Up for baking with bananas but have underripe bananas sitting on your kitchen table? Most of the baking recipes specifically ask for ripen bananas just like my delicious The ripe the bananas are the great the bakes will be. Yellow bananas cannot be consumed in baking and its such a turn off to wait for stage of ripeness in bananas and hold onto the thought to bake delicious 4 Ingredient Banana Bread or Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.
In this article I will walk you through different methods to speed-ripening bananas and you'll see how easy it is to get peak ripeness of bananas in minutes. Let's get those yellow or bunch of green bananas sitting on the table and convert them into ripe black bananas with a soft texture inside perfect for your best banana recipes.
Ripe bananas are a must-have when you are baking with bananas. Why? Because the ripe bananas have more sugar and packed with flavor perfect for baking.
Most of the super markets sell unripe bananas. We buy them and let them sit on the kitchen counter or tale until these unripened bananas are good enough to be incorporated in our bakes.
Table of Contents
- baking options
- ripening process
- how to brown bananas quickly
- method # 1 - keep the bananas on the counter or kitchen table
- method # 2 brown paper bag method
- method # 3 brown the bananas using the oven method
- method # 4 brown the bananas in an air fryer
- method # 5 microwave method
- how to store ripe bananas
The natural process of fruits is simple to understand. The fruits like banana, peach or apple release ethylene gas responsible for ripening of the fruit. Ethylene is basically a natural plant hormone in the form of a gas. Banana is a high ethylene-producing fruit.
A bunch of bananas sitting on your dining table will develop brown spots because of this natural process. They will have a dark brown or black skin outside and a mushy flesh inside. The ripe the banana is the mushy the flesh is and the sweeter it is in taste.
When the dark brown spots develop in banana, it is a sign that nearly all of the starches in the bananas have now turned into sugars and the bananas are now as sweet as they can get.
Tip: Make sure you do not use bananas with mold spots on them and ideally use the bananas in baking or freeze them before mold forms.
how to brown bananas quickly
Following are a few tried and true methods that I adapt whenever I am working on ripe banana recipes and have yellowish bananas on hand. You'll learn how to store bananas and how to use high temperature using an oven or an air fryer and turn the green or yellow bananas into ripe ones quickly.
method # 1 - keep the bananas on the counter or kitchen table
Time to ripen: 24 hours to 6 days
Once you bring the bunch of fresh and yellow banana from the market or super market, take them out of the bag and place them on the dining table or kitchen table next to a sunny window with adequate and direct sunlight. You want to keep it at a warm spot at room temperature as it will help the bananas to ripen quickly.
Also, do you know that bananas ripen more quickly if stacked together in a bunch? So, let them sit together in a bunch to ripen faster.
method # 2 brown paper bag method
Time to ripen: 24 hours to 6 days
Another easy and best method to ripe bananas in couple of days is to use the brown bag method.
Take a brown bag and place the unripe bananas in the bag. You may also add a fruit of your choice that releases ethylene in high amount such as a ripe banana or a ripe apple, which will fasten the ripening of bananas. Fold the bag from the top and leave it on the counter. The ethylene gas produced inside the bag will make the bananas ripe faster. This process will take anywhere from 24 hours - 3 days to ripen the bananas. You may also place the bananas in a plastic bag as well.
method # 3 brown the bananas using the oven method
This is one of my favorite methods and the most convenient, quickest and in my opinion the best way to ripen up the bananas.
Preheat your oven to 300 F. Take a baking tray and cover it with aluminum foil or spread parchment paper or butter paper on it. Now arrange the unpeeled yellow or semi-ripe bananas on the baking sheet. Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes until the bananas peel change color to black. Do not forget to turn the bananas half way through for proper and even browning. Bake the bananas until they turn completely black in color. This procedure may take more than 20 minutes and the process can go up to 35 minutes depending on the size and ripeness levels for the bananas.
Once they are completely black in color, take them out of the oven and let them cool completely before peeling them and taking out the pulp to use in baking.
method # 4 brown the bananas in an air fryer
This is another fastest way that I use to darken my bananas occasionally.
Take out the air fryer tray or basket and line it with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Arrange your unpeeled bananas on the air fryer basket or tray and set the air fryer at 300 F mark just like the oven. It should take about 8 - 11 minutes to get your bananas blackened completely. It may take a little longer depending on your air fryer and also the ripeness level of the bananas.
Once the bananas turn black completely, take them out and let them rest until they are completely cool and back to room temperature. Then peel them, scoop out the flesh and use them in the recipe as per the instructions.
method # 5 microwave method
The microwave method is another easy method to ripen the bananas but I do not recommend it because while it gets the job done but the natural sugars in the bananas are not properly ripened using this technique.
Peel the bananas first and then arrange them on a microwave-safe plate. Place the plate in the microwave and heat in 30-seconds intervals until the banana pulp is soft enough that it can be easily pressed with a fork or a masher. Take them out at this stage and let them cool completely.
how to store ripe bananas
Freeze the unpeeled sweet bananas in freezer for about 6 - 8 months. Wrap them in a ziploc bag or place them in an airtight container, put a label and put a date on it for reference. When you are ready to use, take them out of the freezer and let them thaw for a few hours before using them in the recipe. Then peel off the banana and add them in a bowl and mash using a fork or a masher. Then measure and use in the recipe accordingly.