In my house, we’re mad for bananas. Banana smoothies, banana on cereal, banana cake, banana ice cream, banana muffins, banana on fruit skewers…the list goes on. The one way nobody in my house eats bananas is just as it is. For some reason my children are highly offended if I suggest something so odd. But everything else is awesome.
The one issue we have week in, week out is catching the bananas when they’re just ripe. Too green and they leave that horrid chalky feeling on your teeth. Too ripe and they are ‘squishy and gross’, my children assure me.
And catching that half hour window when they’re just right is all very well, but when you’ve got a bunch of 12 bananas to get through, well, you can get a bit full.
But we’ve now discovered the way to keep bananas just at that ripe stage for much longer. And it couldn’t be simpler.
Are you ready?
When your bananas get beautiful and sunshiny yellow, just as you like them, put them in the fridge.
I can hear your protests from here. ‘But they’ll turn black!’ I hear you shout.
‘You don’t know the first thing about bananas’ some of you are shouting, a touch unkindly if you ask me.
But hear me out. Yes, the skin will go black, but concealed under that black skin is still your perfect banana – staying at just the level of ripeness you like.
The refrigeration will stop the banana converting its starches to sugars, pretty much arresting the ripening process for up to a week.
And when you remove the blackened skin, it will come away easily and leave you with that banana taste sensation you know and love.
Now, there is a caveat here. You need to know just what bananas look like when they are at the ripeness you like. We all have different tastes when it comes to bananas, and while you may love a slightly underripe banana (ew), I might like one that’s just starting to turn soft (again, ew, I don’t).
And once you’ve put your banana in the fridge, don’t remove it until you’re ready to eat it. Once you’ve stopped the ripening process in the fridge, you may not be able to get it going again in the fruit bowl on the bench.
Of course, if you don’t like the taste of a cold banana, you can leave your banana (with peel still on) on the bench for 30 minutes to an hour before removing the peel and eating it.
Of course, if you’re seriously alarmed by the blackened peel, you can also slow the process by keeping the bananas away from other fruit, including each other. Sure, your house may look strange with single bananas dotted around the place, but the ethylene emitted from each banana won’t speed up the ripening process of any fruit but itself.
Or if you’d like to stagger your bananas as they ripen, so you have a fresh and ripe banana every day, don’t buy a whole hand of bananas when you’re shopping. Instead, pick individual bananas off different hands that are at various stages of the ripening process.