How to Keep Bananas From Turning Brown
When purchasing bananas, the obvious interest is to keep them fresh until all are consumed. If you store bananas without special measures, they quickly become overripe and too soggy to eat. However, with the right care, bananas can last longer and you can actually boost the shelf life to keep them from turning brown. The article below offers a few tips on how to properly store bananas to counteract the ripening process. You will further understand, why do bananas go brown, how long do bananas last and how to keep them fresh and yellow for a longer time.
Purchase Only Semi-Ripe
Purchase only the greenish bananas that are not fully ripe. These types last longer than the yellow ones that are already fully ripe. The semi-ripe state offers the advantage of an extra two to three days before the ripening process is in full swing, thus prolonging the browning process. This tip is perfect for those who prefer not to eat bananas immediately. Furthermore, opting for the firmer, greener, bananas that are devoid of abrasions or spots will guarantee maximum storage life before the need to refrigerate will arise.
Promptly Store Bananas After Shopping
Once back from shopping, promptly remove the bananas out of the plastic bag, especially when you are not ready to refrigerate them. The reason is that paper bags and plastic bags speed up the ripening process, ultimately turn the bananas brown at a faster rate. What’s more, bananas are best kept at room temperature – this makes them ripen slowly as well as evenly. However, be sure not to directly expose your bananas to sunlight or heat; they should be kept well away from the heater, stove, oven, and window. Most importantly, storage is best done in a dark, cool spot that is well-ventilated.
Hang Your Bananas
Hanging fruits is not solely for the local grocery store; you can also try hanging your fruits at home, especially for bananas. This way, they can be kept far away from other fruits. Except when in a fruit salad, bananas cannot coexist with other fruits. This is more evident in those fruits that are known to emit excessive ethylene gas during their ripening process.
Browning in bananas is a resultant effect of these gases. Ethylene is a plant hormone often common in fruits such as guavas, apples, papayas, bananas, peaches, and avocados. When placed together with any of these fruits, bananas will ripen faster due to the heavy ethylene production; besides, cell aging will be accelerated, quickening the browning process. On the other hand, polyphenol oxidase is an enzyme that is known to trigger oxidation, resulting in the browning of both veggies and fruits, bananas inclusive.
Another good reason to hang your bananas is to avoid bruising, and reduce the chances of exposure to oxygen – this accelerates ripening.
Get Rid of the Brown Ones
A workable rule on how to store bananas supports the removal of bad fruits from the bunch. Once home from shopping, take a good look at your bananas to detect those that are badly bruised, rotten, or already browning ones. All these should be removed as they will often speed up the aging process of the good, fresh ones. You can then hang the rest with any banana hanging gadget available – this aids air circulation around the fruit, prolonging its lifespan in the process.
Use Plastic Wraps to Cover the Stem
Another great way to properly store bananas and keep them from going brown is to use saran wraps to cover the tips in a bunch. This slows the ripening process and, ultimately, the browning process. Alternatively, you can opt for beeswax wrap. Although the bananas will eventually turn brown in the long run, this method helps in reducing ethylene production and prevents gas from escaping. No doubt, proper storage is sure to increase the lifespan of your bananas.
Coat the Fruits in Citric Juice
Another good trick on how to preserve bananas is coating them in citrus juice like lemon, orange, or even lime juice. However, this process can only be effective with pre-cut bananas. Basically, if a fruit has already been cut for future use, place them in the fridge, but remember to coat with an acidic juice before that. Similar effects can be achieved by using anti-darkening agents.
Refrigerating your bananas is a good idea and another great tip on how to make bananas last longer. Before the fruit ripens, it is best to keep them at room temperature. However, once ripe, the browning process can be slowed by throwing them into the refrigerator. If you prefer to consume your bananas sometime in the future, it’s best to use a plastic bag to seal them first before refrigerating. In some cases, the peel might change color, but the flesh will remain fresh. You can still treat your leftover bananas in this manner – wrapping them before placing them in the fridge will prevent oxidation.
Also, it’s worth noting that the peel turning brown does not mean that the fruit has gone bad. To prevent this from happening, you can try peeling your banana and cutting them into small pieces. The cut fruits should be put in air-tight containers before placing them in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, be sure to get them out of the fridge early and keep at room temperature. Ripe bananas can last up to one week in the fridge.
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Separate the Bananas
The talk on how to keep bananas fresh cannot be concluded without considering this tip. Bananas that come in bunches have some gaps existing between them; thus, getting a tight seal on the stem is difficult. If you want your bananas to last longer, carefully separate them alongside the stems. Wrapping the stem in one banana is easier than wrapping it in a bunch. What’s more, the fruits should be placed individually on paper napkins or trays with enough space between each couple. This is effective at slowing the process that causes the development of those brown spots on the peel of your banana.
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