How To Quickly Ripen Plantains Or Bananas

Bananas and plantains take a while to ripen. They'll eventually ripen but we are often too impatient to wait that long. Here are 4 ways to speed up the process.


Bunch of banana


How To Tell If A Plantain Or Banana Is Ripe 

Before you start ripening your plantains or bananas, you need to be able to tell if they are ripe or unripe. 

A plantain and a banana are quite similar but do not ripen exactly the same way.

When a plantain becomes ripe, it still has a high content of indigestible starches and should be cooked.

However, as a banana ripens, its starches turn into sugars and can be eaten raw.

Usually, plantains are sold unripe. Unripe plantains are green in colour. So how do you know when a plantain is ripe?

1. The plantain skin turns deep or brownish yellow with traces of black.


Many black marks is a sign that the plantain is fully ripened.


Ripe plantains

2.The skin is easier to peel off


When a plantain becomes ripe, the skin is quite easy to remove. You may find a bit of the fruit stuck on the skin

How Do You Know If They Are Overripe

Plantains are overripe when their skin becomes black and wrinkled or when the whole fruit becomes too soft.

How To Quickly Ripen Plantains Or Bananas

Let's get back to the point of this article!

1. Ripening plantains or bananas in a paper bag



  • Place your plantains or bananas in a paper bag. The paper bag should be large enough to contain them easily. 
  • Add an apple into the paper bag. Apples will quicken the ripening process because they release a gas called ethylene. Ethylene is commercially used to ripen fruits. You do not need to close the bag all the way. In fact, it is best to only close the bag loosely.
  • Put the bag in a warm place like your kitchen cabinets or cupboards. Check on the plantains  and bananas daily. They are ripe when they turn deep yellow with a few brown spots and become somewhat soft. The plantains will ripen in about a week and some days while the bananas in several days. 


You can still use this method without an apple but it will take a longer time to ripen. Likewise, a sack can be used in place of a paper bag.


2. Ripening them in an oven


Just place your unpeeled plantains in the oven and let them bake
at 300 degrees fahrenheit or around 150°C for about 30 minutes to an hour.
They’ll turn shiny and black, and they’ll definitely be hot to touch. Put them in the refrigerator or wait till they cool and you'll have soft and sweet plantains and bananas.

Why did the oven ripen them?
This is because the heat actually stimulated the ripening process.


3. Using the microwave


Poke through the skin of the peel a couple of times on all sides with a fork or knife. Place the banana in the microwave for 30 seconds. Wait for it to cool and check if it soft enough. If it's not, microwave for another 30 minutes.

Continue doing this until the desired result is gotten.


Read also: How To Freeze Bananas 


4. In a bunch


This is a much more natural way of ripening plantains and bananas. Do not separate them from the bunch.
Give them time and they'll eventually ripen. The more consolidated they are, the more ripening gas- ethylene that's released.

Do you know any other way to ripen bananas? Let me know in the comments and please share this post to your friends and family. 

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