A newly purchased bunch of bananas can cast a wide net in the sea of recipes. This delicious fruit is a great source of potassium and fiber, is a healthy alternative to ice cream, and can be included in a multitude of recipes ranging from salads to smoothies. The only thing left to do now is wait 24-48 hours before they ripen...
Depending on how many you purchase, a bunch of bananas can take up to two days before they ripen to your tastes. When you're planning out your meals for the week or jonesing for a good snack, no one wants to wait that kind of time. Lucky for you we have a few different ways you can get those bananas ripened quickly.
Paper bags are a classic way to get those bananas ripe. Stick your bananas in the bag and loosely seal it. Keep an eye on them and remove them once they reach the level of ripeness you're looking for. If, however, you're really in a bind you can place some apples in there as well. The ethylene in apples will help speed up the process. And hey, you can also use this method to get your avocados ripe.
You'll need to be more mindful with this method as you don't want to torch your bananas. The sweet spot is somewhere between 30 seconds and two minutes. Grab a fork and poke the bananas' skin on all sides. Place them on a plate and microwave for 30 seconds at a time. Keep microwaving at 30-second intervals until the desired ripeness is achieved.
Heat brings out the banana's sugar as well so this method will help to ripen the flesh and guarantees that it tastes ripe too.
Place your unpeeled bananas on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Crank the oven's temperature to about 300 degrees F and stick the sheet inside. Bake them for about 30 minutes but check on them every 10 minutes to determine their ripeness.
One thing to note with this method is that the flesh will go mushy based on how long you leave the bananas in the oven. If the skin goes completely black, the flesh will be too soft to eat on its own but you can still use them for different recipes like smoothies, muffins, or banana bread. Bonus tip: toss some chocolate chips in the recipe for a great chocolate chip banana bread.
These are the three easiest methods out there for getting those bananas as ripe as you need them to be. Each method has varying amounts of time they need to work, ensuring you'll have a method that fits right into your schedule.