If you don’t have time to play the waiting game with your unripe bananas, is it possible to ripen a banana in the microwave? Let’s discuss the quickest way to ripen a banana so that you can enjoy the taste and texture you are looking for.
Can you ripen banana in the microwave? Yes, ripening a banana in the microwave is the fastest and easiest way to save time. Simply poke the peel with the tip of a sharp knife, wrap in a paper towel and nuke for 30 seconds at low temperature.
Microwaving a yellowish banana will turn it brown, which converts the starch into sugar and the banana will taste slightly sweeter. However, the main result is really the banana becoming softer and not all the sugars converting, so use the microwave method sparingly.
Bananas are usually picked from trees when they are green and unripe because they are easy to transport to far away markets without bruising or going bad. There is a need to refrigerate them when traveling for long distances to slow down the ripening process.
If the banana is one of the fruit items on your shopping list, you will notice that they often have greenish color near the stem or almost completely green when you first purchase them at the market. Some people love their banana with a little green, while others want bright yellow banana and some even wait for dark brown dots to appear.
This article covers answers frequently asked questions about ripening a banana in the microwave when you really can’t afford to wait any longer. Don’t worry anymore because you can use the microwave to ripen your banana, continue reading to learn the best way along with a few tips to help you out.
Can You Ripen Fruit in The Microwave?
Microwaving fruits can degrade or destroy valuable nutrients in fruits and vegetables when foods are overcooked. However, successful ripening can produce useful compounds like lycopene which are required in the body.
Microwaving can be a great way to reduce the loss of nutrients if cooking time and temperature are controlled to prevent heating for too long.
Fruits ripening in the microwave tend to retain a high level of Vitamin C compared to boiling due to low temperatures and minimal contact with water. Heating fruits at low-temperature without water leads to higher retention of vitamin C and less dilution of the nutrients.
What Happens If You Microwave a Banana?
When you place a banana in a microwave and heat it at a high temperature, the starches slightly break down and convert to sugar. The banana turns brown very quickly depending how ripe it was to begin with.
In fact, it is recommended to heat on low temperature to allow more starches to successfully convert to sugar for a sweet taste to develop.
Microwaved bananas are mainly used for cooking and baking recipes. The method is most appropriate with yellowish bananas where the stem has some slight green remaining.
You can ripen yellowish-green ananas by applying the paper method, then brown them in the microwave.
How Do You Get Bananas to Ripen Quickly?
When you are hit by a strong banana bread craving that must be prepared immediately, there are several ways you can quickly ripen green bananas. Also, if you don’t have much time and you are already craving for ripe banana, here are tips on how to ripen your bananas quickly:
The microwave method is the fastest way of ripening bananas.
All you need is to pierce the peel of the bananas with a fork, wrap them in a paper towel, and then microwave on low power for 30 second increments. It will take you a maximum of two minutes to have a ripe banana.
Setting the low temperature is the key to ripen bananas quickly and efficiently converting a majority of starches into sugars. This will help to enhance the flavor and Vitamin C as the banana ripens in the microwave.
If you need bananas for baking, the fact is that you need them overly sweet. When making baked goods like banana bread or banana muffins, over-ripe bananas are the best. Surprisingly, you can ripen bananas in the oven if it is not occupied.
Set your oven at 300-degrees Fahrenheit, put the green bananas or half-ripe bananas on a lined baking sheet and bake them for the utmost 30 minutes. Keep checking the oven since banana may leak because oven times may be different.
The peels will turn shiny and black when the bananas are ready. Allow them to cool, then peel to make a smoothie or any desired recipe.
Paper Bag Method
The paper method will help ripen your bananas within a day or two.
Select the number of bananas you want to ripen and place them in a brown paper bag. Close the brown bag and roll it to trap the ethylene gas emitted by bananas that accelerate the ripening process.
Despite these tricks being great ways of ripening your bananas within a short time, only the paper method will ripen your bananas effectively to allow them to be consumed raw with the best taste. The other methods are only valid when you want bananas for baking recipes and blending smoothies, but they won’t be raw and the texture will be very mushy.
Tips to Microwave a Banana
Microwave is an excellent kitchen appliance, and interestingly enough you can use a microwave to ripen bananas quickly. It will help you prepare things quickly, especially if you are running behind schedule or simply impatient.
Here are tips you should use while microwaving a banana:
- Poke the banana peel on every side with a fork or sharp knife tip
- Wrap the banana in a paper towel and microwave at 30 second intervals until completely ripe
- Check the consistency in ripeness after each duration
- It will take a maximum time of two minutes depending on how raw your banana was to begin with
- Let the banana cool after softening
Use these tips to microwave banana to ripen quickly. After the banana cools, you can use it in any recipe of your choice.
Depending on the yellow or green-yellowish color of banana may determine the sweetness taste, so adjust your baking recipe accordingly.
Things to Know About Ripening Bananas in Microwave
Keep in mind that the microwave will ripen your bananas in the shortest time, but it may not produce the sweetest result. To some point, the bananas will not develop all its natural sugars that make the fruit sweet.
Additionally, the banana will be soft and they will taste somewhat raw. It is best to avoid microwaving a banana that is more green than yellow.
When microwaving bananas to ripen, make sure to use unpeeled bananas and poke holes all over with a fork or knife to get heat inside the thick peel.
The microwave method is much speedier process compared to the oven method. It is quickly making the fruit soft, but does not develop its full sweetness due to the speed of the ripening.
Best Way to Ripen Bananas in Microwave
If your bananas are ripe but still hard, you can opt to soften them using a microwave for easy smashing into a recipe. Here are best ways to ripen bananas in microwave quickly.
- Poke holes around the bananas with a toothpick or pointy knife.
- Put them on a microwave safe plate since it might leak liquid while heating.
- Heat on low temperature for 1-minute.
- If not completely soft when you touch, nuke for another minute.
- Place in the freezer and let it cool for 10 minutes.
- Use the ripened banana in any cooking or baking recipe
This method is most applicable if the bananas are sweet and starting to brown.
Microwaving for such a short period only makes the texture soft. However, most starches don’t fully develop into sugar to make the bananas naturally sweet.
Ripen Banana In Microwave: Final Thoughts
Waiting for bananas to ripen may require days when left on the counter. To speed up the ripening process, the microwave method is the quickest compared to oven or paper bag method.
By using microwave, the heat converts a small amount of starch into sugar and the flesh of the fruit softens.
Use unpeeled yellowish color banana instead of green-yellow banana in this method.
Start by poking hole around the peel with a toothpick or fork, and place on a microwave-safe plate or paper towel. Set the microwave to low heat setting for 30 second.
Carefully touch the banana to see if it has been softened enough, and add additional 30 seconds until the banana softens.
After desired softness and ripeness of banana, allow it to cool to room temperature and use for any recipe.
Consuming ripe bananas are more nutritious compared to yellow spotless banana because ripened bananas contain more vitamins and minerals that benefits overall. Use these tips and method to ripen bananas in the microwave to help prepare your favorite baking recipe in a jiffy.