So you want to make banana bread but only have underripe bananas? Use this simple trick to take fresh bananas from unripe to perfectly sweet, ripe fruit in minutes.
Learn how to ripen bananas faster so you can bake delicious banana muffins, banana bread, or banana cake!
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Why the Oven Method for Ripening Bananas Works so Well
If you have tried baking a loaf of banana bread with unripe, yellow or green bananas, you already know that nothing beats the sweet taste of bananas that are ripe or overripe and covered in brown speckles or spots.
The natural method of ripening bananas is to allow them to sit on the counter for several days until they ripen. Another method is to use the brown paper bag method, whereby you place a bunch of bananas in a paper bag.
This method can take a bit less time than leaving the bananas to ripen on the counter, as the amount of ethylene gas, an invisible gas, that's emitted naturally from the bananas is trapped in the bag, ripening all the fruit a bit faster.
The best way, however, to speed up the ripening process for unripe bananas to place bananas in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes. No more waiting days for your bunch of bananas to become overripe bananas, perfect for baking! Here are some reasons why this method works so well:
- takes yellow bananas to ripe, sweet bananas in a quick way
- allows you to purchase bananas from the grocery store and bake with them the same day
- it's the quickest way to go from unripened bananas to extra-ripe bananas without sacrificing flavor
Recipe ingredients to ripen bananas in oven
To ripen bananas in the oven, you'll need a bunch of bananas, preferably yellow in color. I would recommend not using a bunch of green bananas for this method. Yellow works best here.
You will also need a baking tray and some foil or parchment paper to line the baking sheet.
How to Ripen Bananas in Oven
Here's how to make bananas ripen faster:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
- Place unpeeled bananas about 1-2 inches apart on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until evenly browned on the outside
- Allow to cool before peeling and scooping out the soft pulp
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Recipe notes for how to ripen bananas in the oven
- The best bananas to use for this method is yellow bananas rather than green bananas. The green bananas will not have developed any sweetness yet and tend to be quite firm bananas. Yellow bananas, on the other hand, have already started to develop a bit of sweet flavor. The oven method helps progress that, yielding the best banana flavor for using in baking recipes
- After the bananas have been baked, allow them to cool for a couple of minutes. Steam is trapped in the closed fruit, so opening them right away could cause a sudden release of that steam, burning you
- The ripened bananas will have a very soft texture and will yield mushy bananas, ideal for baking
- This method is not recommended for producing bananas idea for eating. See bullet point above. This method is ideal for baking or for freezing for smoothies
What to Make with ripened bananas
My favorite recipe for using banana is banana bread, of course! Here are a few variations of banana bread recipe:
FAQs for Ripening Bananas in Oven
Fully ripe bananas ripened naturally will last in the fridge 5 to 7 days. Bananas ripened via the oven method should be cooled, scooped out of their peels and stored in an airtight container in the fridge 2-3 days.
Bananas ripened via the oven technique should be cooled, scooped out of their peels and stored in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Bananas ripened naturally that are unpeeled can be frozen up to 6 months. Unpeeled, ripe bananas can be stored in the freezer up to 3 months.
Either organic or regular bananas will work just fine for this method.
Bananas ripened via the oven method should be cooled, scooped out of their peels and stored in an airtight container in the fridge 2-3 days.
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- 3-5 large bananas unpeeled, yellow
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side down.
- Place whole, unpeeled bananas 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Bananas should be almost completely browned
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Peel bananas and scoop out flesh, discarding peel. Use as needed in recipe
- Bananas are best used right away. To store, scoop out the flesh and discard the peels. Allow the banana to cool then place in an airtight container and store in the fridge up to 3 days
- Banana may be frozen. Scoop out the flesh and discard the peels. Freeze in a freezer-safeziplock bag or ice cube trays. Frozen banana is best used in smoothies or banana nice cream rather than using in baking recipes
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