You've been storing bananas WRONG! How to keep them fresh for 15 days
You’ve been storing bananas WRONG! Expert reveals how to keep your fruit fresh for up to 15 days
- Mike from Kitchen Tips Online experimented with two bunches of bananas
- READ MORE: Secret to why bananas get brown spots REVEALED
It’s no secret that bananas ripen super quickly in any household when left on the counter or fruit bowl.
Now, a kitchen expert has recommended households store their fresh bananas a different way to ensure they remain yellow for longer.
Mike from Kitchen Tips Online revealed that he experimented with two bunches of bananas to see which set would ripen faster.
As bananas naturally ripen, the peels give off ethylene gas. The higher the ethylene concentration in the air surrounding the banana, the faster they mature (File image)
As a banana ripens, much of the starch is converted into sugars, making it an excellent natural source of sweetness. Despite this, the public is prone to throwing brown bananas away – even though they’re still edible (File image)
With one method, he placed the fruits on his kitchen counter. And with the other bunch, he put them inside an air tight container on his kitchen counter.
Inside the container, he placed an ethylene absorption ball.
What this does is it extends the shelf life of fruits and vegetables by removing the gases through an oxidation process, ensuring that the produce stays fresher for longer.
However, Mike admitted that nearly a week went by until he noticed a ‘significant’ difference between the bunches.
Ripen your bananas super fast…
If you want your banana now, but its still firm, you can pop it in the microwave to soften it.
Just poke the unpeeled banana all over with a knife or fork, and then place it on a plate inside the microwave for 30 seconds a time – until it is as soft as you want it.
While these bananas won’t be as sweet as the over-ripe ones, they’ll still be good to mash into your pancake or banana bread mixture.
He found that the bananas on the counter were ‘significantly softer than the ones in the container’.
And by day 15, there was still ‘a little bit of green’ on the bananas in the airtight container.
But when he cut open the bananas from the air tight container, he noticed that there was a ‘little bit of bruising’ on the fruit – but it was ‘still edible’.
As bananas naturally ripen, the peels give off ethylene gas. The higher the ethylene concentration in the air surrounding the banana, the faster they mature.
The brown colour comes from dark pigments including melanin, which is found in human hair and skin.
In bananas, these pigments form when oxygen reacts with natural chemical compounds called phenols in the peel.
As a banana becomes browner and browner, much of the starch is converted into sugars, making it an excellent natural source of sweetness.
Despite this, the public is prone to throwing brown bananas away, even though they’re still edible and ideal for use in baking recipes, such as banana bread.
Another way to slow down the ripening process of your bananas at home is to wrap cling film around the stems to trap the ethylene gas.
It is important that you wrap the stems of individual bananas, rather than the whole bunch together.
This is because when you wrap the stem individually and cover them fully, there are fewer places for the ethylene gas to leak out.
On the other hand, if you do want your bananas to ripen faster, it has been recommended to pop the fruit into a closed paper bag.
Mike from Kitchen Tips Online experimented by placing one bunch of bananas on his kitchen counter. And with the other bunch, he put them inside an air tight container on his kitchen counter (File image)
By doing so, this will trap the ethylene while letting in enough oxygen to help move the process along.
When trying this technique, it’s important not to use a plastic bag because it won’t allow enough oxygen in and can actually inhibit ripening.
This is actually why, most of the time, bananas in the supermarket are often bagged in plastic – to keep them from ripening too soon.
Meanwhile, Professor Gordon Carlson, a consultant gastric surgeon at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust, told Good Health he eats one relatively unripe banana every day to boost his gut health. The benefits of green bananas were confirmed in a major review of 18 studies on their nutrition, published in the journal Nutrients in 2019.
This found that green bananas can help with gastrointestinal symptoms (such as diarrhoea and constipation) and diseases (such as intestinal cancers).
A green banana typically has a glycaemic index (GI) of 30, compared to 58 for a ripe banana.
They may also assist in preventing or treating type 2 diabetes.
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