How to Quickly Ripen Bananas

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Nothing beats a piece of freshly baked banana bread, but to produce the greatest banana bread, the bananas must be completely ripe and blackening to provide additional sweetness. However, this implies that we can’t create banana bread without either waiting for them to mature or speeding up the ripening process.

The banana is the world’s fourth most common agricultural crop and the most popular fresh fruit sold in the United States; each of us consumes an average of 11.4 lb per year. Bananas are now solely farmed on American territory in Hawaii, while they were once grown in Florida and southern California.

While bananas were imported to America centuries ago, the numbers were limited, mainly carried back by sailors returning from the Caribbean. Bananas were sold singly and wrapped in foil for 10 cents to visitors at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876. This was most likely the first large-scale shipment of bananas into the United States.

Others think that bananas were the first fruit on the planet, having been discovered in South East Asia. The term banana is supposed to have originated in Africa, where it was taken from the Arabic word for finger. The scientific name for banana is musa sapientum, which translates as “fruit of the intelligent man!”

Each, over 150 nations generate over 105 million tons of fruit from over 1000 distinct banana kinds. Some are exported, while others are raised for domestic use as a staple meal.

I was surprised to learn that bananas do not grow on trees, but rather on the world’s biggest herb, which belongs to the same family as lilies and orchids. What seems to be a trunk is really comprised of densely overlapping leaves.

This perennial plant develops swiftly from a rhizome or bulb, reaching a height of 15 to 30 feet in only one year. Flowers bloom in the sixth or seventh month of the plant’s life, and bananas may be harvested during the first nine to twelve months. Bananas are accessible all year and grow best in tropical equatorial locations with an average temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit and yearly rainfall ranging from 78 to 98 inches.

Bananas are often cultivated on huge plantations, particularly in South America, and these sorts of intensive agricultural techniques, with substantial land clearing and the use of pesticides, some of which are known to be harmful, may damage local ecosystems. Since banana plantations are often planted with just one type of banana, generally the Cavendish, the danger of disease or insect infestation rises.

Selecting organic bananas indicates that the bananas were grown on plantations or by small-scale producers that utilize better farming techniques and less chemicals and fertilizers. If these bananas are also Fairtrade certified, it signifies that the employees are not only working in a better environment, but they are also being paid more.

The Banana as a Healthy Snack

A 4 oz banana includes no fat, salt, or cholesterol; 0.85 oz net carbohydrates (sugars); and 0.11 oz fiber in the form of pectin and resistant starch. Bananas include natural sucrose, fructose, and glucose carbohydrates, and only one banana per day helps us meet our daily vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and copper requirements.

Bananas include potassium, which aids in a variety of bodily activities. It controls the passage of nutrients and waste in and out of our cells and helps to maintain fluid levels in our bodies. It may also aid in the prevention of age-related kidney stones and the maintenance of a healthy heartbeat.

Bananas contain pectin, which is responsible for the fruit’s spongy texture. In healthy persons, this pectin, together with the resistant starch contained in unripe bananas, may help manage blood sugar levels after meals and lower hunger. This advantage is also reflected in bananas’ low to medium glycemic index (GI) rating, with unripe bananas having a GI value of approximately 30 and ripe bananas having a GI value of around 60.

Yet, because we’re talking about swiftly ripening bananas in this post, I feel obligated to remind you that the quantity of pectin in a banana decreases as it ripens!

Banana peel, although not as delicious as the fruit, is edible and high in vitamins B6, B12, magnesium, and potassium. Ripe peels may be blended with the fruit, or they can be cooked or fried. Just wash them well to eliminate any residues of chemicals from the plantation.

Commercial Ripening of Bananas

Bananas are classified as climacteric fruits since they are collected when still green and may continue to mature depending on the environment, such as the grocery store shelf or your kitchen.

Bananas produce a gas called ethylene as they ripen. Ethylene is a plant hormone released at different points of plant’s development and ethylene helps bananas ripen further by converting the starch in the banana to sugar. As this ripening takes place, the color of the banana skin changes to yellow, the fruit softens and its taste sweetens.

Because bananas are picked when they are green to help them last longer, it can take 10 to 15 days for bananas picked in Columbia to arrive in the United States. Once there, they are placed in climate-controlled chambers and exposed to trace levels of ethylene gas (C2H4) before being distributed for sale in markets and grocery stores a few days later.

These ethylene-treated bananas are no different from bananas left to ripen naturally, and this post-harvest ripening with ethylene is permitted in the United States, even on organic bananas.

Since ethylene is used to ripen bananas all over the globe, the chances are that the bananas you’re about to ripen have been ethylene-treated. There is no way to know how a banana has been ripened, and there is no difference in food safety between ethylene-treated bananas and naturally ripened bananas.

Some fruits are aging. Apples, melons, and pears are especially vulnerable due to their sensitivity to ethylene. Ethylene is also the reason why bananas should be kept apart from other fruits, since bananas have the ability to accelerate ripening.

Natural Ripening in the Home

To ripen bananas at home, take them from their packaging and place them near a heat vent or in a sunny spot on the tabletop. It may take up to four or five days to completely ripen bananas in this manner, depending on the weather and how green the bananas are.

Store your bananas out of direct sunlight and away from other fresh fruits and vegetables to keep them underripe for longer. You should also remove them from their plastic wrapper since the plastic will keep the ethylene confined; however, you may re-use part of the plastic by wrapping it around the stems to decrease the oxygen flow to the bunch, which will delay ripening.

After the bananas are completely ripe, place them in the refrigerator to slow down further ripening. The skin may become black, but the meat inside should remain delicious and solid.

Regardless matter how dark the skin on your bananas is or how soft they are, as long as they are not moldy or have any indications of fruit flies on them, they are typically edible and safe to consume.

If, on the other hand, you want your bananas to be ripe so that you may bake banana bread today rather than in two days, then follow this step-by-step guide to ripen your bananas so that they are ripe enough for baking in 30 minutes or so.

What You Will Need to Follow This Tutorial

  1. A bunch of yellow firm bananas, unpeeled; the color is important since it indicates that the starch is converting to sugars.
  2. You may wish to line a sheet pan as well.
  3. The oven was preheated at roughly 300F.

You may use the freezer as well as the oven to fast ripen bananas. If you freeze bananas for a few hours, the skins may blacken, but the bananas will not soften or sweeten as they would at room temperature or in the oven. To compensate for the lack of sweetness, additional sugar is often added to the recipe.

You may also store unpeeled room-temperature bananas so that the next time you want to bake, you can take them out of the freezer, thaw, peel, and mash them into your cake mixture. The skin on these will likewise be black, but this will have no effect on the fruit. Before using a frozen banana, allow it to thaw for about an hour at room temperature.

Several individuals have had luck ripening an unpeeled banana in the microwave for around 30 seconds. I tried it once and discovered that, although the skin had browned, the fruit within was still excessively stiff. I believe the bananas must be riper for this approach to function correctly. Nevertheless, unlike freezing, if you are successful in ripening the fruit rapidly in the microwave, you will need to add extra sugar to your recipe to compensate.

If you have some time before you want to bake, put the bananas in a brown paper bag and seal the bag. You may also include an avocado or an apple in the bag, and if you leave it in a sunny area, the bananas should mature overnight or the next day. Sadly, like natural ripening, this process requires considerable forethought.

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the bananas

Remove each banana from the bunch with care and set it, unpeeled, on a sheet pan. If there are any damaged bananas, you should leave them off since the warmth will hasten the growth of the damage as well as their ripening. You may also want to line the sheet pan with parchment paper in case any of the bananas break.

Step 2: Ripen in the oven

Bake the bananas in a preheated 300°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the skin has become black.

Keep an eye on the oven at this time since the banana skins may rupture, resulting in the fruit drying out or even burning.

Step 3: Remove from the oven

You may either leave the bananas on the counter to chill for 30 minutes or put them in the refrigerator to cool quicker. This will typically depend on how soon you need them for your baking.

Step 4: Use

When the bananas are cold, the quickest approach to remove the fruit is to cut the bottom end off as low as possible and then squeeze the skin from the top downwards. This should squeeze the fruit directly into your mixing basin. You may be able to peel them normally depending on how soft they are.

Use your bananas as soon as they have cooled; if you leave them in the fridge for too long, they will go rotten.


I hope you appreciated this step-by-step guide on how to ripen bananas fast, and so the next time you want some fresh banana bread, you may bake it instead of waiting for the bananas to mature.

I like to oven ripen bananas rather than let them to mature naturally since I usually find that by the time they are naturally ripe and ready to bake with, I no longer have the time!

If you liked it, please share it with your friends, and I’d also want to hear your comments on swiftly ripening bananas. Do you prefer to use the oven or the microwave? Or do you have another proven and true way that hasn’t been listed here? Please express your thoughts in the comments section below.


What is the fastest way to ripen bananas?

Use a paper bag: Put bananas in a brown paper bag and fold the top over loosely. Include any additional ripe fruit, such as apples or avocados, in the bag as well. During 24 to 36 hours, the ethylene gas will circulate and ripen your fruit.

Can you microwave bananas to ripen them?

Firm yellow bananas may be zapped to mushy ripeness in a matter of minutes. Here’s how it’s done: Unpeeled bananas should be poked all over with a fork or knife. Next, place them on a paper towel or plate and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, until they’re as soft as you want.

Can you ripen bananas immediately?

To speed up the ripening process, just place the banana in a paper bag and trap the ethene gas within – fruit puts out moisture, so select a bag that won’t hold moisture. Ripening in a bag normally takes a day or two, but it may be as quick as overnight if you keep an eye on it.

How do you ripen green bananas in an hour?

Taylor recommends baking entire, unpeeled bananas on a sheet pan at 300 F for 1 hour. Let to cool in the refrigerator before peeling and using in your banana bread recipe.

How do you force bananas to ripen?

Put the unripe bananas in a paper bag (a brown paper lunch bag, supermarket bag, etc.) with a fruit that produces a lot of ethylene, such as a ripe banana or apple. Finally, fold the paper bag loosely shut and let the ethylene gas from the fruit to assist the banana to mature.

Do bananas ripen faster in plastic bag?

Get Rid of the Plastic Bag

Bananas placed in plastic bags ripen more quickly. Instead, store your bananas at room temperature in a cool, dark spot where they will be exposed to fresh, well-ventilated air. Bananas left in full sunlight or near a heat source may shrivel and become brown quickly.

Do bananas ripen faster in the refrigerator?

Refrigerating bananas slows or stops ripening, maintaining the fruit in its present condition. This implies that you should only refrigerate bananas after they have attained the desired degree of maturity.

Does heat or cold make bananas ripen faster?

Answer: If there is heat present, the ripening process of bananas may be accelerated. A banana may mature significantly quicker if it is left in a hot vehicle or on the stove top while something is baking. Additionally, refrigerating a banana causes the yellow skin to darken but slows the ripening of the fruit.

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