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Why do bananas make fruit ripen faster?

What Makes Them Beneficial

We usually eat various exotic fruits just because they are tasty. Nobody thinks of what benefits we get by consuming such foods, and it can be said about bananas, too.

Nevertheless, these nutritious yellow things do a lot for our immune system and bodies!

  • Bananas are packed with B6 vitamin. It is easily absorbed by our bodies and one medium-sized fruit can fulfill a ¼ of the daily dose of B6 for an adult.

The proper amount of this vitamin contributes to the production of red blood cells, helps to turn fats into energy, remove harmful chemicals from our livers and kidneys, and protect our nervous system from breakdowns

  • Vitamin C is another positive benefit of this yellow fruit. That means when we eat bananas we contribute a lot to our immunity wellbeing
  • Bananas are beneficial for the skin
  • They keep our hearts and blood pressure in a good state, they even say that eating bananas can help to bring high blood pressure down
  • If you eat a banana daily, be sure that your digestion will be working like a clock! Especially if this is a newly-ripened fruit.
  • This is a great source of energy without added sugar and cholesterol. A perfect choice for those who are on a diet or control the weight 

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4. In the oven: about 15-30 minutes to ripen

This method is great to ripen bananas for recipes because heat brings out the fruit’s sugar. Bananas cannot be overly green when using this method. Put unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and place in an oven set at 300ºF. Check on them frequently because time will vary, and don’t fret if the bananas leak a bit. You know they’re done when the peels become shiny and black.

3 methods to ripen bananas for eating

For the fastest method, place bananas into a brown paper bag.
Image Source/Getty Images

Apart from ethylene, temperature is the single largest factor in ripening, says Goldfield. To speed up ripening, maintain a humid atmosphere at 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have green bananas at home, and prefer a more yellow fruit, you can accelerate the ripening process with a couple of methods backed by plant science.

1. Bunch them together

Increased amounts of ethylene gas from multiple fruits will speed up ripening. Keep a bunch of bananas together directly on the kitchen counter or place them in a fruit bowl so their combined ethylene gas will help the fruits ripen. Check bananas daily until they reach the degree of ripeness that you prefer.

2. Place them in a brown paper bag

According to Goldfield, this is the most effective method for triggering ripening at home. Place bananas in a closed paper bag overnight. The closed bag will trigger the banana to emit ethylene gas, while retaining heat and humidity conditions similar to a ripening room, says Goldfield.  

3. Store them with other ethylene-producing foods

If you really need ripe bananas in a hurry, you can try adding a cut apple to the brown paper bag, says Goldfield.

“Some theorize that cutting an apple and placing it in a bag with bananas will increase ripening, as apples also emit ethylene gas,” he says. Other ethylene-producing fruit include avocados, mangoes, and pears. Just be careful not to place too much heat stress on bananas, as this will result in soft pulp and mushy fruit — both of which are undesirable.

2. Place in warm places: takes about 24-48 hours to ripen

Abigail Wang

Place bananas in warm areas such as near a heater, above your refrigerator, or in an oven that’s cooling down. In the latter, make sure to check on them frequently. You’ll want to pull them out when brown spots begin to form. 

How to keep a banana ripe for longer

Keep bananas fresh for longer by freezing them. To freeze a banana, peel it when it is yellow, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer. Goldfield notes frozen bananas are ideal as a smoothie ingredient,  But they can also be used in banana bread and other recipes. Bananas can be frozen for eight to twelve months.

How to Ripen Bananas for Banana Bread

Now that you know how to ripen green bananas overnight, you can use them to make banana bread or other recipes. You can use slightly overripe bananas to make this bread. Banana bread is delicious and has been a popular recipe for decades.

Initially, our grandmas made banana bread when there were leftover ripe bananas. Now, the situation is reversed. If you don’t have ripe bananas and want to make banana bread, you can use any of the two methods mentioned above, or simply get ripe bananas from the market.

Ways to Keep Them From Spoiling

Like any prudent consumer, you are probably interested in how to extend the overall lifespan of bananas. 

Do bananas last longer in the refrigerator? Do bananas need to be refrigerated at all? These questions bother many people that eat these exotic fruits.

In fact, several easy methods exist that can help to make bananas stay eatable longer.

  1. Should you put bananas in the fridge, wrap their stems with the cling film. It will make the spoilage process go slower
  2. If the fruits are kept unchilled, go for a banana tree –  a special hanger that provides the fruits with airflow and keeps them from bruising and thus faster spoiling. Only ensure that the bunch is hanging away from the sunrays!

And of course, keep in mind that these exotic fruits will stay fresh longer if not exposed to direct light and warmth, so keep them well-ventilated and placed in a cool and shady spot.

Ripening bananas for baking

Okay, so how to quickly ripen bananas for baking? Recipes often call for overripe bananas, and if you want that level of ripeness the best way to achieve it is naturally, of course, allowing all those lovely natural sugars to develop as Mother Nature intended. But if you want banana bread now, there are some great hacks to get an acceptable brown banana for your bake. These methods are better used with yellow rather than green bananas, though nearly-ripe bananas would work.

  1. In the oven How to ripen bananas in the oven? First, remember to leave the peel on (otherwise the banana inside will lose vital moisture). Place them on a foil or parchment-lined baking tray in a preheated oven at 300F for 15 to 20 minutes, turning them halfway through, until they are completely black. When they have cooled, scoop out the soft pulp and mash it, ready for your recipe. Bananas baked this way should have a texture and flavor acceptably close to that of a naturally ripened banana.
  2. In the microwave Because cooking in a microwave is so quick, this method doesn’t allow the sugars to develop as well as oven baking so you may need to add a touch more sugar to your recipe. Peel your bananas before putting them in the microwave or they might burst. Just place a peeled banana on a microwave-safe plate for 30 seconds or so on high – they should be sizzling when they come out. It’s best to microwave them individually to ensure they are evenly heated.
  3. In the fridge Preparing ahead for baking isn’t as difficult as it may appear because bananas keep incredibly well in the fridge. If you have some brown bananas, pop them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge – remarkably, they will keep for up to eight weeks. This gives you plenty of opportunities to plan for banana bread when you have some free time. This way, even if all you have on the counter is unripe bananas, you still have a handy source for baking.
  4. In the freezer Bananas also freeze well, so if you have some overripe bananas just peel them and separate each one from its buddies with some greaseproof paper in a freezer-safe container, then freeze them. It’s also easy to peel and chop bananas and freeze them if you’re short of space – though don’t forget to freeze them individually so you get the portion size right for future recipes! Frozen bananas are a great option for baking because they are lovely and soft when defrosted, just right for mashing.

So, remember, if all you can find in the store are green bananas, they can be at the perfect stage of ripeness within a day or two of purchase. All you need is the know-how!

Recipes to use a ripened banana

Use very ripe bananas in these recipes to maximize the flavor and texture in baking.

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