Bananas: picking, selecting, storing
24 Oct 2013 09.38 am by Allripe team
What do top tennis players Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova and Rafael Nadal have in common? They all eat bananas during breaks in play. Bananas are naturally high in potassium (to prevent cramping) and contain three sugars: fructose, sucrose and a glucose-derivative for fast energy. We take a look at how to pick, select and store bananas to get the most out of this nutrient rich fruit.
If you’re fortunate enough to grow bananas then you will know that, like avocados, bananas ripen off the tree. A bunch is ready to be picked when the bananas are green and beginning to yellow and are round and ridgeless. If the bananas start splitting or are being eaten by pests then there is also a good chance that they are ready to come off the tree.
When the bunch is ready to be picked, cut the whole bunch down around 30 centimetres (13 inches) above the stem and hang in a shady spot to ripen. The fruit will mature from the top down and you can pick each hand as it ripens.
If you’re not a banana grower, learning how to select bananas from a supermarket crate is important. Green bananas will last longer than yellow bananas (since they take longer to ripen) so select your bananas on the basis of when you’re planning to eat them. Even if you’re grocery store only has a batch of green bananas in stock (and you want to eat them sooner rather than later), you can wrap them in newspaper or place them in a paper bag with a ripe apple or banana. The ethylene gas released by the riper fruits will speed up the maturation process in the green unripe bananas.
Unripe bananas should always be stored at room temperature. If you put them in a refrigerator this will interrupt the ripening process. Ripe bananas can be placed in a refrigerator for a couple of weeks or frozen. The skin of ripe bananas can turn black when cooled or frozen so it’s a good idea to peel and slice the bananas before storing them in this way. This will also make it easier to throw them on top of your breakfast muesli, into a smoothie or to garnish a fruit salad.
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