especially with the oven method. If the skin starts turning brown or black spots emerge, stop the ripening process immediately. The best way to pause ripening is to refrigerate.
Adding bananas to your dishes can give them a burst of flavor and extra nutrients. Remember to differentiate banana types, particularly Cavendish bananas and plantains. Whether you use a bag or the oven, monitor your fruit closely, peel and enjoy.