What's up with bananas

I’ve had several instances over the past few months where my bananas don’t ripen. I prefer to buy them green, as i dont necessarily eat them quickly, but in the oast they’ve ripened on the countertop, every single time. What’s going on with bananas?

Dunno… have you tried putting them in a paper bag?

1 Like

Yes. Weird that it is happening often, hadnt ever had the problem before.

Those are plantains.

Just kidding! I haven’t had this issue - instead, they go from green tinged to spotty way too soon. My fault - I’m still grocery shopping as if I have 6 in the house.

The Goog says they can actually be picked too soon/too green and that doing so can prevent ripening.

But since you like to buy them green, I don’t know how you can know the difference between “green but okay to ripen” and “green picked too early will never ripen”.

Going back to my joke above, I guess one use for the latter type might be to treat them like plantains and fry slices?

Halving and baking them would definitely make them sweeter. If sweet and tender enough, they could be used with cereal or over ice cream. If all else fails, microwave then puree them and freeze to use in banana bread, in curries, or in vegan ice cream (banana and virgin coconut oil stand in for dairy and make a decent base for fruit “ice creams”).

I ordered bananas from Amazon Fresh a few weeks ago when I was housebound with Covid. They were rock hard and bright green.

They never ripened…just rotted.

Not doing that again!

pureeing them will make them the right consistency but wouldn’t green bananas be not sweet enough for use in banana bread? or at least require adjustments to the amount of sugar needed (and possibly less flour to make up for the extra starch that would have otherwise become sugar?)

Interesting thoughts on the starch/sugar balance that I don’t think would have occurred to me.

But on the other hand, it seems banana bread is a bit of a crapshoot anyway as regards flour and sugar amounts. How much mass do “two large, ripe bananas” have, and how much moisture and sugar do they have, based on how ripe is “ripe” in the respective eyes of the recipe writer and eventual cook?

As a mild gripe while I’m here, I have quite a few old church-produced cookbooks and in all of them, the amount of sugar instructed is like 2-3X what it should be for banana bread or any other kind of sweetened quick bread.

I’d agree, every loaf is different and I’m ok with that. We had count 'em 12 super black bananas in back of fridge and that made for a very dense and sweet but good banana bread last week. Sometimes I add diced mango, sometimes kalua, various nuts, hemp hearts are good…sometimes I use butter sometimes veg oil, different flours basically whatever I have on hand. still I think the blacker the bananas the better. I do find the more bananas the longer u need to cook it and I kinda like the hardened outside crusty nature of those ones. I use my digital meat thermometer.

Sorry to hear about those crappy green Amazon bananas I’ve never been that unlucky.


Mango sounds nice but Kalua sounds very interesting in banana bread. In a standard 4x8 inch pan’s amount, how much Kalua?

Also - using a probe thermometer sounds like better than me checking the thing every 5 minutes for the last 20 minutes with toothpicks - what temp do you shoot for? Something like 205°F (this is what I use sometimes in checking regular bread and bagels, but I’m not positive if this number translates well for wetter quickbreads).

Yes, in my experience the blacker the bananas, the better the bread. But not to the point of fermentation. Kahlua is a good flavor with bananas.

1 Like

Microwaving or any other cooking deepens the sweetness but just like any fruit, you have to adjust amounts of any added sweeteners you may need.

how do you know its fermenting? i havent noted any sour smell or anything like that and all tastes sweet.

i shoot for 200-205 in the middle

i use a good glug of kahlua maybe its a few shots worth or so.

im not the best when it comes to measuring! my pans might be a bit longer, i use the disposable cardboard kinds…generally i do

as many black bananas as i have, no fewer than 6
2 cups (ish) flour (ive used many kinds)
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
dash of baking powder and baking soda
good pinch of salt
bout 3/4 cup of oil (i still line the pan with soft butter)
2-3 eggs - my friends in MS tell me more eggs always better…i think it actually works with this kind of dense cake
some kahlua, sometimes dark rum, sometimes vanilla
sometimes a small handful of whole oats oatmeal - my theory is it absorbs some of the moisture from the excessive bananas
sometimes cinnamon
sometimes pecans (which i toast before a little to get em started)
sometimes hemp hearts
sometimes diced mango - the mango taste doesn’t come off as distinct but it sort of melds in in a nice way
if my kids are in any way involved there can be choc chips and/or even some cocoa powder

maybe im forgetting something!

1 Like

Just if they get really black and very soft, the ferment process starts within a day or two, kind of bubbly, and the off taste. The skin usually starts to shrivel then too, and small white mold spots can appear. So you want them very dark, but at this point you can put them in the fridge for a day or so if you can’t get to them immediately.

1 Like

thanks - i generally toss em if the skin bursts or if i see any white stuff…ill be on the lookout…i haven’t noticed any problems before but i do tend to push the envelope in gathering my black bananas back of fridge

1 Like

Lol, me too - I call it my fresh ways with produce. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

haha, that’s how my mangos make it in because they are too ripe to just eat so i just toss em in…same with stone fruit—that’s always been a problem for me to manage those, they go from hard to too ripe licketyspit.

1 Like

You can freeze them with skin on. When they defrost just slit the skin lengthwise and scoop out any flesh that doesn’t fall out into the bowl when you lift the skin.

1 Like

Never had the problem of bananas not ripening