How to Ripen Bananas Quickly
When you take a trip to your local store you will probably notice that the bananas that are available to buy look as if they have been picked well before they are ripe. And the truth is that they have, as it is essential for the bananas to get to your store before they go bad. They are usually kept refrigerated on their way to slow down the ripening process and the often have a long way to travel coming from South America or even Africa. However, sometimes you need the bananas that you buy to be ripe and ready to go straight away. You want a ripened banana straight away to eat there and then or to be ripe within a couple of days so you can include them in an all-important recipe. If this is the dilemma you have then read on to learn some great tips on how to ripen bananas quickly.
How to Pick Bananas in the Store
You can save yourself a lot of time and trouble if you make the effort to select the best bananas from the bunch. If you can find them, select plump bananas that seem full and if you can, pick those with a yellow color all over where the base is does not have a greenish tinge. Where a banana has slight brown flecks all over it, then this is a good indication that the ripeness of the banana is just right.
When you wish to use fresh bananas in your recipes all week however, you will have to pick up a mixture of both yellow and green bananas and learn how to ripen bananas quickly at home. You can eat green bananas, many people like to fry them in a little butter, but most of us will want a few green bananas hanging around waiting to be ripened for the exact time that we want to use them.
Ripening Bananas for Eating
Sometimes the temptation to bite into a golden yellow banana is overwhelming. This is when you really need to know how to ripen green bananas so you can eat them. One way to do this is to put the bananas into the warmest zone of your house. Good positions may be next to a heating vent, on a sunny window ledge or on top of a refrigerator. Bananas are also said to ripen more rapidly when you leave them in a bunch in a warm place, so store them together to quicken up ripening. Dependent on how ripe the banana already is when you take it home and how you choose to eat them; it takes between 24 hours to a couple of days to get a green banana to ripen without any other involvement. But luckily there are some things that you can do to ripen a banana quickly so that you can eat it.
- The paper bag technique. To hurry the banana ripening process along, you should place your bananas into a paper bag. When you lightly fold down the top of the paper bag you will be trapping ethylene gas in it that the bananas naturally give off which boosts ripening. As you trap this gas in the paper bag with the bananas you accelerate the ripening process. Additionally, you can pop in an apple to your paper bag which will up the levels of ethylene gas floating around your green bananas. Your green bananas will ripen in about a day with this technique.
Ripening for Baking
Typically, if you are going to be baking with your bananas a recipe will tell you that your bananas need to be mushy and overly ripe. Luckily, there is no need to wait around for the couple of days it can take your bananas to naturally ripen, you just need to get into your kitchen.
- The oven technique. To instantly ripen green bananas to use in your baking, place your unpeeled bananas into your oven on a baking sheet. Your oven should be set to a temperature 300°F, and the unpeeled bananas can be baked for up to 30 minutes. Ensure that you do not leave the oven unattended as often the bananas while being ripened in this way will start to leak. Bake your bananas in the oven until their skins turn totally black. Allow the bananas to cool once they have turned black and then scoop out the now soft banana from the skin and you have a banana mash ready to use in your recipes.
- The microwave technique. You can ripen bananas quickly to use in your baking recipes by using your microwave. This technique will not add to the flavor of your bananas or give you the sweetness to your bananas that baking does but it does ripen your bananas quickly. This technique of using your microwave works better with bananas that are partially ripened already and not so well with green bananas. Simply peel the bananas first and put them on in a bowl. Heat them up for around 30 seconds on high until you start to hear them begin sizzling. As your microwave will soften your bananas very quickly, the natural sugars will not have time to develop and sweeten so the consistency of your banana will be soft, but the flavor will need extra help which is fine if you are using them to bake cakes.
Slow Down the Ripening of Bananas
If your beautiful bananas are nice and ripe but you do not need to use them yet, all you need to do is place them inside a plastic bag and put them in your refrigerator. The skins may go brown but the banana inside will be fine. You will be able to keep them this way for around 5 days. You can also put ripe bananas into your freezer in their skins for the next time you want a banana for baking.
So, bananas are an easy and healthy snack, they sweeten breads and bakes and they pack a lot of nutrients into your day so you really should be eating more of them.