We love our banana bread and have to have it at least two days a week. Sometimes it is hard to keep up the supply of overripe bananas, and I recently asked, can I use unripe bananas for banana bread? Well, the answer was surprising, and when I thought about it, made sense!
It is not always possible to have your bananas totally ripe and ready for banana bread at all times. So the good news is if your bananas are not quite ripe enough to meet your requirements, this is what you must do. Turn your oven to 300 degrees, place your peeled bananas on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Slowly cooking the bananas brings out their sweetness and flavour, and then you will be ready to make your banana bread.
Slightly Green Bananas have health benefits and may provide extra nutrients and nutritional advantages. They have lots of fibre and regulate our blood sugar. Keep your bananas away from other seasonal fruit, as it can ripen them as well. If you need to ripen your banana faster place it in a plastic bag, to speed up the ripening process. I have also tried this in a brown paper bag that works as well but takes about six hours.
No, your bananas don’t have to be old to make banana bread, and the ripeness can be expedited using the above method.
Bananas also contain potassium, which is really good for us, and often seems like a complete food on their own, as such, bananas emit a very small amount of radiation, and consuming a banana is only 1% of the average daily exposure to radiation so won’t cause harm.
You can use a less than ripe banana, but overripe bananas are better because they are soft and sweet. If you are making a banana cake and using a food processor put all your ingredients into the processor to make a smooth batter, and once it is baked it will taste just as good as the cake with the overripe banana in it. 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.
If you need your bananas to be ready fast use your microwave. Leave the peel covering them, 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. This will make them easily mashable to use fast in your banana bread,
The paper bag trick works if you have some time to wait, and the scientific explanation is that keeping the oxygen out of the bag makes bananas ripen faster, but you will require a few hours!
Mash an unripe banana and freeze it for a few hours or overnight, then thaw it out in the morning and use it in your banana bread.
You absolutely can, and as you can see there is more than one way to ripen/soften bananas for baking purposes. 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 and will make the ripening process a bit quicker, without being too fast. 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.
If you’ve enjoyed this article and wish to treat me to a coffee, you can by following the link below – Thanks x
Hi, I’m Gareth Busby, a baking coach, lecturer and bread fanatic. My goal is to help you become a better baker.
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