Bananas are a delicate fruit: if kept the wrong way, they quickly turn overripe. Want to know how to keep bananas fresh? Here are some tips on how to store them so they will last longer.
1. How to Store Bananas: Do’s and Don’ts
While overripe bananas are a great ingredient for many delicious plant-based recipes – honestly, who doesn’t love some juicy banana bread – there are only so many hours in a day you can spend making bread and cake. If you want to process your ripe bananas right away, make sure to check out our guide on What to Do With Ripe Bananas: 10 Healthy Recipes and Tips.
However, if you prefer your bananas raw, take a look at these dos and don’ts:
- Be gentle – we all know what happens when you toss a banana into a bag or backpack. Instead, when you bring bananas home from the store or one with you as a snack, carry them in a separate fruit bag or place a single banana in a container with some holes in it.
- Hang bananas to prevent bruising: apply this simple trick to keep bananas from getting damaged, which will cause them to ripen much faster. Don’t know where to hang your bananas? Get a hook to attach to your shelves or cabinets or buy a banana hanger to place on your countertop (available on Amazon**).
- Store bananas at room temperature or slightly below – they like it cool. The fruit is also best kept in a dark and airy space.
- Bananas like it cool, but not too cold: don’t place bananas in the fridge! If the bananas aren’t ripe, doing so can stymie the ripening process and they may not ripen at all.
- Don’t keep bananas in grocery bags or closed containers. During the ripening process, bananas, like some other fruits, release a ripening gas called ethylene. Trapping these fruits in closed containers as the gas builds up will propel the ripening process.
- For the same reason you shouldn’t keep bananas next to other fruits.
- Don’t place bananas in direct sunlight.
Storing Trick: Keep Bananas Fresh by Wrapping the Stems
Have you ever wondered why bananas sometimes come with some plastic wrap around their stems? As ethylene is released through the banana stems, wrapping them can stifle the effect. If your bananas come with a little wrapper, keep it in place while you store your bananas. You can also wrap the stems yourself.
To do so, we recommend using Beeswax Wrap, a more sustainable wrapping option that you can buy from different manufacturers – you can also find them on Amazon**.
It is best if you keep the bundle together and try to wrap the paper both in between the individual banana stems and around them.
2. Using Lemon Juice to Preserve Bananas
You can also preserve peeled bananas or leftover banana slices for a little while longer by adding citrus. This will interfere with the oxidation process that would otherwise cause the fruit to quickly turn brown.
Here’s how you do it:
- Simply drizzle some fresh lemon juice over the cut bananas and place them in an airtight container.
- Store the container with the banana slices in the fridge and process the fruit soon.
3. Freezing Bananas
If you won’t be eating your ripe bananas anytime soon, you should not store them at room temperature – freeze them instead. Peel the bananas, then place the fruits in airtight containers. If you want, you can cut the bananas into slices or halves, or purée them before freezing them – this might be a good idea depending on how you plan to process them later on. Here you can also add a spritz of lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
For further details, also take a look at our article on How to Freeze Bananas: Tips and Recipe Ideas.
There are plenty of recipes you can use frozen bananas for:
- Nice Cream Recipes: Vegan Banana Ice Cream in Five Minutes
- No Bake Vegan Cheesecake: A Healthy Cheesecake Recipe
Banana smoothie: you can use frozen bananas to create your own delicious smoothies. If you need some inspiration, try mixing the following ingredients in a blender:
- 1 frozen banana (cut into chunks or slices)
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tbsp. nut butter (anything goes: almond, peanut, etc.)
- Optionally: 1 tbsp. ground flaxseed, chia seeds or rolled oats, crushed ice
Blend until smooth and enjoy right away.
- Storing Food: 7 Easy Tricks to Avoid Food Waste
- How To Make Banana Chips: A Step-By-Step Guide
- Banana Peel Uses: Why You Shouldn’t Throw Them Away
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