Banana Ripening

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Banana Ripening

by Nirmal
(Coimbatore, India)

Nirmal's Question: What is the cavendish banana's natural ripening period or time?

Andrew's Answer:

Hi Nirmal.

Bananas do not have a static ripening time that can be relied upon.

Time from green to yellow with brown spots (Don't eat bananas before there are at least a few spots and no green. Bananas that are totally green are 80 percent starch. By the time they're heavily spotted they're 80 percent sugar, which is drastically easier for our bodies to digest. This is why new raw foodists will often get sick if they try to eat many unripe bananas in one sitting.) will vary considerably depending on climate, altitude, and other factors.

For instance, bananas generally ripen faster in warm weather than in cold weather. If I had to estimate, I'd guess that during the winter, my bananas ripen at least 20 percent slower than they do in the summer.

I've met people who are firmly convinced that leaving fruit to ripen in the sun will speed up the process, but I haven't confirmed this myself.

You can also speed up the ripening of bananas but enclosing them in a paper bag with a riper banana or another fruit. This is because most fruit give off ethylene gas in ever-increasing quantities as they ripen. Ethylene speeds up the ripening process, so by trapping it in a bag around the fruit you can ripen your bananas quicker.

Ethylene production increases as temperature rise, which likely plays a big part in the warm weather and ripening speed connection.

So if you want to ripen your bananas quicker, stick them in a bag in a warmer-than-average spot. When I lived in Connecticut, this was my apartment's utility closet, which was always warm. If they're already heavily spotted and you want to stop them from going bad, stick them in the fridge. The skin will darken hut the fruit will be fine to eat. A cool basement may work as well, to a lesser degree.

One caveat - in warm, humid climates, sealing a bananas in a bag or piling them on top of each other can lead to condensation accumulation, which can lead to rot. Be sure that your bananas and other fruit as reasonably ventilated. Enclosing them in a paper bag in the tropics might be a mistake.

Ripening and buying fruit are skills that all raw foodists need to learn if they're going to succeed.

Read how to save money by buying produce in bulk here.

Figure out how to ripen different kinds of fruit.

Lose weight, save your health, get on a healthy raw food diet.

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