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
November 5, 2023
Gareth Busby
Gareth Busby

I love banana bread and make it far too often! My favourite is to have it with a burnt brown sugar crust and fresh creme anglaise.

The thing I needed help with was keeping a supply of overripe bananas. Whenever I was in the mood to pull out my favourite cake-baking loaf pan, my bananas were unripe!

After many trials, I’ve discovered a handful of workarounds!!

Can you use unripe bananas for banana bread? Well, not really, but you can ripen them super quick!

Can you make banana bread with fresh bananas?

Bananas don’t have to be old to make banana bread, but green bananas will make a loaf with a hard and bitter taste.

Old, overly ripe bananas produce a soft textured banana bread. It’s the secret to that recognisable sweet caramel taste you love.

What do ripe bananas look like?

This question sounds basic, but I want you to be able to tell what the ideal banana ripeness is in banana bread recipes.

An unripe banana is pure green. As it matures, the skin becomes more yellow until the green colour is lost, and the banana is entirely yellow. A yellow banana is typically ripe. However, for banana bread, we want our bananas slightly over-ripe.

As a banana ages, black spots appear, slowly expanding across the fruit. At this point, the banana is at its peak for making bread. 

The black spots show that the sugars have turned into patches of caramel. As the banana ages, the black spots increase in frequency and size, causing the interior of the banana to be damaged and rotten.

How To Ripen Bananas

It is not always possible to have bananas ripe and ready for banana bread at all times.

But the good news is that if your bananas are not quite mature enough, there is a fix!

Slowly cooking your bananas brings out their sweetness and flavour and, importantly, makes them soft enough to use in 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 at room temperature

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. 

Apples and pears release ethylene, which accelerates the ripening process of the bananas.

Keep them warm

During summer, bananas tend to ripen really fast.

To accelerate maturation, store your bananas next to the radiator or window. Your bananas should ripen in half a day.

Use a paper bag

The paper bag trick works if you have time to wait.

To accelerate the ripening of bananas, place them in a paper bag in a cupboard.

Keeping oxygen out of the bag makes the bananas ripen faster.

Use the freezer to ripen bananas

Yes, the freezer can be used to ripen bananas overnight!

Mash unripe bananas and freeze them in a bowl for a few hours.

Thaw it out, and you can use the mash to make 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 the microwave.

Leave the peel on, and poke a few fork holes in each banana to let the steam out.

Place them on baking paper, then microwave on high for 30-40 seconds.

Repeat the 30-40 second bursts until you have easily mashable bananas!

How To Slow Down Banana Ripening

If you want the bananas to ripen slower, use a Butcher’s Hook to hang them on the wall.

The air circulates them, and providing that it is not overly warm, the ripening process slows.

How to reheat a slice of banana bread

There are three options (well, four!) to reheat banana bread:

  1. Place a couple of pieces in the toaster or under the broiler until golden brown. Delicious with a hefty spread of butter!
  2. Place the slices on a plate or oven-proof tray, add a tiny drizzle of water and cover with aluminium foil. Bake in a preheated oven 150-180 for 3-4 minutes or until warm.
  3. Drizzle a little water over your slices, cover with plastic wrap and warm in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.
  4. Heat a frying pan over a medium to high heat. Once warm, add a knob of butter to the pan. Once the butter has melted, add the slices of banana bread and fry on both sides until golden brown. Delicious with fresh custard or ice cream!

How to freeze banana bread

To protect banana bread from freezer burn, you should double-wrap it. First, in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by an outer layer of aluminium foil.

It will remain in good condition for around a month. Any longer, and it begins to dry out once defrosted.

Tips to improve your banana bread recipe

To make your homemade banana bread taste even better, first, let’s start with selecting your ingredients: 

  • The best banana bread comes from the finest ingredients. So, to make yours taste special, consider upgrading them.
  • Hand-churned butter adds a slightly acidic flavour and a lovely golden colour,
  • Using free-range or organic eggs tends to provide a more golden colour and richer flavour, which combines with the baking soda to produce an improved rise in the oven.
  • The all-purpose flour you choose can make a difference to the texture of the banana bread. The softest banana loaves I’ve eaten were made with a fine sponge or 00 flour.
  • Many recipes omit salt in banana bread. Salt is vital in bringing out the banana flavour. It also makes the bread taste fresher and vibrant.
  • If you desire an intense banana flavour to your banana bread, add some banana essence, a concentrated banana flavouring, to the mixer.
  • Cinnamon and banana match really well. It’s no surprise that some of my favourite banana loaves had a cinnamon sugar coating. Delicious!
  • Chocolate is also a good match with bananas. I often add a handful of milk chocolate chips to my batter before it goes into the loaf pan.

Conclusion: Are banana breads quick breads?

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!

If you’ve enjoyed this article and wish to treat me to a coffee, you can by following the link below – Thanks x

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