Unlike most fruits, bananas improve and become rich in flavor and perfect for eating when they are shipped green and allowed to ripen off the bush. Once you bring bananas home from the supermarket, the flavorful tropical fruit keeps at room temperature for three to five days. However, sealing the banana stems securely in plastic slows ripening by inhibiting the release of ethylene, a gas that occurs naturally as part of the ripening process.
Wrapping Stems in Plastic
Purchase bananas that display green along the ridges and on the tips if you don't plan to eat the fruit right away. Slightly unripe bananas have a longer storage life.
Pull apart the bunch into single bananas as soon as you bring them home.
Separate a 3- to 4-inch-length of plastic wrap from the roll to create a narrow, rectangular shape.
Wrap the strip of plastic wrap tightly around each banana stem several times, then tuck in the end securely so the wrap stays snug.
Leave the plastic in place until you are ready to eat the banana. As a general rule, wrapping the stems securely keeps bananas fresh for at least a week.
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- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
- Be Well Philly: How to Keep Bananas from Turning Brown
- Virginia Cooperative Extension: Food Storage Guidelines For Consumers
- Barbara Swain's Cookery for One or Two; Barbara Swain
- If you don't mind brown bananas, you can prolong the life of bananas by storing them in the refrigerator. Cold temperatures break down the cells in the peel, resulting in oxidation that causes bananas to turn brown quickly. However, the flesh of the bananas remains relatively firm.
- Peel bananas and cut them into slices if bananas ripen before you can use them. Wrap the slices securely in plastic and store them in the freezer. Thaw the slices and add them to baked goods or smoothies.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.