Hey, did you guys know you can ripen bananas in the oven? Call me naive, but I did NOT know this until last weekend. I wanted to make Tropical Mango Banana Bourbon Bread and caramelized banana splits, and I wanted to make them right away.
I had already waited for my severely underripe banans to ripen for about a week. And seriously, those things just weren’t budging. They were more green than yellow and hard as rocks, and I wasn’t waiting any longer.
I had heard of the trick of ripening things by putting them in a paper bag with an apple. I’ve had some moderate success with that with underripe avocados, but it still usually takes 2 – 3 days to work it’s magic. And seriously, I really didn’t want to wait any longer.
Enter stage left: a quick Google search. A few different sources told me I could put the bananas in a low oven and ripen those bad boys right up. Here’s what they looked like when I started:
I put them in the oven at the lowest setting my oven would run at (170° F). I baked them for 20 minutes, and the bottoms were starting to darken, so I flipped them over and baked them another 20 minutes. At that point, they looked like this:
Pardon the bad photography – the sun started to set while I was doing this, and I forgot to white-balance the camera between shots. But I can assure you that that’s the same baking pan and the same bananas. Not gonna lie, I may have overdone it a bit. These bananas were so soft on the inside, they were like a creamy paste! This worked out perfectly well for banana bread, although maybe 30 minutes baking time would have been enough. However, I wouldn’t recommend this method for ripening bananas for eating as-is purposes.
There you have it. My little kitchen hacking adventure that got me eating banana bread right away instead of watching bananas never slowly ripen.