Can I Use Unripe Bananas For Banana Bread

Can I Use Unripe Bananas For Banana Bread?

Can I Use Unripe Bananas For Banana Bread
Updated on
August 19, 2023
Gareth Busby
Gareth Busby

I love making banana bread and must have it far too often! One thing I struggle with is keeping a supply of overripe bananas. So I thought, can I use unripe bananas for banana bread? Well, the answer was surprising. Let me share with you what I found!

Do bananas have to be old for banana bread?

Bananas don’t have to be old to make banana bread, but green bananas will make bread with a hard and bitter taste. Use old ones for a soft texture and for that recognisable sweet, caramel taste you expect from banana bread.

How to ripen bananas

It is not always possible to have your bananas totally ripe and ready for banana bread at all times. But the good news is that if your bananas are not quite ripe enough, there is a fix! Slowly cooking your bananas brings out their sweetness and flavour and, importantly, makes them soft enough to use n your banana bread!

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Peel your bananas and place them on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Alternative methods for ripening bananas

In the fruit bowl

If you have a big bunch of green bananas at home and you want them to ripen in a few days, put an apple or a pear in the bowl with them. These fruits release ethylene, making the ripening process a bit quicker but not too fast.

Keep them warm

During summer, the bananas tend to ripen really fast, and you can keep them in the refrigerator. The outside skin will go black, but the inside will be fine for eating or making your perfect banana bread.

Use a paper bag

The paper bag trick works if you have some time to wait. To accelerate the ripening of bananas. place them in a paper bag and store them in a cupboard. The scientific explanation is that keeping the oxygen out of the bag makes bananas ripen faster.

Use the freezer to ripen bananas

Yes!! The freezer can be used to ripen your bananas overnight! Mash unripe banana and freeze for a few hours or overnight. Thaw it out, and you can use the mash in your banana bread.

Read my top tricks to avoid gummy banana bread to improve your baking routine.

Rapid method: How to ripen bananas fast in the microwave

If you need your bananas to be ready fast, use your microwave. Leave the peel on, and poke a few fork holes in the bananas to let the steam out. Place them on some baking paper and microwave on high for 30-40 seconds. Continue heating until you have easily mashable bananas!

How to slow down banana ripening

If you want the bananas to ripen really slowly, hang them on the wall on a Butcher’s Hook with the air circulating around them, and if it is not too hot in the room, this will slow down the ripening process, and your bananas will remain green for longer.


The banana is such an easy fruit to work with, and having banana bread all year round makes the best possible breakfast that everyone loves.

So whether your bananas are ripe or green, there is always something you can do to ripen them faster and cook with them every day!

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Gareth Busby

Hi, I’m Gareth Busby, a baking coach, head baker and bread-baking fanatic! My aim is to use science, techniques and 15 years of baking experience to help you become a better baker.

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