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.

Enjoy! :D

Comments

author
fstedie (author)2015-08-25

My problem is the exact opposite: How do I keep them from ripening so fast?!!

One day they're too green - then before you know it - POOF! They're brown :(

author
ahoier (author)fstedie2015-09-01

YES LOL my deal too.......I get the 3 lb bunch for a good deal at sams club, cause I eat like 1-2 bananas per day minimum lol.....but usually the last 2 or 3 bananas I end up having to freeze...and use in smoothies, because they just turn brown and want to preserve them before they get too mush lol

author
Jenelah (author)ahoier2015-09-14

Once they start to get spotted put them in the refrigerator. They will last quite a long time, the skin turning dark but the banana still white inside.

author
MichaelR5 (author)fstedie2015-08-26

Bananas give off gasses, and in groups, the gasses cause each other to ripen. I always separate the bananas as soon as I bring them home, then separate them some distance away. This also has the added benefit of not bruising them when you separate them after they've ripened, since they don't bruise nearly as easily when they're crisp and greenish.

author
paper-machete (author)fstedie2015-08-25

Place plastic wrap on the very tips (like you sometimes see in the grocery store). Most things you read will say to keep it on the very tip of the bunch, but the concept of separating then wrapping them is even better (no need to rewrap every time you grab a 'nana). Check it out: http://lifehacker.com/5967424/keep-bananas-fresh-longer-by-separating-them-and-wrapping-the-stems-in-plastic-wrap

author
jimf8 (author)2015-09-03

Interesting in two ways. I learned from the comments what makes bananas and avocados ripen (ethylene). Second, my mother-in-law loves cooked bananas - so even if they are a little green, she still enjoys their sweetness.

author
pnosko (author)2015-08-27

What is the deal with bananas that get brown spots before the green fades away? I really hate it when that happens.

author
Battlespeed (author)2015-08-20

No problem here. I bring them home from the grocery store and by the time I put the milk away the bananas are rotten.

author
thundrepance (author)Battlespeed2015-08-25

i read that 3 times, & laughed 3 times! x^D

author
volndawgville (author)2015-08-25

LOL! Just leave it to Jessie for another unique and creative idea!

author
killerjackalope (author)2015-08-20

I prefer to threaten them, but each to their own... Actually helpful - there seem to be a lot of banana related issues in the house at the moment, ones that bewilder me.

author

lol

author
antoniraj (author)2015-08-23

Haha... you baked the fruits to make them ripe... what we do is leave a ripened banana or ripened peels of banana near unripened ones. The naturally occurring ethylene from the peels hasten the ripening process.

author
KatyK1 (author)2015-08-21

i think you should use the ''making them good for eating'' way of putting it and yes i know this comment does not really make sense

author
dimovi (author)2015-08-20

Is ripening the right word :)

author
Coolloom (author)2015-08-20

Cool

author
bravoechonovember1 (author)2015-08-19

cool!

What about unripening them :)

author

Haha! Don't have anything for that. But Wilgubeast has an ible for keeping bananas fresh longer. :)

https://www.instructables.com/id/Keep-Bananas-Fresh-Longer-slices-too/

author

+1!

author
TomV4 (author)2015-08-20

I learned that bananas (and avocados, among others) ripen more quickly in a paper bag ... precisely because the ethylene is trapped and concentrated, as thuzil alluded.

author
jessyratfink (author)TomV42015-08-20

True! But that can take a day or two. Ain't nobody got time for that.

(well, probably they do. I don't.)

author
thuzil (author)2015-08-19

Like you said this is not ripening bananas more than cooking them. Why not take them out of the peel first? Bananas ripen by exposure to ethylene. This changes the composition of the sugars in the fruit. Cooking the banana will not accomplish the same thing.

author
jessyratfink (author)thuzil2015-08-20

If you do it out of the skin, you'll end up with a mushy caramelized banana slick. They won't hold their form out of the skin, especially if they're very underripe and you have to bake them for a long time.

And sure, I'm not going about it the old fashioned way, but it does taste like a ripened banana after cooking and that's good enough for me.

author
Konstantin Dimitrov (author)2015-08-20

Interesting !

author
momoluv (author)2015-08-19

Great idea and super helpful!

author
Big Projects (author)2015-08-19

Interesting technique of ripening bananas!

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Bio: part of the Instructables Design Studio by day, stitch witch by night. follow me on instagram @makingjiggy to see what i'm working on! ^_^
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