How to Properly Store Bananas
Have you ever wondered how to properly store your bananas to avoid spoiling and those unsightly black spots? Chances are you have. Or even if you haven't, you probably should. There are quite a few ways to extend the life of this fruit and to avoid wasting money.
Bananas are very universal and loved by pretty much everybody. They can be a perfect breakfast, lunch, snack, smoothie basis, or a mid-day sweet treat. In order to enjoy them in all of those forms, the fruit should look appetizing, hence, no brown spots. So let's get right to it and help you find some new ways to protect this healthy fruit that tends to be green one minute and a brown mess another:
1. Buying them correctly
This step comes before all others because it's vitally important. When shopping you should know how many bananas you have left and how many of them you plan to eat in the coming days. If you know that, you will be able to decide how green or ripe the ones you are about to buy should be. If you have one banana left at home, get them riper. If you still have 4 at home and will only need the new ones in two days, get them pretty green and give some time to ripen.
2. Leaving them in a bunch
When you come home, don't do any experiments because experiments have already been done by others. The difference is not very big, but it was discovered that bananas ripen slower when left in a bunch, so don't separate them. They also look better when hanging in a bunch. If you brought them in a plastic bag, take them out at home.
3. Hanging bananas
This is the question – to hang them or not to hang. The answer is simple – if you eat a lot of bananas, invest in a banana tree and do hang them. This might not protect from ripening, but if you hang them in a bunch without damaging the stems, the air will circulate around each fruit and prevent bruises from resting one on top of another.
4. Storing them in a bowl
If you don't want to deal with the banana tree, leave them in a bowl on top of other fruit or on the bottom of an empty fruit bowl, but turn them with their curved sides facing the bottom. This way the top of the fruit will dangle away from the bottom fruits and you'll have less bruising.
5. Wrapping banana stems
You've seen in in stores on organic bananas, haven't you? You should do that with your bananas too, because they release ethylene gas through their stems. The more gas is released, the riper the bananas get. This is how wrapping the ends of stems in plastic can slow down the ripening process.
6. Keeping them in room temperature
Bananas grow in tropics and don't like cold. This is why your bananas won't be sweet if you will chill them before ripening. Cooling them won't do anything for slowing down the ripening, at least not by much; it will only destroy the taste. So keep them in room temperature until you are ready to enjoy them.
7. What can you do with ripe bananas?
No banana is too ripe, ever. Even brown and black ones are still great for ice cream and banana bread. However, if you are not ready to make any of those two, put your bananas in the fridge when they reach your desired level of ripeness. Don't use any bags, just put then in produce drawer. Experts disagree if keeping them together or separating them at this point will keep them fresher longer, so you are welcome to experiment. One thing – put them next to unripen fruit or veggies there, because somehow they influence each other.
8. Storing bananas with other fruit
If you store bananas with other fruit inside or outside the fridge, keep the above mentioned influence in mind and group less ripe bananas with less ripe fruit and vice versa. If you keep them in the fridge, the skin might turn black, but the fruit inside will still be fresh.
9. Storing sliced or partial bananas
If you just can't finish that half of your banana or if you have leftovers from kids, wrap both ends in plastic and store it in the produce drawer in the fridge. If you will keep it longer than a day, it might still get mushy, so get to it whenever you can.
If you have sliced banana, put some lemon, pineapple juice, or vinegar to keep it fresh longer and store the slices in a bag or bowl.
10. Freezing bananas
If you see that your bananas are getting ripe faster than you will be able to use them, peel them, put them in freezer bags, and freeze for future smoothies. They are good like that for 1-3 months.
11. Keeping them out of the sun
This is an obvious one – they naturally ripen in the sun on the trees, so keep them out of it for longer freshness.
12. What to do with overripe bananas?
As we mentioned above, no banana is too ripe. You can always make banana bread, muffins, countless baked goodies, pancakes, pudding, and smoothies.
13. Taking them on the go
Yes, you can just grab a banana, put it in your purse and go, but you can also grab a special container and prevent bruising and mushiness. Bananas tend to ripen faster in bags and purses, but if you will put them in a special plastic container, they will be fresh for your lunch or snack. Keep them out of sun in the car on longer drives.