How to Ripen Bananas in the Oven

You will go bananas over this quick way to ripen your favorite fruit.

Waiting for bananas to ripen is like watching paint dry. It never seems to happen fast enough. Since most of the bananas you purchase at the grocery store probably have a good bit of ripening to do, and you really want to make that loaf of banana bread tonight, speed up the process and ripen your bananas in the oven.

Ripen bananas
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How to Ripen Bananas in the Oven

To immediately ripen bananas for use in banana breads, cakes, and muffins, you can use the oven. Preheat your oven to 300ºF (a low and slow oven ensures the interior of the banana bakes before the outside gets too dark and mushy). Place your unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. A banana may leak syrup while baking, so using a lined baking sheet makes for an easy cleanup. Let the bananas bake for about 20 minutes before checking – you want the skins to be completely black and the fruit soft to the touch. Depending on the size and degree of ripeness of the banana, you may need to bake a bit longer. After baking, let the bananas cool, then scoop or squeeze the pulp from the peel, and proceed with your recipe. The texture of a baked banana may be a bit softer than that of one naturally ripened but the taste and caramelized sweetness will be amazing.

How to Ripen Bananas When You Aren’t in a Hurry

If you plan to bake a loaf of banana bread this weekend, then you have plenty of time to ripen a bunch of green bananas one of two ways. Most of us know the tricks of how to ripen a banana over the course of a few days, but let's review.

Use a Paper Bag

Put your bananas in a paper bag and loosely fold the top. For an extra measure, add an apple or an already ripe banana to increase the amount of ethylene gas circulating around in the bag. Ethylene gas, which helps convert starch to sugar, is present in most fruits throughout its lifecycle, and the levels really shoot up when the fruit starts ripening. The bananas will ripen in a day or two using this method.

Put Bananas in a Warm Spot

Put your bunch on top of your refrigerator or next to a sunny window. Depending on how green your bananas are, it may take up to four or five days to ripen using this method but, if you have time to wait, you will be rewarded with ripe, sweet bananas.

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