Instructables

Refrigerate Bananas Cheaply, Easily, and Successfully

One day it occurred to me what to try to extend the storage time of my bananas at home. The picture is after a week in the refrigerator using the simple storage method.
 
 
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Step 1: Place Bananas in Bag

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Place the bananas in a food-grade bag like a polyethylene type. I reuse my plastic grocery, fruit, and vegetable bags!

Step 2: Remove Excess Air

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Get out as much air as you can by pressing and conforming the bag to the bananas.

Step 3: Seal Bag Closed

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Lightly twist the free end of bag. Close it securely with a twist-tie or a clothes pin.

Helpers have suggested using a Ziplock (tm) storage bag as an alternative. In that case, press out the air and conform the bag to the banana(s) with the bag almost completely closed. Then, finish the closing process.

Step 4: Refrigerate Bananas

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Place the bag enclosing the bananas in the refrigerator. Keep them away from the cold air vent. Avoid freezing.

Step 5: Refrigeration Duration

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I have saved a banana up to five weeks. It was still OK in appearance and taste. The rest of that batch lasted for four weeks and was good.

If the bananas are pretty green when first subjected to the process, they can last the longest.

The picture was taken by a helper who refrigerated the banana for a week.
When you refrigerate your banana it may get a lot darker. That is what happens to me and even though they look terrible on the outside they are still good on the inside.
I have found that while I am at the produce market, if I place bananas in a plastic bag, remove the air, and seal the bag, they stay more yellow for much longer when they are in the refrigerator. But after I take them out of the fridge and open the bag, they turn dark much faster.
firefly684 years ago
But they're supposed to get overripe! Otherwise how would you make banana bread?? :-)
glorybe4 years ago
           One odd method of preserving bananas is to put them in the freezer. They will tend to be brown through and through but they taste just fine. You could actually put them in a blender before the freezer and end up with a brownish, banana tasting desert.
freckleface5 years ago
Another tip for bananas, in or out of the 'fridge: If you keep them bunched together they will ripen faster than if they are separated. Also, if you put a ripe banana next to green ones, the green ones will ripen much faster. So, to keep them for longer, separate put them in solitary confinement.. or just all over the place on your kitchen counter.
Keeps the ethylene that they and other fruits emit from triggering surrounding fruits to ripen.
Those thoughts make sense. In a related way, If each banana is sealed individually and then refrigerated, the supply might last longer since when a refrigerated bag of the bananas is opened, the exchange of gases causes the remaining ones to deteriorate more quickly. I haven't yet tried that individually wrapped method, but have thought about different ways of trying it. The picture shows one banana in a plastic bag, but it was taken by my helper since I don't have a camera. I don't have first hand results on how well it turned out, just that the method was successful in that case like it has been for me.
bhunter7366 years ago
I have a friend who does this to his bananas. He brought one in to work and showed me a banana I would have turned away and waited to make banana bread from instead. Then, he peeled it. Only the skin had transformed! Inside this borderline banana skin was a fresh firm sweet fruit. This may be an option for some people. In my house, I found that if they are greenish yellow and I hang them in a fruit basket without other fruits touching them, they are good for almost two weeks.
Joseph Meisenhelder (author)  bhunter7366 years ago
My mom uses the method during the summer. She is happy with not having to eat mushy, brown stuff. She eats them all week long to get potassium to help lower her blood pressure. She doesn't have to do it during the winter because she has no problem with them lasting a week when left out then. Neat. About two weeks for the situation you described corresponds well with what I have observed.
Wow, that's one nasty banana!
lol, I'm glad I'm not alone in thinking that. I was like, "This is preserved after a week? My bananas stay fresh by leaving them out on the counter. Bananas brown in the refrigerator and have no real purpose of needing to be in there. I guess I'm just confused because I probably would have reservations about calling that a "preserved" banana. :)
Joseph Meisenhelder (author)  asyrith6 years ago
It was pretty much like that without the blotches before it was put in, I think. I don't have a camera, so I can't be sure. A friend took the picture for me. I think it would have been mushy and brown after a week if it had been left out in the warm air. I put mine in the refrigerator like how I explained because it keeps them from turning black like what normally happens if they are not protected by the plastic bag. If I don't put them in the refrigerator, they become way over-ripe in a week, and rotten after two weeks. By putting them in the way I do, they keep about three times longer than normal. I eat a lot of them, and don't want to waste any or run out before I get back to the store.
Well, if it works for you, awesome! Somebody else might be out there with the same problem. :) I guess location might play a good part into it, hmm? I live in Oregon so it stays pretty moderate in temperature and humidity...maybe that's why I have such different "banana findings"? :) For us here, though...they stay fresh much longer if left out and if we want them over ripe for banana bread or something, then we put them in the frige. Oh well, to each their own. :)
Joseph Meisenhelder (author)  asyrith6 years ago
That is a nice area to live in. I have often thought it would be good there. Ahh, I think maybe you mean putting them in the refrigerator without the method of sealing them in the plastic bag. It doesn't work well without putting them in an airtight bag, removing the air, and then sealing the bag. But it always boils down in the end to us doing what works best for us. :)
It probably would have been much worse if left out in the warm air.