How Do You Ripen Green Bananas?

Bananas are always picked and shipped green so they won't rot before they arrive at the grocery store. Green bananas are more resistant to bruising because the fruit is mostly starch, which is more stable than sugar. They do not, however, have that mellow yellow banana flavor. A fully ripe banana has a deep yellow skin speckled with brown flecks. As the banana continues to ripen the skin turns darker and eventually becomes black.

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You don't have to wait for green bananas to ripen on their own. Instead, use some common tricks to ripen them faster.

It's a snap to get green bananas to go yellow in a few days. You can simply wait for the process to happen on its own, or you can speed it up using a brown bag. If you need a banana fix right away, you can even ripen your fruit in the oven.

Go Natural

Fresh bananas on wooden background
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Bananas will ripen to a golden color on their own with time.

Step 1

Hang the bananas in an open mesh basket so the air can circulate around them. If you place bananas in a bowl, the moisture is trapped between the bowl and the banana peel, which may devlope mold. Another option is to leave bananas on a wood board or counter.

Step 2

Wait a few days. The bananas will start to lose their green color and start to turn yellow. They'll soften and smell more like bananas as well.

Step 3

Peel a test banana. The peel should easily come away from the banana inside.

Brown Bag It

Step 1

Place the bananas in a brown bag in a single layer with a ripe apple, pear or other fruit. If you don't have any other ripe fruit this method will still work.

Step 2

Fold the bag down as close to the bananas as possible. Bananas and other fruits give off a gas called ethylene. The presence of the gas encourages fruit to ripen. Putting the bananas in the bag concentrates the gas so the bananas ripen in a few days.

Step 3

Check the bag every day by unrolling it and looking at the color of the banana peel. When it's golden yellow, the banana is ripe.

Oven Ripening

Homemade Banana Bread
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Oven-ripened bananas are great for recipes like banana bread.

Step 1

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and place the bananas on it, peel and all.

Step 3

Bake your bananas for 25 minutes.

Step 4

Allow the bananas to cool thoroughly. Once cooled, the bananas are ready to peel and use.