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"Ageing" bananas

How do I "age" bananas so I can use fresh ones immediately in banana cake, etc?

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  1. Bag them with onions or something equally gaseous. May speed things up

    Or u can cook them in microwave before making the bread. Cook's illustrated technique to intensify banananess, I think.

    1 Reply
    1. re: youareabunny

      There are a number of smaller grocers in areas that cater to different cultures in my city. They sell produce but some items have higher turnover than others. These places invariably sell both green bananas and those that are well past their prime ... and marked down in price. Presto! Over-ripe, blackened bananas. No need to try to hasten a process that should really be allowed to occur naturally. I have a Caribbean shop in town that has plantains at all stages of ripeness as well.

      Without these options, I'd buy regular (green or just yellowing) bananas, put them in a bag with a very ripe apple or pear (rotting, even) and wait out the process, which shouldn't take more than a few days.

      If you don't mind paying more, I find that the small finger bananas (red and yellow) ripen faster and are quite sweet, using the bag process and placing them somewhere warm.

    2. Cut the ends off but leave the rest of the skin on, and roast them.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Freezing will certainly soften them but won't sweeten them.

        2. Here is the Method using things that emit ethylene gas

          1. Bake the whole, unpeeled bananas on a sheet tray for one hour at 300°F. The peel will turn brownish-black & glossy and the fruit will be softer & sweet.

            Just *be careful* - the interiors will be really hot and you don't want to get a steam burn when you peel them. If possible, let them sit for a while to cool down after you remove them from the oven, and the residual heat & steam inside the peel will sweeten & soften them even more.

            1. Does anyone actually do this to good effect? I feel that bananas also get more intensely flavoured, not just sweeter, and that is key for flavouring baked goods. I mean commercial banana items use tons of sugar, but that doesn't make up for really ripe banana flavour.
              It seems to me any cheat will still be second best. Personally, as discussed many times on the site, I freeze overripe bananas, one or two at a time based on what we don't eat, and then I usually have enough on hand to bake with.

              1 Reply
              1. re: julesrules

                Baking/roasting works - I've done it in a pinch. Of course it's nice to have that stash of overripe bananas in the freezer, but that's not always the case...

              2. Ask your grocer for the ugly bananas. They cull them from the display since consumers want perfect looking bananas. That means they're always still green.

                1. You can purchase the old ones at any grocers and use them right away. They are on sale usually.