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Tuesday, March 12, 2024

About those more over ripe bananas! A two year update...

Got bananas? Tired of overripe bananas taking over your fruit bowl? Not sure if you can eat another loaf of banana bread? Well, then I have a kitchen tip for you! But fair warning, some of these bananas are not the prettiest, that you will see below...

When you have too many overripe bananas, something must be done...

More than once I have complained commented about the seemingly ongoing plethora of overripe bananas that seem to magically appear in my kitchen. I may have also stated that I am somewhat of a fussy banana eater, preferring my bananas just past the green tip stage, but not at the very sweet and soft fruit stage. And short of going to the store each day for a perfectly ripe banana to enjoy for my breakfast, I was growing impatient with the whole banana boondoggle! 

But just so you know, through the years I have tried many other banana tricks to keep them from over-ripening. 

Such as wrapping the stem end in plastic wrap, which may or may not help. Personally, for me, I felt it was a waste of time and plastic wrap. I may have gotten one extra day of a firm banana out of the whole trick. But not much more than that. And then there was the suggestion that you separate each banana from one another because they will ripen slower as a single banana versus a bunch of bananas with a shared stem. But honestly, I think that single bananas are quite a bit like single people, not really much different from one to the other! Yep, I got overripe bananas from each of these two techniques. 

But now what? What indeed...

Let's treat bananas like avocados!

Well as it turns out, we had the same problem with avocados. But in all fairness, I have to admit avocados are actually much more temperamental than bananas. After coming home from the market, we would have hard rocks in the shape of avocados. And then almost as fast as instant pudding, we would have mushy brown avocados that no one wanted to eat, the next day.  But then I read a kitchen tip from a lady who said, 

 "I bring avocados home from the market, let them set out for a day or so, then into the refrigerator they go. I will take one out and let it mellow for another day and then I eat it." 

And we have been using this tip ever since and it works great! Which got me thinking, why wouldn't that or something similar work with bananas? And that was the start of my banana experiment! I will tell you right now, that the cold temperature of the refrigerator darkens the outside of the peel, so these are not pretty bananas, but they are not overripe either! 

This is how my experiment unfolded. Come and take a look!

Into the refrigerator 03.19.2022.

I bought a bunch of bananas. Let them sit a day or two at room temperature, until they were just slightly green-tipped. I pulled them apart and put them in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. 

Removed from the refrigerator 03.22.2022.

These look fine, when I removed it from the fridge, after dinner for the next morning. 


The next morning there was more brown color spots on the outside of the peel. Bananas with this much color and kept at room temperature would be overripe. But these were not! Firm and just sweet enough. 

Removed from the refrigerator 03.25.2022.

This banana was a bit darker all over, but they were still feel firm to the touch. The next morning, the color change was dramatic. At this point, the bananas have been refrigerated for a week. 

Later that afternoon I enjoy this firm, ripe but not soft banana. We had run to Costco that morning to stock up and yes, buy another batch of bananas!

That is the last refrigerated banana from the original batch used for this documented process. This banana was at room temperature for 2 days before being eaten. 

Removed from the refrigerator 03.25.2022 eaten 03.27.2022.

Not pretty by any standard, but still firm, sweet, and more important, not overripe! 

I did learn that the extra day out of the fridge did soften the banana. But nothing I could not live with, even with my highly opinionated banana eating ways! 

But I usually take out a banana at dinner the evening before for the next morning so each is out of the refrigerator for only a short period of time before being eaten. 

I now think I have a new way to keep bananas! 

And it works so well, the batch of bananas shown above has convinced me this was one of the best experiments with food, in my kitchen as of yet! 

Because I like my bananas at room temperature, I pull a banana out of the refrigerator after dinner for breakfast the next day. For those that enjoy their fruit cold, all you have to do is grab one and enjoy. 

And of course for your lunchtime meal, pull out when you pack your lunch or in the morning, for later that day. But here recently I found that a quick 10 to 13 seconds in the microwave will warm the cold banana to a nice "chilled" temperature. 

But what is you want bananas for banana bread or cake?

For those timed when only a slice of banana bread or square of cake will do, simply pull the required number of bananas from the refrigerator, leave them to ripen on your kitchen counter for a few days ( 2 to 4 days out to do it!) and bake!

UPDATED: 03.13.2024

I have been using this method for almost two years, and it definitely works! But I have learned a few things I thought I would share. 

1. Bananas will continue to ripen even at the cold refrigerator temperature. So if you let the banana ripen too long at room temperature before placing in the refrigerator, you will have soft overripe bananas in about a week. And if you hold them too long in the fridge, you will also have overripe bananas...

2. Cold bananas taste good, this is something new for me! Old dogs learning new tricks and all!

3. It is worth the space needed, to store the bananas in the refrigerator, even though we live in a 40ft 5thwheel with very limited refrigerator space. 

4. Without the ongoing struggle of overripe bananas to deal with, I actually enjoy baking with them once again!

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Very interesting! Gonna have to try it! Thanks so much for linking up at the Unlimited Link Party 74. Pinned.

  2. Hmmmm, like you say, not pretty, but pretty tasty nevertheless! Good idea.

  3. Thanks for the tip. I have been wondering how to preserve bananas longer also.
    ~ Paula Richie

    1. Paula, to be honest, I had to find a way to keep from making another loaf of banana bread...yikes! Plus I missed having my daily banana, this was a fun experiment that actually turned out great! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

  4. I’m glad you joined the UBC!

    We have a real battle over them at our house. Hubby loves them all spotted and sweet. And he eats them by the bunch. At least 3-4 every breakfast, so you can imagine how they pile up. We always have about six bunches sitting around in various stages of ripeness. But the rest of us don’t touch his ugly bananas. So your trick would work for us.

    I appreciate your candor. It’s fun to have posts that aren’t the same run of the mill content!

    Ridge Haven Homestead

    1. Laurie, thanks so much, I have let my guard down a bit, sharing more of my quirky side. I hope it is received in the manner offed! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!

  5. Sounds like a good solution. I usually only buy two bananas, one slightly green and one greener to be eaten over the next 4-5 days. - Margy

    1. Thanks! There have been no un-eaten and overripe bananas since I started this storage solution.

  6. Something def good to know. I've kept in frig, but turned black so I didn't even bother to unpeal. oops

    1. Right!? The black ones are a bit off putting, but underneath the peel is a nice firm banana to enjoy. Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it!

  7. CONGRATS Melynda! Your post is FEATURED at the Unlimited Link Party 75!

  8. I appreciate your research findings!

    1. It was an interesting discovery! Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

  9. We've been having the same problems with bananas and have tried all the tricks like wrapping the end in saran wrap. Thank you so much for these tips! I just put our last two bananas in the fridge.

    1. Maria, I can only imagine how much this would have saved me in years past! So many over ripe bananas that after a stay in the freezer, went into the garbage...

  10. Judee from Gluten Free A-Z Blog: We have a terrible problem in Florida with green bananas going spotted and overly ripe in just a few days.I'll try this tip when I get back to Florida for the winter - thanks!

  11. I appreciate your experiment Melynda. This is really interesting and good to know.
    Visiting today from SSPS 227 #56&57

    1. Paula, I got tired of the waste, and to be honest, tired of making banana bread...

  12. I did not know this. I beleive it's the same for avocados....#TrafficJamWeekend

  13. I really should try this but I wonder if my kids would eat the banana because of how the skin looks like. This is a really neat experiment.

    1. Mireille, if you enjoy cold fruit the bananas right out of the fridge are not as "ugly". Thanks for stopping by, I appreciate it.

  14. A great tip, both for bananas and avocados! I'll try it. Thanks for linking

  15. Great tip and information shared in this post. Thank you for sharing at The Crazy Little Lovebirds link party #29.


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