Introduction: How to Ripen Bananas Quickly
If you're ever wanting to make banana bread or one ingredient ice cream and you don't have any ripe bananas on hand, you can cheat and do it yourself! I always seem to want baked good with bananas when all I have is starchy, unripened bananas around so this trick is a lifesaver. :)
I prefer the oven method of ripening bananas - you can also do it in the microwave, but I found those were not as sweet and perhaps a bit glue-y for my taste. Ripening bananas in the oven has never let me down - they're always much sweeter and softer!
P.S. Yes, I know - this method isn't really ripening the bananas. But it does soften them and make them sweet and wonderful, which is just what you need for recipes!
Step 1: What You'll Need:
- several less-than-ripe bananas
- parchment paper or foil
- a baking sheet
- an oven set to 300 F / 150 C
It's best if the bananas are not crazy green - when they're green it's much harder to convert all the starch into sugar. Try to stick to those that have moved from mostly green to yellow.
Step 2: Bake the Bananas
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. You really don't want to skip this: the bananas have a tendency to ooze as they bake, so this will save you lots of frustration trying to clean the pan later. :)
Preheat the oven to 300 F / 150 C.
Lay the bananas on the lined baking sheet and pop them into the oven.
Let them cook for 30-45 minutes - once they've gone a very dark brown or black color and they're soft to the touch, they are ready!
Step 3: The the Bananas Cool and Then Use or Store Them for Later
Once the bananas are out of the oven, let them sit for 15-20 minutes to cool.
You can either slice them open with a sharp knife or peel away the skin. Crush the banana flesh using your hands or a fork and you're all set.
You can use the ripened banana right away or store it in the freezer for later. I'm storing mine since I already have a loaf of banana bread made. I like to store three bananas per container so it's easy to add to my banana bread recipe.