Bananas are readily available, and affordable fruits around the globe. Are you usually worried that your green bananas will ripen very fast? Sometimes we buy many bunches of them to store for weeks but end up ripening in days.
Bananas can ripen in very few days when stored in normal conditions. However, there are several tips applied to prevent them from ripening very fast and last longer than you can think. Besides, not everybody enjoys ripe bananas.
We have 7 ways on how to keep green bananas from ripening by storing them properly. Also, we have looked at the various variable effects that affect the ripening of green bananas.
Green Banana Shelf Life
What is the shelf life of green bananas? Well, this is a contradicting question since bananas do not have sell-by dates. However, depending on the freshness and conditions of storage, it determines how long the banana will ripen or how short it might also take to ripen.
In our case, we go with fresh bananas. Fresh green bananas stored on the counter can take from 5-7 days before they start ripening, whereby the yellow coloring starts to appear.
Storing Bananas Properly
How you store your bananas is significant in determining its freshness period. After you reach home from the grocery store, remove the bananas from the bag. Why? When green bananas are covered, they ripen faster than those exposed to room temperature.
However, exposure to sunlight and other heat like that of boiler, stove, or heater will trigger the banana’s ripening to be quicker. Green bananas ought to be placed in a cool and well-ventilated room. Also, if stored on the counter, put them in a basket.
7 Easy Ways on How to Keep Green Bananas from Ripening
There are several ways to slow the ripening of green bananas and even increase their shelf life to months. They are as follows.
1. Wrap the banana stems with foil or plastic
At times when you buy bananas from the store, you may notice a wrapping on the crown. It prevents the release of ethylene gas from the bananas. Even at home, you should continue storing it in the same condition.
Also, you may opt to enhance the process. How? On top of the foil or plastic, cover with tape to tighten it. By doing so, you’ll have a slowed banana ripening process. Anytime you pluck one or several bananas for cooking, do not forget to repeat the process.
2. Keep Away Bananas From Other Fruits
Most fruits that release ethylene gas while ripening tend to ripen more rapidly while stored with other fruits. It’s the reason you should keep bananas away from other fruits. In this case, go for a separate banana hanger. Besides, it will protect the bananas from bruising.
What do I do if I do not have a banana hanger? Get a separate basket to place your green bananas. Also, ensure you hang the basket as it is the best way to store bananas.
3. Use Banana Bunkers
Another tip on how to slow down banana ripening is by using a banana bunker. They are hard plastic containers that prevent green bananas from early ripening. They come in various colors.
A banana bunker usually has very tiny openings for ventilation hence preserving the green banana for long. Besides, they protect the bananas from bruising while in storage.
4. Divide the Bananas
Do you want a longer shelf life for your bananas? If yes, divide the separately from the bunch. Carefully cut each banana with part of the stem.
It makes it easier to wrap each banana than the entire bunch. As a result, the green banana will take longer before ripening. Also, please place them in a tray while leaving some spaces between them to decrease the ripening speed.
5. Vinegar Bath on Green Bananas
For this particular method, you need to divide your banana into portions. Also, dilute the vinegar with water to lower its sourness effect.
All is required is to soak your banana portions in the solution before storing them. It prevents green bananas from ripening too fast. While you want to consume them, rinse the bananas with clean water. Continuous rinsing eliminates the sour taste from the bananas.
6. Store in a Freezer
Here is another trick on how to slow down banana ripening for a month(s). Use a freezer and not a fridge. Place your green bananas in freezer-safe bags.
Freezing will keep your green bananas fresh for a couple of weeks. To consume them, remove from the freezer and defrost on room temperature then pill off for consumption.
7. Use a Lime Bath
You can still increase the shelf life of your banana even when it’s peeled. Use a lime bath from any acidic fruit juice such as lemon, pineapple, or oranges. It works better for peeled bananas.
Evenly sprinkle small amounts of the solution on the peeled bananas. Also, you can dip the bananas for about 2 minutes. You can rinse it later with clean water while you’re ready to eat it.
Different Variable Effects on Ripening Green Bananas
High levels of moisture slow down the ripening process of green bananas, while low humidity levels fasten the process of banana ripening. The optimum humidity level for banana ripening should be 85% to 95%.
If the room temperature is high, green bananas are accelerated to ripen faster. Similarly, if the temperature is low, then it delays ripening, thus increasing the shelf life of green bananas. The optimal temperature for the storage of green bananas is 55 Fahrenheit.
NOTE: Humidity and temperature are the significant variables that affect the ripening of green bananas.
If the plantain was harvested over-mature, then it is likely to ripen too fast. On the other side, if the banana was not mature enough, it might take long before it ripens.
Bruises on the Bananas
When green bananas are wounded, they tend to ripen faster. Why? The parts of the banana with bruises have more exposure to ethylene, which accelerates the ripening process. Similarly, if your green bananas do not have the wounds, they will stay longer before ripening.
Other factors that affect the ripening of green bananas include peel thickness, how its packaged, amounts of ethylene in the bananas and the surface to volume ratio of the bananas.
Additional Tips: Keeping Bananas from Ripening Too Fast
1. Refrigerate Ripe Bananas
At times you might buy bananas from the grocery, but you notice they are almost ripe. Need not worry since when you refrigerate them, it inhibits the ripening process. Even later, after you remove them from the fridge, it will not ripen again.
2. Store Green Bananas in Cold Rooms
When you store green bananas in your home in colder rooms, they will last longer before the ripening process starts. The low temperature will slow down the ripening for the next 10 days.
Knowing how to keep bananas from ripening is quite essential for those who buy them in large quantities. However, this process is affected by different factors critical to fastening or slowing the ripening process of green bananas.
Mastering the above-discussed tips would save you the hassle of going to the grocery store frequently to buy fresh bananas. When your bananas ripen faster than anticipated, you can always use them for different recipes, such as smoothies and puddings.
Photo Credit : shutterstock via Luis Echeverri Urrea