The Simple Trick That Keeps Bananas Fresh
We all know that bananas tend to ripen quickly. While having ripened bananas can result in a delicious loaf of banana bread, having a ripened banana isn't exactly favored when you're looking for a banana to simply snack on. If you're buying bananas at the beginning of the week and would like them to last until the following weekend, there's a simple trick you can do to keep bananas fresh for longer.
Why do bananas ripen so quickly?
Bananas are one of the many fruits that will release a gas called ethylene. Ethylene is a plant hormone that is released and causes the ripening of fruits, such as bananas. Avocados, tomatoes, and potatoes are all foods that emit ethylene when ripening, and should always be stored separately from ethylene-sensitive produce (like onions and carrots).
How can you keep bananas fresh?
The ethylene gas, in particular, is released through the stems of the bananas. The trick to keep bananas fresh is to actually wrap up the stems of bananas in order to stifle the release of this ethylene gas. You can easily do this by using a small piece of plastic wrap. If the plastic doesn't stay on tight, tie a rubber band on the outside of the plastic wrap as well.
Here's an example of what they'll look like:
While there has been some speculation on wrapping either the whole bunch together or each individual banana separately, Food52 did an experiment to see which method actually lasts the longest. After a few days, they came to the conclusion that wrapping each banana stem separately will help slow down the ripening process of the banana. So right after you buy a bunch, pull apart each banana and wrap the stems with a small piece of plastic.
Once your bananas reach the perfect level of ripeness to your liking, you can simply pop them into the fridge. The bananas will keep at the same level of ripeness while in the refrigerator, giving you more time to enjoy your bananas without wasting them. But warning: If you put the bananas in the refrigerator when they are green, they will never ripen. If you take them out after being in the fridge, they will simply turn black. However, if you are looking to speed up the ripening process, there's actually an easy trick to ripening bananas faster, too.
Now if you end up with too many bananas at the end of the week (even ripe ones), never fear! There are lots of clever ways to cook with bananas beyond the usual banana bread.