While it would be great to grow all of your own fruits and vegetables, there are a few that simply don’t thrive in the North Carolina climate, so you have no choice but to buy them from a grocery store. I say this with one particular fruit in mind, one that you may love or hate, but certainly has a special place in my diet and heart—the banana. Delicious in smoothies, cereal, pudding, or blended and frozen for healthy banana “soft serve,” the banana’s uses are endless. However, use them quickly, because your bright yellow bunch will turn mushy and brown in less than a week.
Unless?? What if there was a way to keep your bananas fresher for longer? Worry no more, banana lovers. Here are some ways to help your bananas mature slowly, so they don’t end up in the trash at the end of the week.
Tip #1: Keep away from other fruits.
That’s right. Even though that bunch of bananas looks cute in your fruit basket, keeping them too close to your apples and tomatoes only speeds up the ripening process. You can thank ethylene gas for that!
Tip #2: Seal the stems with plastic wrap.
You may have noticed that some banana bunches are sold with plastic around the stems. If so, keep them wrapped! The plastic blocks the release of ethylene gas from the stems—where most of the gas comes from. For even better results, separate the bananas from the bunch and wrap each stem separately.
Tip #3: Store in the fridge, only after they ripen.
Once your bananas have reached your desired ripeness, feel free to store them in the fridge. Don’t be alarmed if the peel turns brown or black, the fruit will still be preserved within!
When buying produce that cannot be grown locally, it is important to take care of it to respect the labor, transport, and energy needed for it to reach your kitchen.