Do This To Keep Your Bananas From Browning Quickly

You buy a large bunch of bananas with the best intentions of enjoying them every day. You manage to have just one or two at the peak of perfect yellow ripeness. The next time you look, they're all a yucky shade of brown. You already have a freezer full of black bananas for when you finally get around to making banana bread, so you sadly toss that bunch out in the trash or compost. Turns out, you may be storing your bananas wrong.

According to Delish, the best way to prevent bananas from browning quickly is to avoid separating them until you are ready to consume them, as they spoil less quickly when they're kept together. Kelli Foster, Food Editor for Plan & Prep content for Kitchn, tested this in an experiment that pitted bananas kept in a bunch against separated bananas, and separated bananas with the stems wrapped, and found that the bananas that were kept in a bunch ripened at a slightly slower rate. Women's Health agrees, and also recommends wrapping the stems in Saran Wrap or beeswax wrap to limit the release of ethylene gas, which is what's responsible for the browning, along with keeping bananas away from other ethylene producers such as apples and avocados.

Other tricks to keep bananas from browning

What if you've already cut your banana? A thin layer of lemon, lime, or orange juice, or even vinegar, will help slow down the oxidation process, recommends chef Slade Rushing to CookingLight, adding that a light coating of simple syrup with lemon juice, or honey thinned with water, will help impart a sweeter flavor. There are also tricks to prevent bananas from turning brown while baking, including using perfectly ripe bananas, covering bananas with pie filling or meringue, or lightly brushing or spraying a mist of acidic fruit juices.

Even if you are too late and your bananas end up a bit too brown for your tastes to eat as is, there are plenty of things you can do with brown bananas. Besides everyone's go-to of banana bread, you can try banana pudding or ice cream. In fact, as Abby K. Cannon, RD, explained to Women's Health, "overripe bananas are great for both baking and making banana 'nice cream" due to their "higher sugar content." So go ahead, and grab that large bunch of bananas. You might just use them all this time.