Even over the course of just a few days, we’ve all noticed our brand-new bananas start to turn a little bit brown.
These brown spotted bananas then become squishier than you’d like, and, before you know it, all of your bananas are thrown in the trash. Not only is this disappointing, but it’s often a waste of your hard-earned money, too.
The reason bananas turn brown so quickly is due to an airborne hormone called ethylene. Ethylene, for most fruits, is the molecule that helps start the ripening process, allowing your favorite fruit or veggie to turn just the right color or texture.
With bananas, however, they tend to over-produce ethylene, causing the unappealing brown color we’re all used to seeing.
While this is a natural process that all bananas undergo, there are various tips and tricks we’ve learned over the years that help keep your bananas fresher for even just a little bit longer.
Some of these methods may sound a bit unconventional, but we promise, they’re the best ways to keep your bananas fresh and yummy for longer than just a few days.
- Ways to Keep Them Fresh
- Benefits of Bananas
- Keeping Bananas Fresh
Ways to Keep Them Fresh
First, let’s start with the proper storage of bananas. You can choose to store your bananas a myriad of ways, but certain containers prove significantly more beneficial than others.
Banana Keepers, for example, are banana-shaped containers that are designed to help your banana breathe without getting brown or mushy. They’re easy to carry with you, don’t get bruised, and won’t become ripe before you want it to.
You can also get a storage bag for your bananas. That’s right: an entire drawstring bag dedicated entirely to keeping your bananas fresh.
They are made with reflective liners to prevent over-ripening and browning, and the bag makes it super easy to carry and where needed. These bags are made to keep your bananas fresher for up to two weeks, much longer than your typical banana’s lifespan.
Buying Them Green
It may feel a little strange buying green bananas instead of your classic yellow ones. However, green bananas are simply unripe bananas, so buying them green gives you the chance to enjoy them for longer.
Typically, if you store your green bananas at room temperature, they should become ripe within a few days, and then you’ll have a few more days of perfect eating before browning.
As long as your green bananas are free of bruises, abrasions, or anything else that looks funky, this is a great option if you don’t have fancy storage containers to keep your bananas in.
You’re welcome to eat your bananas when they’re still green, and they have their own health benefits when you do so, but waiting just a few days for them to ripen is easily the most delicious way.
For about a week, your bananas are safe and sound in your fridge. We suggest wrapping up your bananas in plastic wrap or placing them in a sealed plastic bag before storing in the fridge.
These cool temperatures and lack of lighting will keep your banana fresh and delicious for much longer than if you’d just placed them in a fruit bowl on your counter.
Do keep in mind that keeping your bananas in the fridge may still turn the outside peels brown, though the actual banana won’t be affected at all.
Make sure the bananas you’re storing aren’t green either because then they will never properly ripen. However, your newly yellow bananas will surely stay nice and freshly wrapped up in your fridge for a few days.
Protect the Stems
A lot of the ethylene that bananas release are released from their stems. To prevent them from preventing too much of this, you can choose to wrap the stems up in a plastic wrap.
When the stems are wrapped, this also prevents ethylene, which may be airborne from other fruits, from being absorbed into the bananas through the stems. All of this helps to protect your banana’s freshness and texture.
If you don’t have plastic wrap, you can choose to also wrap your banana’s stems in foil. This will be just as effective.
Each time you eat a banana, you’ll have to re-wrap your banana bunch’s stems, regardless of whether it’s wrapped with foil or plastic wrap. This may look a little bit funny, but it is more than worth it to keep your bananas delicious for more than just one or two days.
Keep Away From Other Fruit
As we just mentioned, ethylene can be airborne and often comes from other fruit. When your bananas are placed alongside your other fruit, they are going to absorb their ethylene, along with their own, and become brown much quicker than any other fruit. This is frustrating and no good for your fruit, so avoid this if possible.
Try getting your own bowl just for bananas, and keep them far away from your other fruits. Many suggest storing bananas in a fruit basket, not a glass or plastic bowl, as they often have hooks for hanging.
The metal material that baskets are made out of don’t absorb moisture the same way that plastic bags or glass bowls do, and the hanging elements help for separation and the prevention of bruising. Plus, they look gorgeous on any kitchen counter.
Store Bananas Individually
If you really want to get the most out of your bananas’ freshness, separate and store your bananas individually.
When you separate them, make sure to cover their stems. Whether you use plastic wrap or foil is fine, as long as the stems are wrapped tight enough to prevent the absorption of ethylene.
When bananas are bunched together, it is easier for them to produce and absorb more ethylene, effectively leading to browning and over-ripe bananas.
Keeping them apart and protecting their stems ensures ultimate freshness and that the texture continues to be as appealing as the first day it turned yellow.
Then, once it is time to eat the banana, you can just use the wrapped end as a holder, making it easy to handle and unwrap. All in all, it’s a trick that can truly keep your bananas fresh.
Add Some Fruit Juice!
We know, we know, it sounds a little funny, but adding fruit juice to your bananas can be a great way to keep them fresh and delicious, even after you’ve peeled and sliced them.
In the event that you’ve peeled and cut your banana into slices but need to store them, acidic fruit juice sprinkled over the top of the slices can significantly help in the prevention of browning and over-ripening.
Orange, lime, lemon, even pineapple juice is perfect for this, as any citric acid will slow this process.
Many also suggest giving your bananas an entire lime bath. With this, you submerge your banana slices in lemon or lime juice for about two minutes.
This will give them a nice coating of citric acid to slow down browning and keep your banana slices much fresher longer. And, as long as you don’t eat the bananas right away, they won’t taste like lemon or lime, either.
Very similar to the lime or lemon bath we mentioned above, you can also turn to vinegar to get the job done as well.
If you’re concerned about the vinegar being too pungent, you can dilute it a bit with water first, and then dunk the bananas in the vinegar bath. Once again, just a few minutes will do; this will give it more than enough time to start the protecting and slowing process.
In the event that you go to bite your banana and it still tastes or smells a bit like vinegar, simply rinses it off and let the water clean your banana. This should do the trick, and your banana will taste like its yummy, fresh self again.
Freeze Your Bananas
Sometimes, you buy your bananas and realize that it’s still a while until you need them. If you find that it is going to be more than just a couple of days before you enjoy the bananas, placing them in the freezer is a great way of keeping them fresh right up until you need them (well, for about a month, at least).
You can freeze both peeled and unpeeled bananas, depending on your personal preference. Peeled banana’s appearances will look the same over time, but unpeeled banana’s peels will often turn dark brown or even black if kept frozen for a while.
Don’t panic! That is a totally normal change and your banana itself is still safe and sound beneath the peel.
Frozen bananas make great treats themselves, or perfect additives to smoothies, but you can also choose to let your banana unthaw at room temperature for a few hours and then enjoy as you please.
Once they’re no longer frozen, you’ll see how fresh they were able to stay in your freezer. Just make sure you don’t forget about them!
Hang Them Up!
As we hinted at with our fruit baskets, hanging up your bananas are one of the best ways to preserve them. When bananas are hung, it’s much harder for them to become bruised by other fruits or people.
When kept in bowls, bananas are often thrown around and exposed to too much movement; hanging them up, however, combats that from happening. Instead, you only mess with your bananas when you want to eat them– and that’s how it should be.
Hanging your bananas also helps to lower the exposure to both oxygen and ethylene, two substances that will cause browning and your bananas to ripen at a quicker speed.
You don’t have to create an entire hanging area for your bananas either; as we mentioned earlier, many fruit baskets come standard with a hanging piece just for your bananas.
Benefits of Bananas
Packed Full of Vitamins
Keeping your bananas fresh for longer isn’t only important for taste; it is crucial in preserving their health benefits.
Bananas are packed full of beneficial properties for your body, and helping them stay fresh will only keep those benefits around for longer.
Bananas are packed full of vitamins of all different types. Containing both vitamin B6 and vitamin C, bananas are great for helping in the production of red blood cells, metabolizing amino acids, increasing iron absorption, and supporting brain health through the production of serotonin. (That’s right, your banana can actually make you happier!)
Helps with Heart Health
Along with vitamins and nutrients, bananas are full of potassium, a key mineral in maintaining a healthy heart alongside normal blood pressure.
In general, bananas have been known to lower the risk of heart disease through their high levels of potassium and low levels of sodium.
For those who are at risk of heart attacks and strokes, many suggest consuming one banana per day. With our banana freshness tips and tricks, this is more than possible for you to do, too.
Beneficial for the Belly
An upset stomach is uncomfortable in so many ways. Luckily, bananas contain high levels of fiber that help control blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol levels.
The fiber that bananas contain contributes to healthy stools as well, so if digestive issues are a regular problem, consuming a banana frequently may be a huge help.
Bananas help you stay fuller longer due to the way they act when passed through the small intestine into the larger one. It doesn’t digest within the small intestine at all. This can actually aid with weight loss, as you feel full without actually eating much.
Keeping Bananas Fresh
No matter how many times you’ve gone to eat a banana that’s way past its time, Home Perch promises, there are so many ways to keep them fresh.
All of our tips and tricks are designed with banana freshness in mind, helping you enjoy these fruits for longer than just a few days.
Now, you can save your hard-earned money and indulge in a delicious banana more often than ever before. Not only will your taste buds love this, but your body will too.