How To Ripen Bananas

Published

4.9.22

By

Coline R.

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What can you do when your bananas aren't ripe enough? Read here to discover how to ripen bananas and make tasty, straightforward recipes with Jow. 

Some fruits and vegetables require patience to enjoy. Have you ever bought a bunch of bananas in hopes that they'd be ready for you to enjoy in a few days? Perhaps you waited day after day as you realized your fruit was ripening too slowly. 

While you're welcome to wait days for your bananas to become ripe, it's not the only option available to you. Let's talk about how you can ripen your bananas more quickly and what recipes you can try when they're ready. 

What Makes Bananas Ripe? 

You might be wondering what happens to fruit to cause it to mature. What's the science behind how fruit ripens? Why does it take so long? 

One of the answers has to do with where you live. If you're not frequenting grocery stores in tropical places, you're probably dealing with bananas that are sold under-ripe. Most grocery stores in the United States sell bananas that are harvested when they're under-ripe and kept in a unique environment.

The environment where bananas await shipment to grocery stores is treated with low oxygenation with high carbon dioxide. These factors allow the bananas to remain under-ripe throughout transportation. Then, when they reach the shelves of your local grocery store, they're ready to mature naturally in your possession. 

How do the bananas know when to begin ripening? After the bananas go through a warehouse storage period in their particular environment, warehouses treat them with ethylene. Although they have remained in a phase of suspended ripening, this chemical tells the bananas that it's time to resume ripening. 

How Can I Ripen My Bananas Faster?

If you've ever purchased a bunch of bananas that ripened too slowly, you'll know how frustrating that song and dance can be. It seems that as soon as your bananas are ripe enough to enjoy, they're ready all at once, and the remaining bananas quickly become over-ripe. How can you prevent this cycle from happening?

You don't have to wait to ripen your bananas. Let's talk about two ways you can accomplish this.

Try the Paper Bag Method

Want your bananas to be ready to eat tomorrow? If they look too firm and green, you don't have to wait a week for them to be mature. By using a paper bag, you can help speed up the process to be able to eat your bananas in next to no time. Here's how:

First, you'll want to grab a small brown paper bag from your cupboard. If you have a leftover paper grocery bag, that also works. You'll also need a piece of fruit that's already ripe. Another ripened banana or avocado is an excellent choice for this method. 

Once both of these are in your possession, place your banana in the paper bag with the ripened fruit. Then, close and seal the brown paper bag by rolling it or using a clip of some kind. After doing this, you may need to wait anywhere between half a day to a full day. Then, you can take out your ripened banana and eat it or use it in a recipe.

What's happening inside the bag to make your banana expedite its maturation? When the bag is sealed with the ripened and unripened fruit inside, the ethylene from the ripened piece of fruit impacts the under-ripe piece and causes it to evolve. 

Try the Oven Method

What should you do if you need your fruit to be ripe in a shorter amount of time? Let's say you need to make a banana bread recipe this afternoon, and you don't have all day to wait for it to ripen in a bag. There's an extra-fast method you can try when you need to speed-ripen bananas for baking purposes. 

Set your oven to 300 degrees and lay your bananas on a sheet for this method. Let them cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes. That's it! When the timer goes off and your bananas are blackened and soft, take them out. After that, they're ready for you to use in multiple recipes.

Do Bananas Taste Different When They're Ripe?

Perhaps you've never tried an under-ripe banana, and you're wondering how different they might taste from ones that are ready. Some people prefer green bananas for their tangy flavor. These contain a dietary fiber that your body can't digest. The same fiber converts to a simple sugar as the banana ripens and causes the fruit to become sweeter.

What Recipes Can I Make When Bananas Are Ripe?

Are your bananas finally ripe? If so, you can use them to make tasty dishes that are ready before you know it. We've put together a few recipes to help make your baking easier. When you want to make delicious banana dishes and don't want a lot of hassle, try one of these options:

  • Banana Bread: There's nothing as yummy as warm, fresh-baked banana bread. This recipe is super easy to follow, and you can share your loaf or enjoy it alone in under an hour. 
  • Upside-Down Banana Tart: Are you in the mood for something slightly sweet? Sometimes you need a dessert that has a kick to it. On a day when you want to try baking something unique, try this upside-down treat.
  • Banana Oat Pancakes: What's a Saturday morning without buttery pancakes on your plate? If you're out of pancake batter, don't worry. This five-minute recipe can help you whip up tasty hotcakes that taste incredible. Don't forget the butter and maple syrup!
  • Banana-Coconut Chia Pudding: Want to make a snack that's light and creamy? Our chia pudding recipe includes delicious bananas with maple flavors to compliment it.

What To Do With Overripe Bananas

Let's say you're having the opposite problem. You're not having trouble waiting for your bananas to ripen; you're forgetting you bought bananas in the first place. 

When you discover your bananas are beginning to look overripe, you may automatically think you have to throw them out just because you see some brown spots. Before tossing them, remember that there are a few easy uses for overly-ripe bananas.

  • Make a smoothie: If you notice your bananas are starting to brown, you can peel them, slice them, and freeze them to blend in your smoothie. Adding bananas to your smoothie can help make it more filling and add sweetness. 
  • Try making ice cream: Have you ever tried banana ice cream? To make it, all you need to do is peel, slice, and freeze your banana, then blend it with the milk of your choice.
  • Add them to a muffin mix: You can make banana-flavored muffins by adding bananas to your muffin mix.

Fast and Easy Banana Snacks You Can Make 

Following complete banana recipes can introduce new ways to enjoy your bananas. When you need to use up your bananas, you can also try out these quick, no-brainer snacks:

  • Chocolate-Covered Bananas
  • Strawberry and Banana-Topped Yogurt
  • Peanut Butter Banana Sandwich
  • Oatmeal with Banana Toppings
  • Caramelized Bananas
  • Banana-Topped Pancakes

We Can Make Your Groceries Easier

Let's talk about why you might end up with under-ripe or overripe bananas in the first place. On the one hand, you might have bought a bunch of bananas without any plan in mind. That's okay! You don't always need a plan to enjoy the groceries you buy. 

Still, if you're tired of your groceries going unused because you didn't start with a plan, we can help. At Jow, we shop for your groceries for you and help you plan dishes based on the recipes you love. Let's talk about a few more things we love doing for you. 

Optimized Grocery Lists

Perhaps one of your problems is that you end up buying too many bananas at a time. Do you ever over-calculate the amount of fruit your household will eat on a particular week and end up buying the wrong amount? We can help with that.

At Jow, we're happy to help curate personalized menu options with accessible ingredients. After telling us about your kitchen appliances, food preferences, and the number of people in your family, we'll suggest recipe ideas that are perfect for you. 

What's even better is that we'll help you add the right amount of ingredients to your grocery list based on your household size and the number of meals you want to cook—no more guesstimating and ending up with unused fruit! You'll have exactly what you need to feed yourself or your family for the week.

You Can Select Doorstep or Pick Up

Do you find that the most challenging part of preparing meals is grocery shopping? Maybe you're busy at work most days and don't have time to spend an hour searching the aisles for ingredients. Perhaps you have little ones in your household who don't do well with long grocery store trips.

There's good news: we make it easy to get your groceries. After we put together your grocery list and you link your local grocer, you have the option to select store pickup or delivery. It's one way we love making meals more simple for you.

Our Recipes Make Cooking Less Complicated

Perhaps when it comes to cooking, you don't mind grocery store trips, but you hate long-winded, complicated recipes. At Jow, we love introducing you to tasty, straightforward recipes that take minutes to make, so all you have to do is enjoy the result.

Making Banana Recipes Can Be Enjoyable

Now that you know how to ripen your bananas in a flash, you can start making yummy banana recipes without waiting days to do it. You don't have to put up with complicated banana recipes, either. 

When you're ready to make tasty dishes with your ripe bananas, we're here to help you take care of meals. You can spend more time enjoying your food and getting back to the things that matter in your life.

Sources:

Fruit of the month: Bananas | Harvard Health

BANANA RIPENING: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE | University of Hawaii

Effect of Ethylene on the Ripening of Bananas | Botanical Gazette: Vol 92, No 4

Sources