How to quickly ripen bananas

A quick method to ripen bananas for bread or baking recipes

So you have an urge to make something requiring overripe bananas, like banana bread, or my german chocolate cake. But you don’t have any overripe bananas, and you don’t want to wait a few days to ripen them in a paper bag. It happens. Luckily the magic of science has provided us with a solution to take regular or even slightly underripe bananas and get them where we want them in an hour.

Simply spread your bananas (with the peels ON, please) on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven at 300 degrees for an hour. Yeah, really, that’s all it takes. They will come out looking frighteningly black:

But don’t worry, on the inside they are nice and soft and sweet. The heat from the oven activates the sugars in the banana, simulating the ripening process. You can stick them in the fridge for a few minutes until the bananas are cool enough to handle, and then peel them open and see, not burnt at all! Just soft and ready to mash into whatever recipe you’ve got a hankering to make.

This doesn’t work with completely green bananas – they do need to be at least mostly ripe to get the desired results. But since they are usually close to ripe when you buy them, this shaves off a few days of waiting! How many of you already knew this trick? Anyone have any other simple kitchen tips that save time or effort to share? I’m always looking for new pointers!

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