How to Choose and Store Bananas

The ripening process in bananas happens very fast. The tiny seeds in the fruit release a mixture of ethylene and carbon dioxide that causes the fruit to turn black. Opt for ripe bananas (yellow with brown stains) for immediate use and yellowish-green ones to eat later.

5-Minute Crafts will help you preserve the freshness of bananas for longer by telling you how to store them correctly.

Defining the degree of ripeness by the banana’s color

🔶 Green: It’s the early stage that shows the fruit is still unripe. It’s firm to the touch and doesn’t have that signature banana fragrance. The peel is so tightly bound that you will have to use a knife to get to the fruit inside. The flesh itself is dense, entirely starchy, and not very sweet.

🔶 Greenish-yellow: Slightly unripe bananas are firm with a bit more give when pressed than completely unripe bananas. They possess a bright resin-like smell. The taste is half starchy, half sweet, and it has a bit of an astringent aftertaste.

🔶 Yellow: Many people consider this stage of ripeness ideal for bananas. They are easy to bite, you can feel a creamy taste in your mouth when you bite them, and they’re mostly sweet. They have a more vivid banana fragrance.

🔶 With brown freckles: The peel is thinner and can be removed from the flesh easier. The fruit is very soft, sweet, and fragrant inside.

🔶 Brown-black: At this stage, the overripe bananas lose their structural integrity and become mushy in texture. Their flesh is beginning to fray and gradually becomes translucent, crawling on the verge of liquifying into a syrupy, saccharine mess.

Specifics of storing

The main rule you need to follow when it comes to storing bananas is to avoid the fridge before the fruit gets ripe. Bananas grow in the tropics and, as a rule, they are frost-intolerant. That’s why it’s better to store them at room temperature. If you put an unripe banana into the fridge, it will slow down its ability to ripen and won’t be able to restart the process, even if returned to the previous conditions.

When bananas ripen, they can be put into the fridge. But keep in mind that they will turn black anyway. However, it won’t affect the flesh — it will still be edible.

Use food film for storing bananas in room conditions. There are 2 ways you can do it.

🔷 Wrap all the stems in a bunch with plastic food film. This method prevents ethylene gas, which occurs naturally during the ripening process, from entering other parts of the fruit and protects things from ripening prematurely. Still, keep in mind that due to small open areas, you won’t be able to prevent contact with ethylene completely. Nevertheless, it’s better than nothing.

🔷 Separate the stems from each other and then wrap each of them with the film. Since bananas in a bunch ripen at different speeds, the prematurely ripened fruits will emit more ethylene gas, which will speed up the ripening process of the other bananas. That’s why this method can sometimes be even more effective.

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