The trick to make bananas ripen faster

Bananas ares a versatile fruit that can be enjoyed in many ways. Simply peel and eat a banana plain, mix them in your pancakes for a little extra flavor, freeze them to enjoy in a smoothie like Tom Brady does, or mash them up for a delicious banana bread recipe. No matter which way you choose to eat your banana, it can be quite disappointing when you grab one from your counter to find it just isn't ripe enough. Don't worry — just like you can speed up the ripening process of an avocado, you can do that same for bananas with a few quick and easy tricks. 

Even though bananas do actually go through a forced ripening process before hitting the store (via The Guardian), they may need a little extra attention to get them to the perfect ripeness. Thrillist uses the microwave to push that ripening process along. They recommend scoring all sides of your unpeeled banana with a fork so the heat can get to it, then placing your banana in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Once you hear the ding, you'll open the microwave to find a ripe banana. Before your excitement gets too high and you quickly indulge, remember, you just placed a banana in the microwave for 30 seconds. Allow it to cool first. 

There's also an oven method that works for speeding up the ripening process. Food52 recommends that you heat the oven to 300 degrees, place your unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet, and let the oven do the work. The yellow peels will slowly turn black and the final product is a ripe but mushy banana that's best for baking. 

If you're not in a huge hurry and have a bit more time to spare, produce expert Lori Taylor, who spoke to Real Simple, recommends placing a banana in a brown paper bag. A banana naturally emits ethylene gas as it matures and by placing the banana in a bag, it receives higher exposure and the ripening process is accelerated. 

Pretty quick and easy, right? Now there are no more excuses not to make that banana bread.