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How to Ripen Green Bananas

How to Ripen Green Bananas Final

Many times, the only choices for bananas at your grocery store are bright green, hard bananas that were clearly not ripe yet when they were picked. You need to know how to ripen green bananas. Luckily, there is an easy way to fix this!

We’ll teach you how to ripen green bananas that takes minimal effort and you don’t have to spend any money on specialized kitchen tools to use this trick. This kitchen tip will also allow you to ripen other produce as well.

How to Ripen Green Bananas Fast

When you are buying unripe bananas at the grocery store, ask the cashier at checkout for a full-sized paper grocery bag.

  1. Once home, put the green bananas into the paper bag.
  2. Close the top of the paper bag and roll it down to keep it from opening back up.
  3. Keep rolling the paper bag down until you reach the bananas.

The goal here is to make sure that there is as little empty space inside the paper bag as possible. You can put more than one bunch of bananas in the bag at the same time. In fact, this will even speed up the ripening process.

Why it Works

Here’s why this trick works to ripen your unripe produce. Bananas (and many other fruits) give off a gas called ethylene gas. Ethylene gas is a plant hormone that causes “growth”. What this means for produce is that any fruits or vegetables exposed to ethylene gas will have accelerated ripening. You can use ethylene gas to your advantage in certain cases, by allowing it to ripen fruits and vegetables that were picked before their prime.

Produce that gives off ethylene gas itself can be enclosed in a container or bag, and essentially trapped in the gas it produces to speed up ripening.

Fruits and vegetables that do not produce ethylene gas can also benefit from this method. To ripen them, simply place them in a bag or container with an ethylene gas producing fruit or vegetable, such as bananas, apples, peaches, avocados, pineapples or tomatoes.

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Danelle Ice is an entrepreneur in Los Angeles and mom of 3. She is the creator of and Danelle is also known as internet personality SimDanelle, the first virtual person. Danelle is a beauty guru on YouTube, vlogger, blogger, and new media darling. She is a current brand ambassador for for Keurig and previous AMD Tech Mom, Kraft Foods Delicious Byte brand ambassador, and Purex Insider.


  1. Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 08:38:07

    I’ve also heard that you can put your bananas with an apple for a day or so, and that will help ripen them.


  2. The Happy Housewife
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 10:44:57

    Just stumbled this so others will be enlightened!
    My question is why do bananas get spots when you take them in the car? Every time we travel we bring them for snacks and if they stay in the car for more than 12 hours they start to get gross? I drive a suburban so I can’t imagine it is the gas… too much room for it to escape….
    I use this trick mostly with avocados since I can never find ripe one’s at the store!
    Thanks for sharing…


    • Linda
      May 01, 2012 @ 22:14:55

      The black spots are the sugar from the banana coming to the top. Personally, I like them that way as they seem to have more flavor,


  3. Sue
    Mar 06, 2010 @ 06:09:40

    I now have my very green bananas that have not been ripening after a whole week(!) in a bag, and I have high hopes.
    I also wanted to point out to others in case it helps someone that bananas keep very well in the fridge for the other way around, when you don’t want ripe bananas to go off. Yes it is true that the skins go black but inside the bananas keep fresh for a long time…

    As for the bananas in the car developing spots, could this be that it is a more enclosed space than the kitchen, meaning that the level of the ethylene gas will be higher, and also it is often quite warm?


    • Dave Lynch
      Feb 23, 2013 @ 21:00:06

      I buy extra bananas when they are ripe , and then I put about 7 or 8 peeled bananas in a gallon plastic bag and put them in the freezer. When I need bananas I just pull them out and put them in the microwave for a minute or 2 and then I use them to spread over frozen waffles. They actually taste much sweeter after being in the freezer for some reason. Try buying extra ripe ones and then you won’t have a headache ripening them.


  4. sudhir
    Jul 03, 2010 @ 06:14:35

    i required information about the banana repining ,,,,,,,,,,please inform me …


  5. Shannon
    Jan 11, 2011 @ 13:39:02

    We love this trick and have been doing this for a very long time as my two toddlers gobble down the monkey fruit! It also works to put bananas with an unripe Avocado to make it ripen faster.


  6. Kat
    Jan 22, 2011 @ 14:31:45

    If your local market has very bright green bananas you can either ripen them as the author mentioned or if you can’t wait you can boil them and eat as a side dish. You cut a slit along the banana and then boil them. When they are done you just peel them after you let them cool off or under cool water. The skin of the banana leaves a residue that may stain your fingers. Anyhow, cut the boiled peeled bananas in rounds and serve with a little olive oil, yum.


  7. Kat
    Jan 22, 2011 @ 14:49:31

    Guineos en Escabeche (in English called “green banana salad”)

    Ingredients :
    2 lbs. bright green unripened bananas – about 10 green bananas (the greener the better)
    1 to 1 1/2 lbs. onions sliced into thin rings
    1 cup white vinegar
    3 to 4 cloves crushed garlic
    10 to 12 olives
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    10 to 12 whole black pepper corns
    3 to 4 bay leaves
    3 cups olive oil or light olive oil
    2 quarts of water
    Directions :
    Cut the banana with a knife by cutting off the ends of the bananas and making a cut alond the outside curves of the banana skins, but DO NOT remove the skins
    Place the bananas in boiling water and add 1 to 2 tablespoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of oil to make them peel easier. Boil the bananas for approximately 20 minutes on medium-low heat. If you boil them too long they will come apart.
    While the bananas cook, make the Escabeche sauce by placing all the rest of the ingredients into a pot. Stir them well and place on medium heat until the mixture gets hot. Then reduce the heat to low and cook for approximately 1 hour. Remove from heat and set aside to cool to room temperature.
    The banana is done when you lightly stab it with a toothpick and it is tender but firm. Peel off the skins and cut the bananas in 1 inch size rounds and put them in a glass or “Tupperware” bowl. Add the sauce to the bananas. Stir and mix well. Cover them and let them cool off. After they cool off place them in the refrigerator for 2 hrs. Serve and eat.


  8. Steven
    Jul 29, 2011 @ 03:37:20

    Hey just wanted to say thanks for the advice. I run a warehouse for a nonprofit group that give out food to the needy Lately we have been getting in pallets of green bananas and have had some complaints from people that they couldn’t get them to ripen now i know i can rap the pallets and have them ripe when they come in. Thanks a lot, and God bless.


  9. Julie
    Nov 29, 2012 @ 12:38:25

    Thank you so much to all of you for the advice.
    I have had very green bananas for 7 weeks !!!
    Only now are they turning slightly yellow. I am
    Really looking forward to the “experiment” to ripen

    Lv Julie


  10. Home Ever After
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 11:42:04

    @Phoebe: Yes, that’s true! Putting ethylene-producing produce with any other piece of fruit or vegetable that produces ethylene (like an apple) also will just cause the process to spped up. Thanks for pointing that out!



  11. Home Ever After
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 11:45:41

    @Toni (Happy Housewife): Thanks for the Stumble! You know, I’m not sure about the spots; I’ve never really thought about it before. Perhaps one of our readers can shed some light on the subject before I Google it?! lol



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