Overripe bananas make for deliciously moist banana bread, but if you wanted to have a banana for an afternoon snack, seeing them go brown can be frustrating and disappointing. Fortunately, there are a few easy strategies to keep those potassium-packed fruits fresh for longer.
Store them somewhere cool
While bananas may remind us of warm tropical destinations, they should actually be stored in a cool location for a longer shelf life. 54 degrees Fahrenheit is the sweet spot, but anywhere away from warmth and sunlight will do.
Keep them away from other fruit
Bananas are highly susceptible to ethylene gas, so keep them away from other fruits, especially high ethylene ones like avocados, peaches, tomatoes, and apples.
Wrap the stems in plastic
Ethylene gas is released from the stems of bananas, causing ripening, so wrapping the stem of your banana bunch in plastic wrap can help slow this process. Wrapping each step separately is most effective, although it is a plastic-intensive habit.
Use the refrigerator
Many people avoid putting bananas in the refrigerator because it turns their skin dark, but while the peels become discolored, the ripening of the actual fruit is slowed.
Just like apple slices, squeezing a little citrus juice on sliced bananas prevents them from turning brown. This is a great tip for fruit salads or for half a banana you’re saving for later.
If you don’t plan on eating your ripe bananas for a while, you can freeze them to maintain freshness the longest. You can slice and freeze them on a tray or even puree them. This is also a great way to store overripe bananas for use in breads or muffins later on.