How To Make Banana Ripe Faster

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Have you ever wondered how to make banana ripen faster? You’re not alone.

Have you ever wondered how can I make my bananas ripe faster? I know it’s a huge frustration when you want to make banana bread, or plantain chips and your bananas are green, hard and can’t be eaten. If this is all new to you, you don’t worry because I will give you simple method to ripen your bananas in 1 day!

How to Quickly Ripen Bananas

ingredients for banana split

Overripe bananas make delicious banana bread, but timing your purchase so the bananas reach the right stage of ripeness just when you want to start baking can be tricky. Growers intentionally ship underripe bananas to lengthen their shelf life, and it’s not unusual to find only green bananas in stock at the grocery store.

But don’t let that deter you. You can speed the process with a simple paper bag or instantly ripen bananas in your oven.

illustration showing how to riper bananas fast

How to Ripen Bananas for Eating

To ripen green bananas for eating out of hand or baking in a few days, there are a couple of options available:

  • Warm Spot: Put them in the warmest area of your home. Good locations might be on top of your refrigerator or next to a sunny window. Depending on the stage of ripeness when you bring them home from the store and how you prefer to eat them, it may take anywhere from 24 hours to four or five days to ripen a green banana without any other intervention. Note that bananas ripen more quickly in a bunch, so leave them together unless you want to delay the ripening of one or two.
  • Paper Bag: To speed the ripening process, put the bananas in a paper bag and loosely fold down the top. Add an apple or a couple of already very ripe bananas to the bag to increase the amount of ethylene gas circulating around the green fruit. The bananas should ripen in just a day or two using this method.

Ripening Effects of Ethylene

Some fruits, including bananas, produce ethylene as they ripen. The invisible gas then promotes further ripening, making it a useful tool for speeding the process in fruits that get harvested and sent to market before they reach optimal ripeness. Ethylene helps convert starch into sugar, giving the fruit its characteristic sweet taste, and in the case of bananas, softening the flesh and turning the peel yellow.

How to Ripen Bananas for Baking

To immediately ripen bananas for use in banana bread, cake, or other baked goods that call for overripe bananas, you can use the oven or the microwave. The oven does a good job of developing the sweet flavor of overripe bananas, while the microwave just tenderizes the fruit.

  • Oven: Put unpeeled bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake them in a preheated 300 F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway, or until the banana skins turn completely black all over. Let them cool, then scoop the banana pulp from the peel and mash it for your recipe. The fruit will have the texture and flavor of an overripe banana.
  • Microwave: This method softens the bananas but does not improve the flavor or increase the sweetness, so you may need to increase the sugar in your recipe to compensate. This method works better with partially ripened fruit rather than fully green bananas. Peel the bananas and place them on a microwave-safe plate or bowl. Heat them on high just until you hear them sizzling, about 30 seconds.

Frozen Bananas

Frozen, ripe bananas are a good option for baking, since their soft texture makes them easy to mix into a batter. If you get overzealous ripening bananas and don’t need them all at once, freezing is a great way to store them for baking another day. You can freeze ripe bananas in the peel, but they won’t last much longer than a month. No matter how you freeze your bananas, defrost (and peel, if needed) before using.

How to Quickly Ripen Bananas, 6 Different Ways

Because you want banana bread and you want it now.

Is the bunch of bananas you just bought from the local market too green for your snacking preference? Or have you been craving banana bread and are in need of overripe bananas to make your favorite recipe? Your overnight solution could be a paper bag, an oven, an air fryer, or even a microwave. 

You may not have thought about science since your freshman gen-chem seminars, but hear me out. Bananas give off a molecule called ethylene. You can’t see it, but this compound works on processing the sugars within the fruit, allowing the banana to soften and change colors. Most of these hacks involve heat — a common misconception about banana ripening is that sticking them in the freezer will help. In fact, freezing bananas halts the ripening process and makes for a good way to preserve ripe bananas.

With a little time, some warmth, and consolidation, your bananas will soon be suitable for your snacking or baking preference. Check out these six ways to speed up the process to ripen bananas.

1. In a bunch: takes about 24-48 hours to ripen

Bananas that grow together, ripen together. If you want more ripened bananas, do not separate all the bananas at once. Only separate the one you want to eat and leave the others intact. You can even bunch up your roommate’s bananas with yours by using some foil. More consolidation means more ethylene emitted in one area. This ripening process happens slowly, but will ensure the sweetest and best bananas. If you want to speed up the process, keep looking, but the sweetest bananas will ripen on their own!

2. Place in warm places: takes about 24-48 hours to ripen

Place bananas in warm areas such as near a heater, above your refrigerator, or in an oven that’s cooling down. In the latter, make sure to check on them frequently. You’ll want to pull them out when brown spots begin to form. 

3. In a paper bag: takes about 12-24 hours to ripen

Place bananas in a brown paper bag and close loosely. Ethylene will build up and circulate within the bag, speeding up the ripening process. Check at certain intervals in order to take them out at your desired ripeness. This hack makes the magic happen pretty much overnight.

#SpoonTip: Place a ripe fruit such as an apple or tomato in the bag as well. These other fruits also emit ethylene and will enhance ripening.

4. In the oven: about 15-30 minutes to ripen

This method is great to ripen bananas for recipes because heat brings out the fruit’s sugar. Bananas cannot be overly green when using this method. Put unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and place in an oven set at 300ºF. Check on them frequently because time will vary, and don’t fret if the bananas leak a bit. You know they’re done when the peels become shiny and black.

5. In the microwave: 30 seconds-2 minutes to ripen

Need a dorm-friendly, banana ripening trick? You’re in luck! Take a fork or sharp knife and completely poke through the skin of the peel a couple of times on all sides. Place the banana in the microwave for 30 seconds. Let cool slightly and check if desired softness is met. If not, microwave for an additional 30 seconds. Continue this process until desired ripeness is obtained. This hack makes the ripening happen really quickly and works best when you’re in a pinch (also, it doesn’t require a paper bag).

6. In the air fryer: 8-10 minutes to ripen

Much like the oven method, the bananas will ripen when exposed to extreme heat. Luckily, a college student (especially in dorms) is much more likely to have access to a small air fryer than an entire oven. First, line your air fryer with parchment paper or foil, just in case the bananas burst, place them in there at 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and take them out after eight minutes or until the bananas are soft and the peels have darkened. Definitely let them cool, then mash away to make banana bread!

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