So you have an urge to make something requiring ripe bananas (or actually 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 ripen them quickly in the oven.
Simply spread your bananas (with the peels ON, please) on a cookie sheet and pop them in the oven at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the skin is shiny black. I don’t show it in the photo, but it might not be a bad idea to use a silicone baking mat over your baking sheet since the bananas can break open and leak, but direct contact with aluminum probably isn’t a concern if you leave the peels on.
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. 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 you could quickly ripen bananas in the oven so quickly? Anyone have any other simple kitchen tips that save time or effort to share? I’m always looking for new pointers!