Tash said: “Bananas are a staple in most UK homes, which is not surprising given they are fourth on the list of the country’s most popular fruits.
“They have many benefits, including providing essential vitamins such as B6 and potassium, and provide sustained energy for the body, making them ideal for people who participate in sporting activities.
“However, storing bananas properly can be difficult, and often the time frame between underripe and overripe is short-lived. So how should you store them to keep them fresh longer?”
The expert explained: “A potentially obvious but often overlooked top tip for keeping bananas fresh is to buy them green and let them ripen at home.
“If you look for the light yellow bananas in the store, it means they are already ripe and have a shorter shelf life than the unripened green ones.
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“Another top tip is to keep bananas away from other fruits – this benefits both the banana and the other fruits as bananas release ethylene gas during ripening which causes other fruits to ripen and spoil faster.
“So while a ‘fruit bowl’ is a nice idea and looks great on the kitchen counter, it’s not a practical way of storing fruit to ensure a long lifespan.
“Make sure you take bananas out of the plastic bags they’re packed in, because the plastic holds the moisture that the bananas release from the ethylene gas as they ripen, which helps them ripen even faster.”
She continued, “While ripening, keep your bananas on a countertop or anywhere at room temperature and away from moisture, sunlight, and excessively warm temperatures.
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“Too warm anywhere will speed up the ripening process, so avoid keeping them near stoves/warm appliances.
“Separating individual bananas from the bunch can also help keep them at their prime for longer by preventing the fruit from being affected by the ethylene gas released from the other bananas.
“The ethylene gas is released from the stalk of the banana. You can also wrap the stems in plastic wrap or cling film to slow down the action of the gas and avoid overripening too quickly.
“This reduces the amount of gas that can migrate down the fruit and therefore allows it to stay fresher longer.”
Tash added: “If you’d rather keep the bunch together you can buy a ‘banana tree hanger’ which can help slow ripening and encourage air circulation, it also helps soothe bruises on the fruit’s skin avoid, which often tends to make the affected interior area more of an undesirable muddy texture.”
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Can you put bananas in the fridge? Tasha said, “You should never store bananas in the fridge while they’re ripening, as the cold can interfere with the ripening process.
“However, if the bananas are ripened at room temperature, they can last longer if put in the fridge!
“Once they’re yellow and lightly mottled, it means they’re ripe and ready to eat – put them in the fridge at this stage and after a couple of days, while a black-brown color on the skin can indicate their overripeness to the fruit.” the inside should be edible for a week or more.
“If you separated the bananas and wrapped the stems in cling film/plastic, they will last even longer in the fridge.
“Once ripe and yellow, the inner fruit of these bananas can last up to 16 days – again, don’t be put off by the brown or overripe banana skin, as the fruit inside should stay fresh.”
If you buy whole green bananas, it will take about 3-4 days for them to turn yellow before placing them in the fridge with cling film/plastic wrap.
A banana can last up to 20 days.
What about underripe or overripe bananas – can you eat them?
The expert explains: “Never throw away bananas that are a little too ripe to eat straight away – these are perfect for making banana cake or banana bread.
“The riper the banana, the softer the texture, which means they blend evenly into a cake mix without forming too many lumps or disturbing the texture.
“If you want to eat an overripe banana as a snack, it’s okay as long as it doesn’t have mold.
“You can also tell by the smell whether a banana has gone rancid and is no longer edible.
“Similar to underripe or green bananas, although some people experience digestive issues, they are in fact largely safe to eat and in turn offer many great health benefits to most people.
“That’s because unripe bananas are mostly made up of resistant starch, which isn’t digested in the small intestine.
“As they ripen, bananas lose their starch as it is converted to simple sugars.
“Unripe bananas are firmer and haven’t developed the best flavors yet, so it all comes down to preference,” she said.
When asked about freezing bananas, Tash revealed, “You can freeze bananas and use them in smoothies or to bake sweet treats, but eating a thawed frozen banana as a snack would not be recommended.”
“You can shred them up and put them in a ziplock bag and they’ll keep in the freezer for up to six months.”