Banana is a potassium-rich fruit that is easy to consume. But sometimes, it can be tricky to extend its shelf life. So, here are a few fixes to prolong its lifespan in your home.
What’s the Proper Way to Store Bananas?
There are quite a few ways to store bananas after bringing them home.
Bananas can ripen quite quickly. The easiest way to make sure your bananas aren’t going bad is to keep them in the bunch that you bought them in. But make sure you remove them from the plastic bag if you put them in one.
Another way of storing bananas is to leave them on the tree’s stem. Of course, this is not an option for everyone. But you can now see the logic of the previous method.
As long as the fruit is attached to a bunch of stems, the air moves evenly around all of them and this keeps the fruit from bruising while it is still resting. That’s because staying in the bunch keeps the fruits from overlapping.
Another way to avoid bruises and keep a banana as fresh as possible is to leave them in a bowl. You want to align the curve of the banana to the bowl’s bottom. This way, the top of the fruit stays on top of any other fruits that might be in the bowl.
Banana stems are known to release ethylene, which makes the fruit ripe. So, if you want to contain the speed at which they age, you want to keep the edges of the stems wrapped with a plastic foil. This will slow down the rate at which the fruit ripens and hence give you some more time.
About Storing Unripe Bananas
If you want to store bananas that are not ripe yet, you must keep a close eye on the temperature. These are tropical fruits which means they do well in warm temperatures.
So, if you keep them cold before they get ripe, you have a good chance of extending their shelf life. But remember that they might not be ripe enough when you go to consume them.
That’s why bananas meant for immediate consumption are not stored in the fridge.
About Storing Ripe Bananas
If you have a set of ripe bananas, the first thing to know is that just because they are brown or have brown spots on them doesn’t mean they have gone bad already.
In fact, even after a banana has turned completely back, it is good to be consumed. It will just be extremely mushy, which might make it difficult to eat it. So, it can be used in recipes like ice creams and milkshakes.
But if you have a set of ripe bananas and want to store them for a little while, you can keep them in the fridge and extend their time frame a bit. When they are in the fridge, remember to leave them in the crisper meant for fruits and vegetables without a wrapping of any kind. This way, they stay cold and don’t get ripe as fast as they would when they are warm and cozy.
Now, there is some debate over it, but that’s natural considering there is no specific definition of “ripe” when it comes to bananas and the temperature in a refrigerator also changes from one place to another.
You can also store ripe bananas next to unripe ones. The not so yellow ones will slow down the pace at which your ripe bananas proceed in their lifecycle.
Related: Does Kiwi Go Bad? How to Tell If a Kiwi Has Gone Bad
About Storing Dried Bananas
Bananas are available in many forms. Dried bananas are popular because of their shelf life. But that depends on the storage conditions. Bananas in this form are meant to be kept in a cool and dry place.
If you have opened the container already, you must store it in a thick plastic bag or put them back in an airtight container. If you do a good job, when stored at room temperature, dried bananas will stay good for six to 12 months. That means keep them in the refrigerator, especially if you live in a humid place.
If you keep them in the freezer, you can expect them to be in good condition for 12-18 months. They will retain their quality and stay good indefinitely if you freeze and keep them at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
What’s the Average Lifespan of Bananas?
Typically, bananas will reach their ripest stage in two to five days when you do a good job storing them properly. This is if you have green bananas. After they are fully ripe, bananas are good to be consumed for two to three more days if you store them in the pantry. If you keep them in the fridge, you can push that to a week.
If you buy cut bananas, you can expect to keep them in shape for three to four days if you store them in the fridge. And dried bananas usually have a use-by date which you should follow. However, you can consume them a week to a month after that, but their quality won’t be the same.
Remember that these time frames are an estimate and the reality varies a bit depending on your local weather conditions and storage methods.
How Do You Know That a Banana Has Gone Bad?
You know a banana has gone bad if it hasn’t been stored properly and starts to smell funny. In this context, the smell of rotten eggs can be considered funny. Then there is the color. While black doesn’t mean that the banana has gone bad, it indicates that time is running out.
So, now you know how to keep them ripe for a while whether you buy them green or yellow. You also know how to store them, whether you keep them in the fridge or on the counter. And, of course, you know when to throw them in the trash too.
Related: How to Tell if a Mango has Gone Bad