How to Ripen a Banana in an Hour—or Overnight

Here are three ways to take your fruit from green to palate-pleasing yellow—plus, the best way to store your ripe banana.

Bananas are an elusive fruit. One minute they're bitter and green, the next brown dots have taken over the peel and the inside is mushy and too sweet. Luckily, there are a few hacks to get bananas ripe in a jiff and keep them at your preferred level of ripeness.

If you have one or two days

Store bananas in a paper bag, says Lori Taylor, a produce expert and the founder of theproducemom.com. As bananas mature, they emit ethylene, a gaseous hormone that quickens ripening. When you contain them in a bag, they're exposed to more ethylene, so the process goes quicker.

For overnight ripening

Add a piece of fruit, like an apple, avocado, or pear, to the bag. These fruits also emit ethylene and will hasten the process.

If you have an hour

If you're going to bake with the bananas, there is an even quicker method. Place whole, unpeeled bananas on a sheet pan and bake at 300°F for 1 hour, says Taylor. Cool in the refrigerator, then peel and they're ready for your banana bread recipe. (Or try the five-ingredient mug cake in the video above.)

How to store a ripe banana

Once a banana is ripe, refrigerate it, says Taylor. The peel may brown but the fruit will ripen at a much slower pace and maintain its current stage of ripeness for up to one week.

And don't throw out those banana peels! They're perfect for fertilizing roses. Just flatten a peel and bury it under 1 inch of soil at the base of a rosebush. The peel's potassium feeds the plant and helps it resist disease.

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