Bananas seem to turn brown overnight. One second they’re ripe and ready, and the next, they’re shriveled and rotten. And while there are many ways to use ripe bananas, from banana bread to chocolate chip cookies, it would be great if they lasted longer.
When bananas go bad, we often throw them in the trash, sending food waste to landfills, where they release greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Composting food scraps is one way to decrease waste, but another is to keep your produce fresh.
Luckily, if you’re wondering how to keep bananas fresh, there are some tips and tricks to extend their life. Here’s exactly how to keep your bananas from turning into a mushy mess.
How to Keep Bananas Fresh: 6 Techniques to Try
1. Ditch the Plastic Bag
Bananas that are stored in plastic bags will ripen faster, so it’s just one more reason to ditch those wasteful bags at the grocery store.
Instead, keep your bananas at room temperature in a cool, dark place to be sure they receive fresh, well-ventilated air. Bananas sitting in direct sunlight or near the stove will shrivel up and turn brown at a faster rate.
2. Separate Them
When we buy bananas, they usually come in bunches. However, keeping the bunch together makes all the bananas ripen at the same time. And it’s probable you’re not eating all your bananas at once.
If you separate the bananas, they’ll ripen at different paces. That way, you can eat the ripe ones first and let the others ripen later.
3. Store Away from Other Fruits
When bananas are exposed to the ethylene released by other fruits, they ripen at a faster rate. If your bananas are in a bowl with other fruits, separate them!
4. Hang Them Up
Another way to keep your bananas from going bad is to hang them! According to Cheap Simple Living, hanging your bananas keeps air ventilated and decreases the amount of ethylene they’re exposed to.
When bananas are sitting in a bowl or on the counter, the bananas at the bottom of the bundle usually ripen first, so hanging them up solves that issue, too. This method also keeps bananas from bruising.
5. Keep Ripe Bananas in the Fridge
When your bananas are perfectly ripe, but you’re not ready to eat them, pop them in the fridge. The cold environment will prevent them from ripening any further.
The one downside: The skin may still turn brown, but don’t let that fool you. The banana itself will be perfectly ripe and delicious when you’re ready to eat it!
6. Freeze Them
Yes, you can freeze bananas—especially if you know you won’t eat them before they go bad. There are a few ways you can freeze your bananas.
One way is to chop the bananas into slices, which is great for any smoothie fans out there. If you plan on mashing your bananas or baking them into bread, you can freeze them whole and unpeeled.
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