As bananas ripen, they produce ethylene gas (the "fruit ripening hormone”), primarily in the stem. The gas then spreads to the rest of the fruit and increases the rate at which bananas ripen. One method to stop the ethylene from spreading is to wrap the stem in some plastic foil or tin foil. This is because most of the ethylene gas is released at the top of the bunch and wrapping that part slows down the gas, and hence decelerates the process of ripening as well. For even better results, pull the bananas apart and wrap the stems of each of them individually.
2. Hang the bananas from a hook or a hanger
There is a good reason grocery stores hang bananas. You should do the same for them in your home, too, while keeping them away from the other produce.
Bananas start to ripen the moment they’re picked from their tree. And as we mentioned above, they begin to produce ethylene gas once they’re plucked. Hanging them from a hook or hanger slows down the ripening and delays spoiling as the gas works more slowly. This happens in two ways. First, this allows air to circulate around the bananas more freely, removing the excess ethylene. Secondly, with more air circulation, the bananas are likely to ripen evenly instead of mostly on one side as usually when they are left in a bowl.
So, invest in a banana hanger if you want these fruits to last longer.
3. Once they start to ripen, keep them in the refrigerator
Another way to extend the shelf life of your bananas is to freeze them when they are about to ripen. Cooler temperatures slow down the chemical ripening process of the fruit and can prolong its shelf life. Once you notice that the bananas have started to ripen, pop them in the refrigerator. While the skin will continue to brown inside the fridge, the fleshy part of the banana will remain the same and can last for up to a week with this method.
4. Freeze your bananas
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One effective trick to keep your bananas from spoiling is by keeping them in the freezer instead of the refrigerator. The freezing temperatures slow down the ethylene emission of the fruits more than refrigeration does. Frozen bananas can last at least a month without losing quality. However, keep a few things in mind before freezing your bananas.
* Make sure the bananas are fully ripe before placing them in the freezer.
* Ideally, it would be better if you remove the peels of the bananas before storing them. Frozen banana peels turn dark and get soft, making them very difficult to remove later.
* Slice the peeled bananas and keep the slices in a resealable plastic bag. Label and date it.
* Frozen bananas won’t be edible immediately after you take them out. You will need to keep them at room temperature for about an hour to let them thaw properly.
* Keep the bananas in a separate drawer from other foods so that they don’t end up absorbing their smells.
Tip: Frozen bananas can also be used in smoothies and for baking by being mashed after thawing from the freezer.
See Also: 10 Food Products You Should Never Freeze
5. Buy bananas that are green on the ends and yellow in the middle
The next time you go out to buy bananas from the market, don’t look for the ones that are already bright yellow. Sure, they look great but, as we mentioned, bananas ripen very quickly. A bright yellow banana is already completely ripe and won’t have a very long shelf life. Look for bananas that are green on the ends and yellow in the middle. This means they are a little under-ripe and you will be able to store them for longer before eating.
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