Most of us have experienced the harrowing encounter of buying bananas in bulk, thinking they will last. You are less likely to enjoy your bananas if they have turned mushy and brown. This means that your bananas have over-ripened.
How do you prevent over-ripening? Can you stop bananas from going brown?
To understand how to keep bananas fresh longer, we need to navigate through their fast ripening process. Banana stems contain ethylene gas that is released and speeds up the ripening process.
Consider adapting storage tactics that slow down the ripening process, thereby increasing the longevity of your bananas. Let’s delve in!
Why Should Bananas Be Kept Fresh Longer?
Now that you understand why bananas are kept fresh longer, let’s look at why they should be kept fresh in the first place:
- Preservation of nutrients
- Prevent softening
- Prevents flies
- Preserve the taste
- Maintain the outward appearance
- Save on costs
- Reduce wastage
10 Hacks That Keep Bananas Fresh Longer
Store Your Bananas Properly
Bananas are incredibly perishable. Therefore, how you store your bananas determines how long they will last. For those wondering how to properly store bananas, consider the following:
● Store in a cool, dry, and ventilated area
● Store in a bowl, basket, or hanger
● Avoid storing near any cookware
● Avoid storing them on kitchen countertops
● Avoid storing in green bags and paper bags
Don’t Mix Bananas With Other Fruits
Unless you are making a smoothie or a fruit salad, bananas are almost incompatible with other fruits. Tropical fruits like bananas produce excessive ethylene gas. Consequently, they have a fast ripening process.
Therefore, avoid mixing bananas with other fruits to delay the process. Instead, store them separately in a basket, bowl, or banana hanger.
Wrap the Stems
You’ve probably wondered why some grocery shops wrap their banana stems. In a nutshell, bananas unleash ethylene gas mainly from the stems, the more the gas escapes, the riper the fruit.
When you wrap the banana stems, you slow down the release of ethylene gas and, consequently, the fruit’s ripening. You can use plastic paper or aluminium foil to wrap your banana stems.
Keep Your Ripe Bananas in the Fridge
It’s no surprise that you can keep bananas in the fridge for a week without going bad. Due to the cool temperatures of the fridge, you can store ripe bananas in the fridge to stop the ripening process.
However, refrigeration does not prevent the peel from turning brown. Therefore, avoid leaving them in the fridge for too long to avoid rotting.
Bath or sprinkle acidic fruit juice on Peeled Banana Slices
If you frequently make salads, then you are aware of how fast bananas oxidize. When bananas are cut open, the chemical cells react with oxygen through oxidative action. Consequently, the fruit quickly turns brown and eventually softens.
However, you can prevent enzymatic browning by sprinkling or immersing the slices in any acidic fruit juice. The acid keeps the banana slices fresh and prevents browning. You can use fruits such as lemon, pineapple, or vinegar. If you plan to make banana pots in advance then why not add a little pineapple or lemon juice to them?
Buy Unripe Bananas
Unripened fruits tend to last longer compared to ripened fruits. When you buy unripened bananas, it’s easier to monitor and control the rate of ripening. The more unripe the banana, the longer the shelf life and vice versa.
Separate the Bananas
This tactic is called divide and rule. Bananas grow in bunches, which means they grow as close to each other as possible. Keep in mind they release high amounts of ethylene gas.
Therefore, isolating the bananas prevents the release and absorption of ethylene gas, slowing down the ripening process.
Purchase a Banana Bunker
If you frequently pack bananas for your child or to work as your snack, then you know the disappointment of opening your lunch box and finding a soft and mushy banana due to heat and moisture. However, you can say goodbye to ventilation issues by using a banana bunker.
A banana bunker is a portable and well-ventilated plastic box that protects your fruits. The bunker has small holes to allow air circulation hence enabling the banana to stay fresh longer.
In addition, the banker has an ergonomic design that accommodates a curved or straight banana, thus preventing fruit bruises.
Store Unripe Bananas at Room Temperature
The room temperature is the recommended temperature for the perfect ripening of the banana. Since bananas are tropical fruits, they are rarely ripe under cold temperatures. Storing unripe bananas at room temperature ensures the bananas ripen at the same rate.
Henceforth, consider buying and storing unripened bananas at room temperature to avoid over-ripening of the bananas.
Avoid Buying in Bulk
We are all aware of how fast bananas ripen or spoil. Therefore, select a bunch that you or your family can comfortably finish in a few days.
In addition, why would you buy bananas and let them sit for days without eating them? Bananas are delightful fruits with high nutritional value. Instead of eating burgers and other unhealthy snacks, consider making a banana smoothie or salad as an alternative snack.
Frequently Asked Questions –
How Long Do Bananas Last?
Depending on your storage methods, unripened bananas can last up to 1 week without going bad. Ripened bananas tend to last up to 5 days.
When Should I Throw My Banana?
If your banana has a black peel and is completely mushy, consider it inedible and dispose of it immediately.
Can Bananas Be Frozen?
Yes, they can. When freezing your bananas, it’s advisable to peel and cut them into slices, then store them. In addition, store in a tightly sealed freezer bag to avoid air entering the bag. Those bananas can last up to 6 months.
Can I Use Aluminium Foil to Wrap the Banana Stems?
Yes, you can. Aluminium acts as a barrier to prevent the escape and absorption of ethylene gas among the fruits of the same stem. Consequently, the ripening process is delayed.
Can I Expose Bananas to the Sun?
It’s not advisable to expose bananas to direct sunlight to avoid softening and over-ripening.
Can I Wrap the Whole Banana Instead of the Stem?
No, you can’t. Wrapping the whole fruit prevents any ripening process from taking place.
If bananas are not properly stored, they become mushy, soft, and discoloured. Let’s be honest; no one likes the taste and smell of a soft and mushy banana. In a nutshell, properly storing your bananas ensures that they last longer and remain fresh longer.
If you are looking for hacks to make your bananas last longer, consider the points discussed above.