I love bananas. They are packed with good for you nutrients at an inexpensive price. The only problem with them is that they all seem to ripen at the same time. Have you ever wondered what causes bananas to be green one day and two days later be over ripe? Maybe I am the only one who lies awake at night pondering these things… Well just in case you were wondering, the answer is gas. That’s right, your bananas have gas! Bananas and other fruit emit a gas called Ethylene while they ripen. This is the gas that is responsible for your bananas softening and becoming sweeter. If you don’t want your bananas to ripen all at once the best thing that you can do is control how much Ethylene they are exposed to. All you need to do is separate your bananas instead of keeping them in a bunch in your fruit bowl. You will also want to make sure that they are not kept in a bag, and are in a well-ventilated area. If you want to ripen your bananas in a hurry simply place the unripe bananas in a bag with one which is already ripe and seal the bag. In the morning you will have a nice ripe banana to go on your granola.
I have often heard a debate over whether to store bananas in the fridge. Really this is up to you. Ripened bananas can be stored in the fridge to help slow down the process of them becoming over ripe. In saying that, the peel on the outside of the fruit will turn dark. If you have a lot of bananas and you don’t mind a brown peel, then this is a good option for you. Personally I prefer yellow peels so I only buy what I need for the week.
If you have bananas that are too ripe for you to enjoy, don’t throw them out! Over ripe bananas are perfect for banana bread (see my recipe here). If you don’t have the time to bake right away, that’s okay because bananas freeze well. Just pop them in the freezer, peel and all. When you are ready to bake, just thaw them and you are ready to go. You could also make a great smoothie, and then you wouldn’t even need to defrost!