Do you know how to ripen bananas in oven? So, you decided to finally catch to the trend and bake yourself delicious banana bread. You went to the supermarket and guess what? All you can find is green, unripe bananas! Yes, you can let it ripen naturally but that should take at least half a day. Before you ditch the idea to make the perfect holiday season dessert, we have some good news.
Thanks to technology, we have faster ways to get things done. You can ripe bananas in less than 20 minutes. How? Just use the oven! Depending upon your oven setting and how large they are, it should take just minutes in electric oven and seconds using microwaves. Curious to know how to ripen bananas in oven? Let’s find out!
But, How Do They Ripen?
Before going into the details of how to ripe bananas, let’s understand why it ripens. Ripening is simply a chemical reaction where ethylene gas is produced. This invisible gas penetrates through the cell walls of the fruit and promotes a series of reactions. You must’ve notices how ripe bananas are sweeter.
In fact, this is why sweet recipes involving bananas always use ripened bananas. That’s because during ripening, the starch in bananas convert to sugar! When they are just harvested, the starch content is 20% while only 1% is sugar. By the end of the ripening phase, the proportions reverse.
Also, keeping one ripe banana beside the others can accelerate the process. Now you know it’s no mystery, just the ethylene doing its work. You’d see how this information is very handy while we go into the details of ripening them artificially.
Follow These Four Tips to Ripen Bananas!
The Natural Way
If you want to ripen bananas the natural way but just a bit faster, this is the way to go. It takes about 10-12 hours for them to ripen. As you know, ripening is nothing but a chemical reaction. Keeping them in a warm spot makes sure them ripe faster.
That’s because this particular reaction happens faster at a higher temperature. Oh, and you should also check the humidity. Bananas ripen best in both humid and hot environments.
Paper Bag Will Do the Trick
Remember the short chemistry lesson earlier? This trick uses it to full extent. As you know, ripening won’t be happening without the ethylene gas being produced. The more you get ethylene, the more ripened the banana! This is why paper bags are used as a ripening technique.
All you have to do is cover the bananas in a paper bag and seal the bag. What you are doing is just trapping the gas inside the bag to let it do its work properly. You can also keep them in a plastic bag. However, it’s better to reduce using plastic bags as much as we can. Paper bags are cheaper and they are bio-degradable!
The Smartest We’d Been Hyping About
Don’t abandon the craving for banana bread just because you don’t have ripe bananas available! You don’t have to wait 12 hours to ripe bananas if you use this oven-ripening technique. If you’re looking for a quick fix, knowing how to ripen bananas in oven is a must.
- Firstly, place your bananas on a rimmed baking sheet. You can go with just a baking sheet, but bananas often ooze out and make a mess. So, it’s a good idea to use rimmed sheets or foil papers.
- Turn the oven temperature to 300F. Some recipes call for 350F, but anywhere higher than that will cause them to completely melt- which is the last thing you want.
- Bake the bananas for 10 to 15 minutes until the peels start to turn black.
- Make sure to turn them half-way during the cooking period.
- Cool them to room temperature or pop them in the refrigerator if you’re in a hurry.
This is the general guidelines on how to ripe bananas in oven. Sometimes the bananas might seem not soft enough. In that case, keep them in oven for an extra 10-15 minutes for best results. It’s always a good idea to check how they are doing in the middle of the baking period.
The baking period can vary, depending on the oven settings how the size of bananas. It will also depend on how ripe they already were. So, do keep in mind that you can adjust the time as per your need. At the end, you should be able to get some gooey goodness out the oven!
There is only one complain though. Some people might find the bananas still don’t feel sweet enough. And that’s understandable. You are trying to recreate a natural and lengthy process in just 15 minutes! The starch at times doesn’t convert to sugar completely in oven. So, even though the peel looks black and shiny, the gooey banana still won’t be as good as a natural one. But, that’s okay! You can always add extra sugar for the recipe.
You Can Use a Microwave Too
Looking for the quickest way to ripen bananas? Try a microwave. It takes just 30-120 seconds to ripen banana in microwave. You won’t see the blackening like in a normal electric oven though. And there are few extra steps to before putting them in oven. Take a fork and poke through the skin of the peel. Then place the banana in the microwave. Heat it for 30 seconds and voila! You have your ripened bananas!
Ripening bananas can take days or seconds, depending on the way you choose. You can choose to let it ripen naturally by using a simple paper bag. Or opt for a quick fix if you know how to ripen bananas in oven or microwave. Either way, we hope you end using them the best way possible-a delicious banana smoothie or scrumptious banana bread!