In most cases, buying things in bulk is a cost-efficient strategy. Unfortunately, for ripe bananas, this approach doesn’t work because they grow ripe quite rapidly. Due to that factor, you’d probably end up throwing some away if you bought them in bulk. So what is it that accelerates this ripening process?
Climacteric fruits such as bananas contain an ethylene hormone that releases a lot of ethylene gas. That gas is responsible for the rapid ripening of bananas after they’re harvested. In short, oxidation is responsible for making your banana turn brown.
Most consumers don’t realize it, but you don’t need to throw your bananas away once they become brown. You can still use them to make dishes such as chocolate-covered frozen bananas or even banana bread. Also, there are various methods you can employ to prolong the ripening of your bananas. Check out the best tips for keep bananas from turning brown below.
Keeping Bananas Fresh
Buy Green Bananas
One way to prolong the shelf life of your bananas is to buy slightly ripe bananas that have a green color. You should check their peels to ensure they doesn’t contain any cuts or spots. Those displaying those features will turn brown faster. If you buy already-ripe bananas in bulk, they’ll become overripe with the next two to three days.
Store Them Properly
After buying bananas, many vendors simply place them in a plastic bag and hand them to you. If you forget to remove them from the bag after reaching home, they’ll get brown faster. You’ll need to place them in a well-ventilated darkroom to avoid that effect. If you place them near a window where they’re exposed to direct sunlight, they they’ll also ripen faster. Besides sunlight, you’ll need to distance them from all sources of heat. That way, at room temperature, your bananas will ripen slower.
Separate Them from Other Fruits
As indicated above, the climacteric fruits release ethylene gas that accelerates the ripening process. If you keep bananas with such fruits, they will ripen very quickly and turn brown. So, to avoid that, make sure you separate them from other fruits.
Do you have a fruit basket? That’s an excellent place to keep your bananas. You can hang them on the fruit basket’s hook to protect them from bruising.
Wrap The Stems
You can prevent the release of ethylene gas by wrapping the stems of your bunches of bananas. You can use foil or plastic wrap to wrap them, then tape to hold it in place. After sealing them, the stems won’t absorb the ethylene gas emanating from other fruits. So, what do you do when you want to eat one of your bananas? It’s simple! You’ll just select your banana and then wrap the others up again. Once the stem stops absorbing or releasing ethylene gas, it will stay fresh for a longer period of time.
Don’t concern yourself with wrapping entire bunches of bananas together. You can wrap each banana separately if you’d like. Either way, you’ll be decelerating the ripening process. If you plan on eating bananas often, you’d probably be better suited if you wrapped them individually.
Refrigerate Your Bananas
Are your bananas ripe but you’re not yet ready to eat them? Don’t fret–you can still put them in your refrigerator for up to a week. Don’t worry about the peel color, even after a week has passed. The inner banana will still be perfectly edible. In fact, you can eat brown bananas or make your favorite banana bread with them. If you don’t want the top part to become brown, sprinkling lemon juice on it helps preserve its yellow color. Remember, though, that you shouldn’t put unripe bananas in your fridge because they may never ripen properly if you do.
Note that it’s not advisable to freeze your bananas before peeling them since peeling a frozen banana is quite difficult. After peeling your bananas, you can place them in a plastic container, then freeze them. A bag with a zipper is always a good option. When you want to eat your banana, remove it from the fridge, store it at room temperature, then eat it when you’re ready.
Do you intend to use overripe bananas to make banana bread or other products? Consider breaking them into small pieces, mashing them, putting them into a freezer bag, and then freezing them before you get started.
Use Fruit Juice or Smoothie
If you have already sliced bananas and want to delay their browning, use fruit juice. Out of all of the fruit juices that you could consider, seek orange juice, grape juice, and lemon juice.
Once you have your juice, place your banana slices in a container and cover them with it. Then, give it a few minutes to take effect. Note that the bananas’ taste may change due to the juice. If you consider the new taste unpleasant, you can spray the juice sparingly next time you try this method. Finally, leave the slices alone for a few hours before eating. You can refrigerate them if you’d like to eat them cold.
Are your slices brown? The juice can also reverse the ripening effect, turning them pale yellow. To find out, just cover them with grape or pineapple juice for 15 minutes. They might not return to their pale yellow color, but they’ll be safe to eat regardless.
If you don’t have any fruit juice but have club soda or even soda water, you can use one of those as a substitute. It will help your slices revert to their original pale yellow color. You can also soak them in tap water, though that method is not as effective as using fruit juice or soda.
You can also dilute a few spoons of citric acid or vinegar and immerse your fruits in it to curb the discoloration of your slices.
Read More: How to Keep Apple Slice From Turning Brown
There’s no reason to wait for your bananas to turn brown, and you shouldn’t throw your bananas away once they become overripe either. You can slow bananas’ ripening process in various ways. For instance, once they become brown, you can slice them into small pieces, mash them, and refrigerate them for future consumption. You can also add club soda, fruit juice, water, diluted citrus, or vinegar to prevent the discoloration of your slices. When it comes to preserving bananas, the power’s in your hands!