Life hack: How to ripen a banana quickly

Bananas are a staple in most people’s daily fruit intake. The only problem though, is that most markets have bunches

Bananas are a staple in most people’s daily fruit intake. The only problem though, is that most markets have bunches of the fruit that is still young in its ripening process, making them unfit for snacking as you buy them. Or sometimes, you need overripe bananas to make banana bread and are faced with a waiting time of a few days, or – if they’re a new bunch – even a week, by which time you might lose interest in the prospect of baking the bread. What if you could speed up the process, based on the time you had on hand? Here’s a list of our quick fix ideas for speeding up the ripening process, based on the time you want to wait:

  1. Place in a warm place: Maybe you still have a few bananas from your previous bunch sitting in your fruit basket, and can wait a couple of days before you need your fruit to be ripe and ready. Place the bunch in a warm place, such as the top of a refrigerator, or close to a heater, and you should have a ripened bunch in 24-48 hours.
  2. Use a paper bag: When you’re ready to wait for about a day or so, place your banana bunch in a brown paper bag and close it loosely. Bananas generally emit a molecule called ethylene, which helps the ripening process. Being in a confined space with these emissions will ensure the bananas ripen at a faster rate.
  3. Add a piece of fruit to the bag: For overnight ripening, repeat the brown paper bag process, but toss in a fruit as well, such as an apple, an avocado, a pear or a tomato.
  4. Use an oven: For recipes that require overripe bananas (like your famous banana bread), this method works wonders. Place unpeeled bananas in an oven at 145°C, for an hour. Due to varying times and temperatures of ovens, check on the fruit frequently to ensure that you take them out when the peels become shiny and black. Cool in the refrigerator, peel and bake a batch of deliciousness.

Once bananas are ripe to the degree you want them, it is important refrigerate them. This will ensure that the ones you don’t use stay as ripe as you require them to be till you get around to using them.

Have you ever used any of these methods? Will you? Are there any other methods you can suggest?

  1. Frank  

    I have no problem with ripening bananas – I’ve known about ethylene gas for decades – I expect you can put bananas in a bag to speed the ripening of other fruit !

    My problem is slowing down the ripening – if I buy a hand of bananas – say 5 – then by the time the first one is ripe – the others are also ripe – and if I eat one banana a day, then four days later the last banana is way overripe to rotting – only good for making a banana milkshake – too sweet to eat by itself

    So if you explained a way to SLOW ripening – hmmm – put in the fridge – the skin goes black but the fruit stays OK ? – then I’d be more interested

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