Ripening is a natural process. The ripening of fruits involves the conversion of starch to sugar, which changes the color, consistency, and texture of the fruit. It helps fruit to attain its sweet taste. Although the ripening of bananas is a natural process, there are ways and means to quicken the process at home. Let’s take a look at how to ripen bananas faster, as well as how to ripen green bananas overnight.
How to Ripen Bananas Faster
Bananas are harvested when they are green and unripe. However, they continue to ripen after harvest. The ethylene gas produced by the bananas triggers the ripening process.
While bananas are ripening, growers keep the fruit away from sunlight as it raises the temperature inside the fruit. On the commercial front, the ripening process may be done slowly to prevent the fruit from becoming mushy. But once you get the bananas home, you can ripen them faster.
Here are two ways to ripen bananas faster at home.
1. Paper bag method
Using a paper bag is an effective way on how to ripen bananas naturally and quickly at home. The basic principle is to trap this ethylene gas as much as possible to ripen bananas faster. You can put bananas in a paper bag.
You can add other fruits such as apples and kiwis in the bag to ripen them faster, too. These fruits also produce ethylene. Seal the bag properly so that the gas is trapped inside. Since heat increases the ripening process, it is a good idea to place the bag near heat sources such as a stove or the top of a refrigerator.
If the weather is humid, it will help the ripening process further. This process should take about 24-48 hours for the bananas to ripen. However, check the bag a couple of times in a day.
2. Microwave oven method
If you are wondering how to ripen bananas without a paper bag, then you can use the microwave method.
Here are the directions on how to ripen bananas in microwave ovens.
Start by preheating the oven to 300°F. You can reduce the temperature to 170°F if you don’t want black bananas.
Place the bananas on a baking sheet and cover them with parchment paper. Bake them for about 30 minutes. Be sure to check them after the first 10-15 minutes.
Remove the sheet from the oven and let them cool. Check if the bananas have softened by poking them with a spoon or knife.
If you want to use the bananas in a recipe, simply scoop the soft part out from the skin. But, if you want to use the bananas at a later time, you can refrigerate them for a day or two.
How to Ripen Bananas for Banana Bread
Now that you know how to ripen green bananas overnight, you can use them to make banana bread or other recipes. You can use slightly overripe bananas to make this bread. Banana bread is delicious and has been a popular recipe for decades.
Initially, our grandmas made banana bread when there were leftover ripe bananas. Now, the situation is reversed. If you don’t have ripe bananas and want to make banana bread, you can use any of the two methods mentioned above, or simply get ripe bananas from the market.
How to Store Ripe Bananas
Now that you know how to ripen bananas faster, the next step is to know how you should store them for the longevity of its consumption period.
Ripe, yellow bananas with a few brown spots remain fresh at room temperature when left in a cool place. As soon you get home, remove the plastic or paper bag so that the ethylene gas is set free, which slows down the natural ripening process. They will remain fresh for three to four days depending on the climate.
If the bananas are green and unripe and you are not in a hurry for them to ripen, you can leave them at room temperature and cover them lightly. Simply let them ripen naturally. You can use a banana hanger.
If you do not want to consume fully ripe bananas, you can refrigerate them for a day or two before consuming them to avoid blackening and over-ripening of the fruit. In case you have already peeled a banana and want to store it, simply place it in a bowl of lemon or pineapple juice and refrigerate.
You can place ripe bananas near some other unripe fruits. Doing this will slow down the ripening process of the bananas while increasing that of the other fruits.
Final Word on the Ripening of Bananas
Bananas also release carbon dioxide and esters in addition to ethylene gas. Because of this, on a commercial level, growers unload unripe bananas in closed rooms during the initial ripening stages.
On some occasions, they supply ethylene gas externally to induce ripening. After the process is complete, the room is left open to allow ventilation and escape of gasses.
In conclusion, we can say that the natural ripening process of any fruit is the best. However, if you want to ripen bananas at home, using a paper bag is a more natural way of ripening. You can ripen bananas in a microwave only if you do not have any other option.
Now that you know how to ripen bananas faster, you can try it at home and use ripe bananas in your recipes.
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