6 Ways to Make Your Bananas Last Longer

Goodbye, brown bananas! We scoured old cookbooks and interviewed experts to find out just how to keep bananas fresh.

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Is there anything more delicious than fresh fruit? Yes—dark chocolate. But fresh fruit is definitely up there, and it’s hard to beat the taste of a ripe banana. If you’re like us, you’re always trying to keep bananas fresh, especially if you’ve bought a bunch but only want to eat one at a time.

Here are some of the most effective ways you can keep your bananas from browning too quickly. (Plan B is to make more banana bread!)

1. Hang your bananas

Turns out there’s a scientific reason you should be hanging your bananas from a hook. Bananas start ripening as soon as they’re picked from trees—ethylene gas releases from the stems as soon as they’re picked, but when you hang bananas from a hook, the gas works more slowly. Hanging bananas also prevents them from bruising on the counter, which they’re more prone to do as they continue ripening.

You can pick up a fruit basket with a built-in hook or a small under-cabinet hook made specifically for bananas. Either way, keep your bananas at room temperature while they ripen on the hook.

2. Buy green bananas

The easiest way to prolong your bananas’ shelf life is to buy the greenest bananas you can find. They’re picked while still green, then slowly ripen over time to reach that bright yellow we love. Instead of grabbing perfectly ripened bananas you’re eyeing for banana muffins, grab a green bunch you can hang from your hook and watch ripen.

3. Wrap banana stems in plastic wrap

Remember that ethylene gas that makes bananas ripen? It comes from the stems, which means you can wrap those stems—with plastic wrap or aluminum foil—to slow down the ripening process. You may see grocery stores selling bunches of bananas with plastic wrap on the stems, but for best results, take your bananas apart and wrap their stems individually.

4. Place ripe bananas in the fridge

One of the cardinal rules of banana storage is to never store them in the fridge. But rules are meant to be broken, especially when it comes to bananas. You should keep green bananas far away from the fridge, but once your bananas have completely ripened, you can move them to the fridge where the cool temperatures will keep them from ripening further (for a few days at least).

5. Freeze your bananas

Freezing bananas is one of the easiest ways to keep them preserved for future use. But how you freeze bananas could have a big impact on how well they thaw. Freezing the entire bunch will darken the peels, and they’ll thaw poorly. Instead, consider freezing peeled, individual bananas or banana slices in resealable airtight bags.

6. Buy a banana hat

Just when you thought you couldn’t stop a banana from doing what it’s supposed to do—aka ripen—there’s a handy product to slow down the process. The Nana Hats banana preserver features a cute knit “hat”—available in a range of designs, like a monkey and pineapple—but underneath is where the magic happens. The silicone cup blocks bananas from releasing ethylene gas, slowing down the ripening process. This is a great solution for keeping your fruit fresher for longer. Now, check out some clever uses for extra bananas, besides eating them.

Taste of Home
Originally Published on Taste of Home