Unappetizing picture, right? I know! But they make delicious things, my friend.
It’s one thing to re-purpose over-ripe bananas into these delicious Banana Walnut Muffins.
But when you want to make them on purpose, due to what only can be explained by Murphy’s laws, you will find yourself with only perfectly ripe, or worse, unripe bananas. Like I did, today. I had to bake these muffins for my husband to take to work (they have a ‘Breakfast Wednesday’ in his office where someone from his team gets breakfast for everyone else, and this week is his turn), and bought these bananas 4 days ago, hoping they would ripen in time, but they were just ‘perfectly’ ripe today. It’d be another 2-3 days before they are over-ripe, which is the way I want them.
So if you have a craving for these deliciously soft and just oh-so-sweet banana walnut muffins, here’s what you should do.
Step 1 – Pre-heat the oven to 250°F/ 120°C.
Step 2 – Take the bananas and place them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. For easier clean-up, of course.
Step 3 – Bake at 250°F/ 120°C for 15 minutes until the peels turn black. Don’t worry if the bananas still feel firm at this point. Let them cool completely, and you’ll see them go soft to the touch.
Peel and use in a recipe that calls for over-ripe bananas. Like this one – Banana walnut muffins. Enjoy!
Please note that 15 minutes will give you sticky sweet over-ripe bananas. If you want them perfectly ripe, maybe just keep them in for 5-8 minutes. And remove before the peels turn black.
Following my need to ripen bananas at will, I decided to experiment with other methods. This is what I’ve found.
Assumption – You currently possess bananas that have a yellow peel, but still feel firm and unripe to the touch. And to those unlucky fellow humans who’ve had the misfortune to bite into a still raw banana – shake it off, buddy. Shake. It. Off. Life will get better once you rinse that mouth 5 times.
If you have a banana that is still raw and green on the outside, it may take longer than the below stipulated amounts of time for the banana to ripen.
1. 2 days to perfection – For bananas that are perfectly ripe, place in a paper bag (or just wrap them up snugly in newspaper) and leave them in the warmest part of the house (over the fridge, for instance). Wanna go one better? Leave an apple in there with the banana. For company. So your bananas don’t feel lonely. Apples produce ethylene gas, which speeds the ripening process.
2. 4 days to perfection – Not in a hurry for bananas yet? Don’t worry. Storing fruits and vegetables in plastic bags are the safest way to prolong ripening, as they prevent oxygen from passing through, thus slowing down ethylene production.
Do you know other ways to ripen bananas? Let me know in the comments below.