Bananas are used at various stages of ripeness for eating and baking. A firm, ripe banana is much easier to eat than a mushy, overripe banana. Conversely, an overripe banana is much easier to add to recipes for banana bread, muffins or pancakes, and will result in a more flavorful product. Whether you want to ripen slightly green bananas for eating or want to have your bananas ready for baking without having to wait several days, a simple procedure will help you speed up the banana ripening process.
Things You'll Need
- Baking sheet
- Large brown paper bag
- 2 ripe apples
Place the bananas you want to ripen on a baking sheet in a single layer. Set the bananas on a windowsill or other sunny location. Leave them in the sun until they are warm.
Lay the warm bananas in a brown paper bag. Place them in a single layer, using more than one bag if necessary.
Add one or two ripe apples to the bag of bananas. Fold down the top of the brown paper bag to close it. Allow the bananas to ripen in the bag for one to two days. Begin checking the bananas for ripeness after 24 hours.
Remove the bananas from the paper bag once they've reached your preferred ripeness. To maintain the level of ripeness, place the bananas in the refrigerator. The skin will turn brown, but the fruit will stay the same.
Tips & Warnings
- Natural ethylene gas found in apples and bananas help bananas to ripen in the paper bag by keeping the ethylene concentrated around the fruit.
- Brown spots on most fruit indicates the fruit is going bad. When bananas develop brown spots, known as honey spots, it indicates increased sweetness.
- Whole, ripe bananas can be stored on the countertop for continued ripening or in the refrigerator or freezer.
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