Keeping Bananas Longer

Since this question directly involves food I assume it goes in this forum.

My wife and I both like bananas. She likes them on the more ripe side, and I like them on the less ripe side. We only do food shopping once a week so we try to stretch bananas out for 7 days. I think that’s asking a lot out of a banana, but I don’t want to shop every 4 days just for bananas since it’s a 45-minute drive to get them.

Our strategy is to buy a bunch of fairly green bananas and leave them grouped on our granite kitchen counter, away from any heat source. I can start eating them immediately, but my wife will wait a few days before they are no longer green.

After 4 days they are getting borderline too ripe for me, and by day 6 they are usually covered with brown spots. Great for making banana bread, but not for eating as a snack (as far as I am concerned).

I know they once had special bags for them, and someone told me to keep them in a paper bag and not out in the open, which didn’t seem to help. Hanging them on a hook suspended above the counter also didn’t seem to make any difference. You of course never want to put them in the fridge, even for a single day.

So is there any good way to keep green-ish bananas fresh for 6-7 days? The temperature of my house is usually around 70 degrees if that matters and I live in a place with relatively low humidity…

Actually, you may want to try the fridge. The peel will turn black but the actual banana will still be fine and it will arrest the ripening.

Storing in bags or paper sacks will accelerate your problem as the fruit will be bathed in ethylene gas which induces ripening. Perhaps near a fan to blow the emitted gas away from the fruit?

I eat a bunch of bananas,also. They are native here.

I think you are doing the best you can do. Unless you have access to other varieties. I assume you are describing the normal, long type. Here we have dominicos. They are slender, finger size. And monsano, finger size but fatter. Both these types have a longer shelf life. Might not be available in your area.

Good luck.

As soon as you get them home, wrap the knot where they are all attached, with a long piece of Saran. Feed it between a couple of the bananas, and up, and around, several times. Also, you should hang them, not sit them on something. And keep them away from other fruits and vegetables, in a separate spot.

I only recently started doing this and it WORKS! And quite well!

I fridge mine. I like em cold.

This is what I’ve worked with as well - the stem end generates ethylene gas which speeds the ripening. Being lazy, I’ve had luck by separating the bananas early and keeping them apart.

Here’s a product that helps keep bananas and other fruits and vegetables fresh longer. These bags are lined with a compound that absorbs ethylene gas. Things ripen and deteriorate more slowly with less ethylene. I once did a test of these bags, putting some bananas from a single bunch in a bag and some outside the bag. The ones in the bag ripened much more slowly.

Aren’t they long enough?

Wrap the stem in foil. It slows down the release of ethylene gas

Why not buy a couple of smaller bunches? Buy one bunch of closer-to-ripe bananas and eat those earlier in the week. Buy a second, greener bunch that will take a few days to ripen, and eat those when the first bunch is gone.

We shop a couple times a week, but my husband likes a banana or two every day, and I always try to buy a couple that are nearly ripe and a couple that are still green.

I vote for the fridge option. I let the banana get to just about the ripeness that we prefer (barely turned yellow from green), then I put it in the fridge. This will hold it at that stage of ripeness for several days. The peel will turn greenish-black, but the inner fruit is perfect.

I find that cryogenic storage makes them last for a really long time.

Somewhere, perhaps a previous thread here, I saw a photo from South Korea of a plastic-wrapped package of five bananas, each a slightly different level of ripeness so that over five days, you could have a ripe banana each day. It seemed a clever idea and I don’t know why a US banana distributor doesn’t package them that way.

The fridge option is the only one that works for me. You just have to get past your disgust at the ugly brown/black exterior. I don’t like bananas beyond the point where they are mostly yellow, but the “seams” and the top are still green. Refrigerating them at that point almost completely halts the ripening process. I usually put one on the kitchen counter for an hour to bring it up to room temperature before eating.

Great suggestions from everyone. I tried the ‘wrap the tops tightly in plastic wrap’ this week and it seems to be working pretty well. I assumed that the ethylene gas came from the peel, but I guess I was wrong about that…

I don’t have anything to add… except, I was just in Malawi (and Zambia). I had 5-10 bananas per day. All kinds! They were beyond delicious. I was only mad once as some monkeys ate the bananas that I had to leave outside of my chalet as the ants were swarming them. Stupid monkeys! I hope they enjoyed their anty bananas.

They probably liked them better with the ants.

Easy; stay off your meds.