So you wanted a bunch of bananas, but the grocery store only had ones that were bright green and were unripe. If you're impatient and want to eat a perfectly ripe yellow banana right now, try these three ways to ripen green bananas fast.
Bananas contain a natural plant hormone called ethylene that speeds up the ripening process. So always buy your bananas in a bunch and keep them that way. They'll ripen faster than they would if they were singles, in about five to six days.
Bananas are a tropical fruit and they're used to warm weather. So if you place your bunch in a warm, sunny spot on the counter, they'll ripen a little faster.
Because of the ethylene gas the bananas produce, you should place your unripe bananas in a closed brown bag to ripen them faster. Sometimes bananas will come packaged in a plastic bag, and because that doesn't allow oxygen to get to the bananas, storing your bananas in a plastic bag will actually delay the ripening process, so you'll want to unwrap them.
In a brown bag, oxygen is able to pass through, and simultaneously, the ethylene gas gets trapped, surrounds your green fruit, and helps to soften it faster than if your bananas were just sitting on the counter. You'll have ripe bananas within a few days.
To speed up ripening even faster, place an apple in the bag or an already ripe banana, since they'll both emit ethylene. The bananas should ripen in just one to two days using this method. This is a great hack if you have a single banana or if you want to ripen your bunch of bananas individually.
What to Do With Ripe Bananas
If you can't possibly eat all the ripe bananas you have, here's what you can do with them:
- Freeze peeled and sliced bananas to use for smoothies or vegan ice cream.
- Make high-protein banana bread.
- Whip up some banana almond butter "sushi."
- Add banana to slow-cooker steel cut oatmeal or overnight oats.
- Make frozen banana pops.
- Make these frozen chocolate peanut butter banana nibblers.
- Add sliced or mashed banana to pancakes or waffles.
- Make up a batch of these no-bake brownies.
- Use mashed banana as an egg replacer in baked goods.
- Bake a batch of these sugar-free, grain-free, three-ingredient brownies.