Bananas, like all other fruits, turn bad at some point. However, if you’ve bought a large quantity, it’s essential to know how to store them so that they last as long as possible. Keeping bananas isn’t as simple as just bringing them home and placing them in the refrigerator. Due to the fact that bananas have no sell-by, use-by, or best-before dates, determining their shelf life can be challenging for beginners. Thus, we always refer to the date we bought the bananas for eat-by-date purposes. Bananas are known as “nature’s perfect food” because they contain numerous essential vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, and are packed in an excellent package. In the grocery shop, bananas can range from bright green to the perfect yellow to brown spotted skin. Different people have different opinions on which stage of the banana is the ripest. We’ll look at how to store bananas, how long they last before they go bad, tips to preserve them, and many more. Let’s begin.
How to know if a banana is raw or ripe?
The majority of bananas purchased at the shop are not ripe enough to eat right away when you brought them home. A banana that is not fully ripe is slimy and doesn’t have the same sweetness as a ripe banana. Bananas that aren’t fully ripe are starchy and can cause digestive problems for certain people. It will be delicious if you can wait for it to ripen. The following are signs of a ripe banana:
- Ripe banana turns yellowish with some brownish spots.
- Test the softness. Ripe banana is soft and squeezable.
- Ripe banana has less green on the stem and can be easily detached from it.
- Peeling ripe banana skin is easy with no resistance.
- After eating ripe banana, it doesn’t leave a waxy film in your mouth.
How to know if a banana is overripe?
Look for a smell that is mildewy, moldy, or fermented. If you notice a bad smell, the banana is almost certainly overripe. A banana with a few brown spots is entirely natural. Still, significant browning or mold on the skin (particularly near the stem) may indicate that the banana is overripe and should be avoided. Another way to tell whether a banana is overripe is that it has a lot of brown to black soft spots on it. You can cut them off if there are only a few. However, if there are numerous brown or black spots inside the peel, or if mold is visible, it is overripe. When a banana becomes overripe and begins to ooze fluids, it is rotten, and best not to eat it.
Do bananas go bad?
Bananas do spoil quickly. When compared to other fruits like oranges and lemons, it has a short shelf life. When bananas turn black in color, they are spoiled and not edible. There are a number of factors that affect a banana’s shelf life and how long it can stay fresh. To begin with, it is determined by how ripe the banana was when you started storing it. Green bananas have a longer shelf life than ripe yellow bananas. It also depends on the methodology you used to keep the bananas. Ripe bananas should be consumed within a week after purchased before it becomes mushy and rotting.
Why bananas become overripe?
Due to the generation of ethylene gas, a phytohormone, these tropical fruits can quickly turn brown. As the bananas get closer to maturity, their ethylene content rises. Just like avocados, apples, plums, peaches, tomatoes, and other climacteric fruits, they all create ethylene, which is why they keep ripening after they’ve been picked. Most fruits get mushy when exposed to ethylene. This gaseous chemical softens and rots them, altering their texture and appearance.
Overripe bananas, on the other hand, may not be safe to eat in some cases. Toxins produced by certain molds can harm organs, induce neurodevelopmental abnormalities, and create cognitive symptoms. If you discover mold on bananas, wrap them in paper or plastic to keep children and pets safe, and throw them away right away.
Where do you keep bananas at home?
When it comes to banana storage, the one guideline to remember is to avoid putting them in the fridge before they are fully ripe. Bananas are tropical fruits, and tropical fruits, in general, ripen slowly in cold storage. That is why, especially when they are green and not quite ripe, bananas should be stored at room temperature rather than in the refrigerator. Placing an unripe banana in the refrigerator will prevent it from ripening.
How do you prolong a banana’s life?
Buy fresh bananas
The best approach to keep your bananas fresh is to buy them when they are still a little green and let them stay at room temperature until they are ready to eat.
Don’t store bananas in a closed location
Don’t put them in a bag or a closed location; that will speed up the ripening process because the ethylene gas generated from the ripe bananas will be in contact with the rest of the bananas making them ripen even faster.
Hang bananas away from other fruits
If you have a banana hanger, hang the banana aside away from other fruits like avocados, peaches, tomatoes, apples, and more. Avoid bananas in contact with ethylene gas is the key to prolong its life. By hanging your bananas, you will be able to prevent them from bruising and decrease the chance of exposing banana flesh to the air and thus ripen faster.
Wrap the top of the bananas with plastic wrap
Wrapping the top crown stem of the bananas with plastic can reduce ethylene generation and thus prolong the banana’s shelf life. According to studies, wrapping the top of the bananas where most of the ethylene gas is generated with plastic wrap can extend their shelf life and keep them fresher and last longer.
Store bananas in the fridge
Simple actions like putting your ripe bananas in the fridge at a lower temperature will slow down the ripening process. The banana skin will still continue to turn brown or black, however, the fruit inside should be still edible for 1-2 weeks.
Store bananas in the freezer
If you are planning to make bananas pancakes or bread or even smoothies, you can keep bananas in the freezer so that they last even longer than in the refrigerator. Frozen bananas can last for 3-6 months in the freezer. Still, bear in mind that bananas kept in the freezer for too long might develop freezer burn by dehydration and oxidation.
Should you keep bananas in the refrigerator?
Do not put green and unripe bananas in the fridge as this will prevent them from ripening at all. Storing ripe bananas in the refrigerator will prolong the shelf-life and prevent them from quickly overripens. The bananas are still edible for 1-2 weeks.
However, it is still not recommended to store ripe bananas in the fridge if you want to maintain their nutrients and vitamins. Bananas are tropical fruit with no natural defense against low temperature. The bananas cell walls can get damaged when the temperature drops below 58 degrees Fahrenheit (most refrigerators are set at 40 degrees Fahrenheit). This allows the naturally occurring digestive enzymes to escape the cells, breaking down vitamins and other nutrients in the bananas, and further turns the fruit black, according to A Moment of Science.
Should you keep bananas in the freezer?
As mentioned earlier, you don’t want to store bananas in the freezer if you want to eat them fresh. However, if you really can’t finish the bananas before they turn bad, and you have plans to use them just for flavoring in your next recipe for baking bread or pie, it is totally fine to keep ripen bananas in the freezer. Frozen bananas can last for 3-6 months in the freezer. Keep them in a freezer-safe bag to prevent them from freezer burn.
Do you peel the banana before storing it in the fridge or freezer?
If you are storing ripe bananas in the refrigerator and you want to eat them fresh, you can either peel or not peel the skin. If you plan to freeze the bananas, it is good to peel off the skin and cut them into readily use pieces so that you can easily use them for your next recipe.
How long do bananas last at room temperature, refrigerator, and freezer?
Unpeeled bananas can last for about 5-7 days at room temperature, depending on how ripe they are when you purchased them from the store. Peeled bananas, on the other hand, turn bad quickly when left at room temperature. Peeled or unpeeled bananas can last for 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator and can be preserved for 3-6 months in the freezer.
Do overripe bananas make you sick?
Overripe bananas show significant browning or mold on the skin. It is questionable whether you should eat overripe bananas although they taste sweeter and contain higher levels of antioxidants and vitamin C. It is important to bear in mind that if you see visible signs of mold or rotten appearance on the bananas, it is best to avoid eating them and throw them away. Certain molds are known to produce toxins that could cause serious illnesses to our bodies.
What can you do with overripe bananas?
Cut and throw away any soft and mold-like features on the overripe bananas. Overripe bananas should reach their highest content of sugar and thus it is always a preferred ingredient for baking a variety of desserts. The natural sweetness of the bananas go well with most desserts and they can be used to substitute sugar when baking cakes, bread, and making smoothies. Some of the most popular banana dessert recipes include banana french toast, banana pancakes, banana chocolate muffins, banana smoothies, and milkshakes.