Bananas are one type of produce we rarely have to think much about regarding proper storage. We just plop them down on the counter. Once they threaten to turn to mush, we either freeze them or make banana bread.
We've heard that wrapping the top of a bunch of bananas in foil, plastic wrap, or bees wrap can prevent the ethylene gas the fruit naturally gives off from ripening the fruit too quickly. And, alternatively, that you need to break apart the bunch before wrapping each stem individually in foil, plastic wrap, or bees wrap to truly slow the ripening process. We decided to try both ways, and both with plastic wrap (as it creates the tightest seal for the purposes of this experiment).
In each photo below, the bananas on the left have no plastic wrap on them; the bananas in the middle have plastic wrap around the entire top of the bunch; and the bananas on the right were first separated and then the tops were individually wrapped in plastic.
And then we waited.
Four days later, the bananas without any plastic wrap definitely ripened faster than the two plastic-wrapped bunches, with the individually wrapped bananas ripening slightly slower than the bunch that was wrapped as a whole.
It's clear the plastic-wrapping methods work, but are they worth it? Probably not. Once bananas are ripe, just put them in the fridge: Your bananas will stay at the perfect level of ripeness, and you won't waste plastic wrap (or foil, or bees wrap) in the process.
Now for a few things to make with all those ripe bananas...
Like your favorite sweet-craggy-tender banana bread, but in a fraction of the time. Try it for breakfast with a generous slather of butter and jam.
Roasty-toasty bananas, brown sugar, and creamy milk come together for an ultra-refreshing drink that's halfway between a breakfast food and a dessert. It's great with boba, grass jelly, or (our favorite, maybe not for breakfast-time) a splash of rum.
For a low-maintenance, high-reward summer treat, look no further than this banana butterscotch pudding. With cornstarch-thickened pudding (aka the simplest kind out there!), store-bought Nilla wafers (there's really no homemade comparison that comes close, so save yourself the trouble), and sweetened whipped cream (this looks fancy but comes together in a cinch), it's a summer treat that won't tire you out before you can enjoy it.
Last, if you're craving something a little chocolatey (we totally get it), look no further than these easy-peasy banana blondies. They're made in one bowl and can be frozen and thawed for snacking down the line—you can thank yourself later.
Do you have any secret produce storage tips we should know about it? Tell us in the comments!
First photo by Bobbi Lin, all subsequent photos by the author