You love bananas, but they ripe so fast! Want to know “How to Keep Bananas Fresh” for a long time? Here’re 9 hacks that really work.
We all love this nutrient-rich fruit that is packed with potassium and many other vitamins and minerals. But the saddest fact is they have a short shelf life. The day you buy them, they are fresh and firm, and pretty soon, they turn brown and floppy. How to avoid this? How to keep them fresh and flavorful? This article has the answers.
Check before Buying
It’s a no-brainer that just like other fruits, you need to check bananas also, and here are some pointers:
- Buy bananas that have a greenish end and a yellowish middle part. They will last longer.
- Sightly under-ripe bananas will last longer as compared to the ones that are already ripe. Do not buy bananas that are already yellow and overripe.
- The ripening process is speedy if there are bruises, brown spots, blemishes, and puncture marks on the surface of the bananas.
Avoid Sealed Bags
Some of us have the habit of storing fruits and vegetables in sealed plastic bags or brown paper bags. We do this to protect the fruits and vegetables from pests and other ailments. While this might be effective for some fruits and vegetables, it is no good for bananas. In fact, keeping bananas in sealed packages does more harm than good. Bananas will ripen faster as ethylene gas will not be able to escape from the surroundings.
Avoid Heat Exposure
Bananas will ripen at a quicker pace when exposed to heat. The slightly unripe banana bought from the market should be kept at room temperature. It will slow down the ripening process.
Use Plastic Wrap
Ethylene gas is produced naturally during the ripening process of bananas or any other fruit. If you leave the stems uncovered, pretty soon, this gas reaches other parts of the fruit, and it starts to ripen. By covering the stems in the plastic bag, you can slow down the ripening process of the fruit.
There are no studies or scientific evidence to validate this idea of “how to keep bananas fresh,” but it can be done in two ways, either you can cover the stems of the whole bunch or cover the stem of each banana specifically after separating them. The second method is more effective.
Isolate the Bananas
What it means is that you should keep bananas away from other fruits and vegetables. The reason behind it is that when fruits and vegetables begin to ripen, they release ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process of bananas. You should be especially vigilant with fruits or vegetables which have already turned brown, as they release even more ethylene.
Refrigerate the Banana
Refrigerating will slow down the ripening process in bananas. It happens because the chemical reaction which leads to the ripening of banana fruit slows down in cold temperatures. Don’t fuss over the outer peel turning brown or black, as the banana will remain in the same fresh state.
Or, if you want to avoid the discoloration of the skin, keep the bananas in the plastic bag and then put them in the fridge. Do not refrigerate very green, unripe bananas as they’ll remain in the same unripened state they were in because the enzymes that are responsible for ripeness get killed.
The peeled bananas will be directly exposed to the surrounding air without any protection. Still, you can keep them fresh by freezing them, which is also effective, like refrigerating the bananas. All you need to do is place the peeled bananas in an airtight container and place it in a freezer. Take out the bananas before eating them and let them sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours. Your sliced bananas are now edible!
To keep your bananas from turning brown, you can dip the banana slices in lemon juice or sprinkle lemon juice over the slices. Don’t use too many lemons, or the banana slices will taste sour and lemony. For a sweeter alternate, you can use pineapple, orange, or apple juice as they’re not too acidic or sour.
Vinegar Water Solution
Make the vinegar solution by mixing a cup of water in one-fourth cup of vinegar. Keep the banana slices in this solution for about three minutes. Do not leave bananas in this solution for more than three minutes as it leads to bananas turning too soft. Also, the slices will develop a vinegary taste which is not appealing at all!
One Banana Hack
These were all the effective tips on How to Keep Bananas Fresh for a long time. Share with us in the comments what you do to keep bananas fresh? Also, there is one banana hack–As bananas produce ethylene gas more than any other fruits, you can use them to ripen other fruits. For example, mangoes or pears–Just place a couple of fully ripened bananas with these fruits, and they’ll ripen fast.