In most cases, buying things in bulk is cost-friendly. Unfortunately for ripe bananas, they become overripe pretty fast. As a result, you maybe be forced to eat it faster or even throw it away. So what fastens the process of ripening?
The climacteric fruits, such as bananas, contain an Ethylene hormone that releases a lot of Ethylene gas. This gas is responsible for the quick ripening of the bananas even after harvesting. Oxidation is responsible for making your banana to turn brown.
You don’t need to throw your bananas away once they become brown. You can use them to make dishes such as chocolate-covered frozen bananas or even banana bread. Maybe that was not your intended use. There are various methods that you can adapt to prolong the ripening of your bananas. Check the best tips to keep bananas from turning brown and ripening below
Keeping Bananas Fresh Longer
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 peel to ensure that it has no cut or spots. It will take longer to ripen and turn brown. If you buy already ripen bananas in bulk, within the next two-three days, they will get overripe.
Store Them Properly
After buying the bananas, many vendors put them in a plastic bag and handle them to you. If you forget to remove them from the bag after reaching home, they get brown faster. You need to place them in a well- ventilated darkroom. If you place them near a window where they will get exposed to direct sunlight, they will get ripened faster. Other than sunlight, you need to keep them from any other source of heat. At room temperature, your bananas will ripen slower.
Separate Them from Other Fruits
As indicated above, the climacteric fruits release ethylene gas that quickens the ripening process. If you keep bananas with such fruits, they will ripen very fast and turn brown. So, you should separate them from other fruits.
Do you have a fruit basket? That’s an excellent place to keep your bananas. You can hang the bananas on the fruit basket’s hook. `That will protect your delicate bananas from bruising.
Wrap The Stems
You can prevent the release of ethylene gas by wrapping the stems of your bunch of bananas. You can use a foil; you can use a plastic wrap then seal it with a tape. After sealing, the stem will not also absorb the ethylene gas originating from other fruits. So what will happen if you want to eat a banana? You will pick your banana and then wrap it again well. Once the stem stops absorbing or releasing the ethylene gas, it remains fresh longer.
You don’t have to wrap the whole bunch together. You can wrap each banana separately and put a space between them. The wrapping becomes easier, and the process of ripening becomes slower. Also, when you require eating the banana, you will not have to wrap the bunch again.
Refrigerate Your Bananas
Are your bananas already ripe, and you are not ready to eat them yet? Relax. You can put them in the refrigerator and eat or use them within a week. Don’t worry about the peel color after a week; the inner part will still be okay. You can eat bananas or make your favorite banana bread. If you don’t want the top part to become brown, sprinkling lemon juice will help. Can you put the bananas that have not ripened well in the fridge? You should not. If you put unripe bananas, they may never ripen well even when you need them too.
Note that it’s not advisable to freeze your bananas before peeling them since peeling a frozen banana is difficult. After peeling, you can place them in a plastic container then freeze them. A zipper bag is a good option. When you want to eat your banana, remove it from the fridge, leave it at room temperature then eat it later.
Do you intend to use the overripe bananas to make some banana bread or other products? Consider breaking them into small pieces, mash them, put them in a zipper freezer bag, and freeze them.
Use Fruit Juice or Smoothie
If you have already sliced bananas and want them to take longer before browning, use fruit juice. Among the fruit juice that you can consider includes orange, grapevine, and lemon, among others. It does matter if you will make your own or you will buy some.
Place the slices in a container and cover the slices with juice. Give it a few minutes. The taste may change due to the juice. If you consider the taste unpleasant, you can spray the juice sparingly next time you are preserving the slices. You can leave the slices for a few hours before eating. You can also decide to refrigerate them.
Are your slices brown? The juice will also reverse the effect and make them pale yellow. You only have to cover them with grape/pineapple juice for 15 minutes then check them. They might not go back to the pale yellow color but will be okay to eat.
If you don’t have any fruit juice but have a club soda or even soda water, you can use it. It will help your slices of banana to go back to its original pale yellow color. You can also soak them in tap water though the method is not that effective like the use of fruit juice or soda.
You can also dilute a few spoons of citric acid or vinegar and immerse your fruits in it. It will stop the discoloration of your slices.
Read More: How to Keep Apple Slice From Turning Brown
You have no reason to wait for the bananas to become brown. You should not throw your bananas once they become overripe, either. You can slow the process of the bananas getting overripe in various ways. Once they become brown, you can slice them into small pieces, mash them and refrigerate them for later use. You can also add club soda, fruit juice, water, diluted citrus or vinegar to remove the discoloration of your slices.
John DiBella is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, a cooking enthuthiast and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about home kitchenware, he enjoys hiking, camping, sailing and cooking.