Bananas are possibly the most popular fruit in the world. Indeed, it’s the most popular fruit of our users in Canada, the USA, and the UK. But did you know they’re not technically a fruit? They’re actually a herb. Either way, they’re delicious, healthy, and packed full of potassium. If you can find a fruit that’s bendier or tastier, then please let us know! In the meantime, why not find out how to store bananas in order to keep your bananas fresh for longer.
How to Store Bananas
Can bananas be kept on the countertop?
Unripe bananas – if your bananas are green and unripe, the countertop at room temperature is the best place for them to ripen. The best way to store them is to place them in a bowl, or hang them off of a specially made “banana tree”. This will prevent bruising of the fruit from where they rest.
To speed up the ripening process of a banana:
- Store them with other ethylene producing fruit and vegetables – other such fruit and veg are avocados, potatoes, and apples. But bananas will also speed up the ripening of these, too.
To slow down the ripening process of a banana:
- Cover the stalk with clingfilm/plastic wrap or tin foil – the stalk is where the ethylene that ripens bananas is released. Covering it will decrease the amount of this gas released and therefore keep bananas fresher for longer.
Ripe bananas – these can be kept on the countertop, but only if you intend to eat them as soon as possible. Otherwise, they will become overripe in a couple of days.
Unfinished bananas – these should be stored in the fridge (see below)
Can bananas be kept in the refrigerator?
Unripe bananas – the refrigeration process will severely slow down, or even stop, the ripening process. Whilst it will prevent them from turning brown, it means that unripe bananas placed in the fridge may never ripen. They will still be edible, but the riper the bananas are, the sweeter and tastier they will be.
Ripe bananas – once your bananas have reached the desired level of ripeness, you can store bananas in the fridge to stop them from ripening too quickly.
Unfinished bananas – to keep these for a little longer, cover them in plastic wrap/cling film, or a sealed plastic container. Try to keep as much of the peel intact as possible to expose the least amount of the flesh to air. Be aware that, after any fruit or vegetable has been partially eaten or prepared, it will rapidly lose its water-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin C.
Can bananas be kept in the freezer?
Unripe bananas – there’s technically nothing to stop you from putting these in the freezer. But, as this will completely halt the ripening process, it’s not advised.
Ripe bananas – this is the best way to keep any excess ripe bananas. When storing them in the freezer, make sure all the peel is removed. If you freeze them with the peel attached, you won’t be able to remove it afterward.
Once you’ve peeled your bananas, you might want to consider cutting them into smaller sections or slices. This will not only make them thaw quicker once taken out of the freezer but will make them easier to use straight from frozen, such as in smoothies. Place the prepared bananas into a zip-lock bag or a plastic container and place in the freezer.
Thawed bananas and banana pieces will be very soft once thawed as the freezing process destroys their cell structure. Therefore, these will be best for cooking and blending rather than eating.
Unfinished bananas – you can store unfinished bananas in the same way as ripe bananas.
How Long Do Bananas last?
|Unripe bananas expire in…||2-5 days||–||–|
|Ripe bananas expire in…||1-3 days||5-7days||2-4 months|
|Unfinished bananas expire in…||–||2-3 days||2-4 months|
How to Tell When Bananas Have Gone Bad
Touch– a banana should be fairly firm to the touch. If the flesh beneath the skin feels very soft, it is likely to have gone bad.
Look – bananas are best known for being completely yellow. But developing brown spots, or even the skin turning black, is not a sign it has gone bad. It is mostly a sign of how ripe the banana is. Indeed, very dark and overripe bananas are ideal for use in cooking, such as in muffins or banana bread.
To tell if a banana has gone bad, look for mold growing on the skin. Also, if there is liquid underneath the bananas, it’s a sure sign that they have gone bad.
The best way to see if a banana has gone bad is to unpeel it. If the flesh is a brown color and is very mushy, it has gone bad and should not be used.
Now you can get even more out of your bananas by knowing how to store bananas properly. Do you have any favorite recipes for overripe bananas? Have you ever tried bananas that are completely black? Do you prefer to freeze your bananas whole or sliced? Let us know in the comments.
Don’t forget to check out other guides in our “How to Store…” section.