Bananas turn brown for several reasons. When you peel or cut the fruit, oxygen affects its enzymes and the flesh turns brown. When it turns brown on the outside, the yellow pigment in the banana is broken down and not replaced, producing a brown color. It's important to know the science behind ripening to keep your bananas fresh, tasty and edible. Here are some ways to prevent them from ripening quickly.
Method 1 of 3: Preserving Unpeeled Bananas
Step 1. Buy bananas green on the ends and yellow in the middle
This means they are slightly green.
- Choose fruits that don't have brown spots or bruises. Beats and perforations leave the banana exposed to the air, which speeds up the ripening process.
- Do not choose the ones that are already yellow. They ripen quickly and their shelf life is very short. So buy the ones that are a little greener so you have more time to store them properly before the ripening process takes place.
Step 2. Store bananas at room temperature until ripe
Avoid heat as this will speed up the ripening process.
Do not store in the refrigerator before they are ripe. This can have a reverse effect and make the skin brown faster. This is because the cold causes the cell walls to break down prematurely and allows the production of melanin, leaving the fruit completely black. Ironically, the interior is not yet ripe because the low temperature inhibits the ripening process of the fruit itself
Step 3. Hang your bananas on a fruit hanger
This prevents them from hurting themselves and being exposed to air. You can also seal the curl stem with plastic wrap. This limits the amount of oxygen she gets and can keep the bananas fresh for another week.
Step 4. Keep your bananas separate from other fruits and vegetables
They release a special hormone that speeds up ripening.
- Keeping other items together can speed up the ripening process, which, oddly enough, is contagious. Plants naturally produce a hormone called “ethylene,” which causes them to mature. Fruits or vegetables that are already brown emit more ethylene than normal, causing nearby fresh items to ripen faster.
- Do not store fruits in sealed bags. Doing so will make them brown more quickly as the hormone ethylene will be trapped inside.
Step 5. Store the bananas in the fridge when they are ripe
Now that the ripening process has started, you can safely delay it in the cold environment.
- To stop ripening it is necessary to slow down the chemical reaction created by ethylene. The cold temperature reduces the circulation of ethylene and prevents the inside of the fruit from ripening.
- Don't be scared if the shell turns completely black, which it probably will. This is due to the pigment in the skin and has nothing to do with the actual freshness of the fruit, which will probably still taste good and slightly firm.
Method 2 of 3: Preserving Peeled Bananas
Step 1. Place the peeled bananas in an airtight plastic container and store in the freezer
You can defrost it when you use it.
- Although peeled bananas have no protection against exposure to air, the hermetic seal works like a vacuum and will limit the amount of air in the container and the freezing temperature will decrease ethylene emission faster than simple refrigeration.
- Unlike refrigerated bananas, frozen ones cannot be consumed immediately. You will have to leave the fruit at room temperature for about an hour to thaw.
Step 2. Brush lemon or lime juice onto the banana
The acidity acts as a preserving agent and keeps the fruit yellow longer.
- No need to overdo the lemon juice. More lemon does not mean better preservation and it will also make the fruit very sour.
- If you want sweeter alternatives, substitute lemon juice for pineapple, orange or apple juice. They're all acidic enough to keep the banana from turning brown, without needing to be diluted. Apple juice is light enough to be barely noticeable; use other juices if you plan on mixing the banana with other fruits later.
Step 3. Soak the peeled bananas in a solution of water and vinegar
It also uses acidity to preserve them, using vinegar in place of fruit juice.
- Using vinegar is a good alternative if other fruit juices are greatly affecting the flavor of the banana. Just add 1/4 cup of vinegar to every cup of water. Leave the banana, sliced or whole, to soak in the water for about 3 minutes.
- Avoid leaving them in the solution for more than 3 minutes. They can get too soft and pick up the taste of vinegar, which is probably less pleasant than fruit juices.
Step 4. Soak them in a solution of crushed vitamin C water
If you don't have access to other fruits or vinegar, vitamin C can have a similar effect when dissolved in water.
- Crush a single vitamin C tablet with a spoon and sprinkle it into a glass of water. Mix the solution with a spoon and dip the bananas in it for a few seconds.
- Vitamin C effervescent tablets work very well for this. Put a tablet in a glass of water and when the effervescent process stops you don't even need to mix and you can immediately dip the bananas in the water for a few seconds.
Method 3 of 3: Recipes with Very Ripe Bananas
Step 1. Banana bread.
Just because you can't save all the bananas from ripening doesn't mean you can't use them in treats.
- Banana bread actually gets sweeter and tastier when it's very ripe fruit. If bananas are already a "lost cause," banana bread is a sure destination.
- In fact, bananas can be consumed for longer than you think. As long as they don't have mold, fruit flies or traces of their eggs, it's likely they can still be eaten even if they're soft or black.
Step 2. Make a smoothie from bananas, apples and cinnamon biscuits
Toss the overripe bananas into the blender with a few other ingredients to make this tasty drink.
- All you need is 1 very ripe banana, 1/2 peeled and seedless apple, 4 cinnamon cookies (they can be Biscoff or other cookies of your choice, such as cornstarch or champagne), a pinch of cinnamon, 1 /2 teaspoon vanilla extract, a cup of milk and a handful of ice cubes.
- Place banana, apple and cookies in a blender first and blend until smooth. Add the other ingredients and continue mixing. You can keep adding milk until you reach the desired consistency.
- If you want more texture, add whole oats or beat the oats along with the smoothie. This makes the drink more crunchy and balances the intense flavor.
Step 3. Freeze whipped banana to make popsicles
This is a very easy dessert to prepare.
- You will need 2 large bananas, very ripe and thinly sliced; 2 tablespoons of brown sugar; 1 tablespoon of butter; 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon; 1/2 cup natural Greek yogurt; 1/2 cup of milk; 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon rum extract.
- First place the bananas, brown sugar, butter and cinnamon in a small bowl and heat in the microwave at 30-second intervals until the bananas are soft. Stir well and let the bananas cool before mixing in a blender with Greek yogurt, milk, vanilla and rum extract. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and place in the freezer for a few hours until they are completely frozen. Unmold when serving.