You’re standing in front of the banana section only to find a sea of green, unripened fruit. And those big, upcoming plans for them – in your morning oats, packed into your child’s lunchbox, or simply enjoyed with a spoonful of peanut butter – goes straight out the door. Luckily, there are ways to quicken banana’s ripeness and keep its use available within the next couple of days!

How to Ripen Bananas

1. Power in Numbers

Leave the bananas bunched together with its fellow “roommates.” Though this may be a slower way to ripen bananas, they will remain firmer and easier to transport and use. Keeping the bananas in their plastic bag may speed up the ripening process, but can also increase the likelihood of a rotting fruit related to heightened moisture.

2. Brown Bag It

Place as many or as few bananas in a brown paper bag. Ethylene gas, known as the “ripening hormone,” naturally emit off bananas. Placing them in a brown bag will start to circulate the gas and accelerate the ripening process.

3. Banana “Pearings”

Bananas can quickly ripen by pairing with other ethylene-producing fruits. Pears, apples, and tomatoes also release the ripening hormone. To further quicken the ripening process, pair such produce in the same paper bag with the banana(s).

4. Get Warm

Keep bananas in a warmer spot to accelerate their ripening. For instance, allow bananas to experience the second-hand heat off an oven. Additional dry and warm places include near the refrigerator or by a heater.

5. Get Warmer

For firsthand heat, utilize the inside of a lightly-heated oven. Set bananas (but not overly green bananas) onto a baking sheet and place into a 300-degree Fahrenheit oven. As with all methods, keep a close eye on their ripening rate. The banana peel will turn shiny and black, so don’t be concerned or put off by its new exterior!

6. Get Warmer, Faster

For a speedier process, pop the bananas into the microwave. Start out with a low warming time, approximately 30 seconds, to keep a closer eye in their ripeness. Let the banana cool off to best guide their firmness and continue to heat in 30 second increments until ripeness is achieved.

Bananas Too Ripe?

Individuals have their own version of a tolerable ripeness – some admire a primarily yellow banana, others like either green or brown spots, with many tossing them out once brown takes over. But instead of throwing bananas into the trash after their chosen ripeness, refurbish the fruit!

Banana Bread

Banana bread is a prime, ripe banana recipe. Though traditional recipes are commonly high in calories and sugar, this healthified banana bread recipe lessens the guilt of the tempting flavors. Feel free to add in chopped walnuts, pecans, dried fruits, and any other mix-ins you may desire!

Banana Pancakes

Wake up the right way with these healthy banana pancakes! With only three ingredients, this breakfast option is gluten-free and low-calorie. Top with fresh fruit, yogurt, and a drizzle of honey as preferred.

Banana Split

Though the bananas might not survive the careful split, have fun with a deconstructed, healthy banana split! Layer yogurt with ripened banana, strawberries, pineapple, and peanuts. Lightly drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Banana Ice Cream

Peel the banana and slice into smaller pieces. Freeze the slices and once frozen, add to a food processor. Continue to blend the bananas, scraping against the sides as needed, until a creamy consistency has been reached. For amplified nutrients, check out this avocado recipe you’ve been waiting for!


Frozen or ripened, adding bananas to smoothies further amplifies that smooth and creamy element. Add into a chocolate and nut butter-based smoothie for a “nutty monkey” or a citrusy-based smoothie for a quick trip to the tropics!