6 ways to extend the shelf life of bananas

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Goodbye, overripe bananas! We scoured old cookbooks and interviewed experts on how to keep bananas fresher for longer.

We love bananas, but when they’re overripe, that’s another story. Would you like to keep your bananas fresh for longer – especially if you’ve bought a lot of them? Here are some effective tips to prevent your bananas from turning brown too quickly.

6 ways to extend the shelf life of bananas
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Hang the bananas

There is a scientific reason why it is important to hang bananas from a hook. As soon as they are picked, the bananas begin to ripen thanks to the ethylene gas which is released from its stems. However, when hanging from a hook, the gas works slower.

Hanging also keeps bananas from spoiling on the counter – which they are more likely to do as they continue to ripen. Use a fruit basket with a built-in hook or a small hook under the cabinet, specially designed for bananas. And keep your bananas at room temperature while they ripen on the hook.


life of bananas
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Buy green bananas

This is probably the easiest way to extend the shelf life of your bananas. They’re picked while they’re still green, then slowly ripen over time to achieve that bright yellow you love. Instead of buying ripe bananas, grab a bunch of green bananas that you can hang up and watch them ripen.


life of bananas
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Wrap the banana stems in plastic wrap

As noted above, gaseous ethylene ripens bananas. This gas comes from the stems, which means that by wrapping them (the stems) in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, you help slow the ripening process.

It is for this reason that some grocery stores sell bananas with plastic wrap on the stems. For best results, separate your bananas and wrap their stems individually.

Place the ripe bananas in the refrigerator

One of the golden rules of storing bananas is to never store them in the refrigerator. But this is the exception that proves the rule, especially when it comes to bananas. You should keep green bananas away from the refrigerator, but once they are fully ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator, at a cool temperature that will prevent them from further ripening (for a few days at least).


life of bananas
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Place the ripe bananas in the refrigerator

One of the golden rules of storing bananas is to never store them in the refrigerator. But this is the exception that proves the rule, especially when it comes to bananas. You should keep green bananas away from the refrigerator, but once they are fully ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator, at a cool temperature that will prevent them from further ripening (for a few days at least).


life of bananas 2021
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Freeze your bananas

Freezing bananas is probably the easiest way to store them. But the way you do this could then have an impact on their thawing.

For better thawing, it is better to freeze them individually, peeled, sliced and stored in bags that you will close tightly.


Buy a banana keeper
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Buy a banana keeper

Bruising can wreak havoc on your bananas, causing spongy parts and faster ripening. Hard cases specially designed for bananas then come in handy. The “banana keeper” – which can hold just one banana – is a great way to keep individual fruits ripe and ready for lunch (or for an afternoon snack).