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oddly colored bananas

brendastarlet Nov 6, 2007 09:35 AM

I've been having trouble with bananas that don't ripen properly. I buy them green, but they never turn bright yellow. They go kind of a pale yellow with brownish streaks, and never actually get the kind of brown spots that bananas get when they go from yellow to brown.
This has happened several times lately (twice with bananas bought at Trader Joe's.)

I wonder if the bananas got a shot of frost somehow during transit that keeps them from ripening. Any thoughts?

  1. monavano Nov 6, 2007 10:12 AM

    If you want green bananas to ripen quickly, place them in a paper bag, closed loosely. The banana gives off ethylene gas which ripens it. Placing it in a paper (not plastic) bag with trap the gas and accelerate ripening.


    1. danna May 19, 2008 08:15 AM

      I have the same issue. My husband likes his bananas semi-green, so I buy them in varying stages so he always has some unripe ones.But sometimes, I get some that are SO green, they never ripen..NEVER. The paper bag trick does not work. My husband keeps saying I accidentaly bought plantains, but they aren't. I checked the produce code, and they are your basic 4011. So...what's the deal.

      And more importantly, what should I do w/ the 3 I have at home right now?

      2 Replies
      1. re: danna
        AmyH May 19, 2008 08:50 AM

        Here's a lovely sounding recipe for an Ecuadorian split pea and green banana soup.


        1. re: AmyH
          AmyH Jun 2, 2008 07:56 AM

          Here's another good use for green bananas from the same recipe blog:


      2. Uncle Bob May 19, 2008 08:42 AM

        If you are buying green bananas at retail...that is your problem...green tips is one thing...green bananas another...They were not properly handled, at the wholesaler, grocery warehouse etc...improper temperatures, gassing at the wrong time, or not at all in the ripening rooms...Buy bananas that have some color, green around the tips and stem end is ok..but mostly that are showing some yellow color...then you will be happy...If your bananas are turning that beige color, not yellow..again the problem occured before you bought them at retail...there is nothing you can do...


        1. j
          jsaimd May 19, 2008 10:28 AM

          My husband hates TJs bananas and that is one reason - happens all the time with those.

          1. m
            maestra May 19, 2008 11:07 AM

            My TJ's bananas ripen fine, unless I buy the organic ones (I've done so once by accident and once because they were out of regular). The organics never turn yellow.

            1. ipsedixit May 19, 2008 11:27 AM

              Assuming they were not damaged during transport and suffered some sort of frostbite, I would expose them to some sunlight to get that nice golden look. Let them sit next to a window as they ripen.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ipsedixit
                danna May 19, 2008 01:27 PM

                trust me. ain't gonna happen.

                1. re: danna
                  ipsedixit May 19, 2008 02:20 PM

                  Really? It generally works for me.

                  Lots of times I'll buy green bananas and stagger ripeness progression.

                  I'll put some in a paper bag, and others I'll leave out in the kitchen where they catch alot of sunlight.

                  The ones in the paper bag will invariably ripen faster, but look awful -- green and blotchy. The ones left outside in the kitchen will ripen slower, but look like they're ready for a Chiquita commercial.

              2. b
                bitchincamero May 19, 2008 12:23 PM

                I had this sort of happen the other day (not with TJ's bananas). I bought some greenish yellow ones and they turned kind of greenish/light brown. I ate them anyway because I was hungry and they tasted like a ripe, yellow banana. Have you tried them? Or are you waiting for them to turn yellow?

                It was weird, but ultimately, fine.

                1. b
                  BeckyAndTheBeanstock May 19, 2008 01:54 PM

                  Are you sure they're not plantains? (Kidding, kidding...)

                  I like them kind of green. But I take it this isn't what you're talking about. My uneducated guess is that they were just picked before they were viable -- picked way too early that there's no hope of ripening.

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