It’s certainly great to be able to enjoy banana bread with your friends and family. This sweet type of dessert bread is easy to make and it’s so satisfying.
Generally, people use ripe bananas to make banana bread (although there are other uses for them). You might buy bananas specifically to make banana bread or you could bake banana bread as a way to use up some bananas that are getting a bit too ripe.
What if you want to make banana bread and your bananas aren’t ripe, though? Is there a way that you can ripen them faster?
Continue reading to learn about the ripening process and how to speed it up!
How Ripe Do Bananas Have to Be for Banana Bread?
Ideally, you want to wait until your bananas are ripe to make banana bread. When the bananas are still a bit green, they’re not ripe.
So it isn’t good to bake banana bread with bananas that are a bit green. Wait until they start to darken a bit.
During the normal ripe phase, bananas will be yellow. You will eventually notice small black specks on the peel when they’re becoming rather ripe.
Bananas that have black specks will be perfect candidates for banana bread. Bananas that are starting to get a bit black should work great as well.
Some people say that bananas that are black will be best for baking bread. However, others say that this is a bit too ripe and will make the bread overly sweet.
Most choose to bake banana bread with bananas that at least have specks of brown and black. Some say the darker the banana is the better it will be for banana bread, but it really all comes down to personal preference.
Why Do Bananas Need to Be Ripe?
Bananas need to be ripe for banana bread because this is when they’re the sweetest. As bananas ripen, they become sweeter, and it takes time for the sugars to come out.
When bananas are green and unripened, they aren’t going to be anywhere near as sweet. Trying to bake with unripened bananas will lead to less-than-stellar results.
Essentially, the bananas will be sweeter and moister when you allow them to ripen. If you aren’t patient, your banana bread won’t be as sweet as it should be.
So it’s better to wait until the bananas have at least ripened a bit. You don’t want to use bananas that are rather green to make banana bread.
Can Bananas Be Too Ripe?
Yes, bananas can be too ripe. It takes a while for bananas to get so ripe that you should throw them out, though.
It’s generally fine to use bananas when they’re a bit black. However, a banana that looks black on the inside is rotten.
The banana peel can be dark brown or even black while still being fine to use for banana bread. When you check the inside of the banana the fruit should appear normal.
If the fruit inside appears dark you’re not going to want to use it. You might be able to smell that the bananas are rotten as well.
Rotten bananas will smell quite bad and you’ll likely notice the stench. Also, it’s common for rotten fruit to attract fruit flies.
Often, bananas will begin leaking fluid when they go bad. So if your banana is leaking that’s another sign that it has gone bad and you shouldn’t use it.
Eating rotten fruit could potentially make you sick. So you don’t want to consume bananas that are too ripe.
How Long Does It Take for Bananas to Go Bad?
Exactly how long it’ll take for bananas to go bad will depend on many factors. There isn’t an exact number of days that it will take.
It depends on how you store the bananas, the humidity in your area, and more. Just know that it usually takes bananas two to five days to ripen.
Fully ripe bananas will stay good for two to three days when kept at room temperature. If you put them in the refrigerator, they will last for up to a week when fully ripened.
So it’s wise to use your bananas once they’ve fully ripened. If you notice that they’re fully ripened, it might be a good time to make banana bread.
This is especially true if they have dark spots on them. Many people don’t like eating bananas when they’re like this, but they’ll still enjoy them when they’re used in banana bread.
Of course, some people love munching on very ripe bananas. It just depends on your tastes and how sweet you like them to be.
When bananas get a bit too ripe they will be kind of mushy. They’re close to being bad when they’re like that.
When Are Bananas Too Ripe?
Don’t use bananas when they’re rotten. If the banana isn’t rotten, it’s fine to use it in banana bread.
Earlier, you learned that you can use bananas in banana bread when they’re brown or black. It’s all about making sure that the banana inside is okay.
If the inner fruit is black or if it smells rotten, it’s not safe to use it. Also, if you notice juice leaking from the banana that means that it has gone bad.
Rotten fruit might make you sick and you’re not meant to eat it. You’ll simply need to throw any rotten bananas away and get a new bunch when you can.
If the bananas are just very ripe, it’s fine to use them. Many people like to let them get close to becoming too ripe before using them in banana bread.
You don’t necessarily have to do this, but you could wait until your bananas become a bit dark at least. This will ensure that you can enjoy the sweetest banana bread possible.
Can You Make Banana Bread Without Ripe Bananas?
Yes, you can make banana bread without ripe bananas if you want to. Follow the normal recipe with unripened bananas and you’ll make the same type of bread.
The catch is that the banana bread won’t taste very sweet. It’ll likely be kind of bland and it’ll be far less satisfying than you hoped.
This is why you should wait to bake banana bread until you have ripened bananas. There is a method for making bananas that aren’t quite ripe enough sweeter, though.
How to Ripen Bananas for Banana Bread
Ripening bananas for banana bread normally takes several days. As mentioned earlier, it can take two days or longer for the bananas to fully ripen on the counter.
If you don’t wish to wait, you could bake the bananas to bring out the sweetness. This will allow you to make sure that they are both sweet and soft.
It makes using them for banana bread more practical. Baking them is easy since you just bake them on a baking sheet.
Set the bananas on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Now preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake them for thirty to forty minutes.
The bananas will now be black and they will be ready to use. Make the banana bread as normal and you’ll enjoy stellar results.
Can You Use Black Bananas?
It’s normal to use black bananas to make banana bread. In fact, many people choose to only use black bananas for banana bread.
Just make sure that the bananas aren’t rotten. If they’re leaking fluid or if they smell rotten it’s not wise to use them.
Otherwise, it’s fine to use bananas when they’re black. Just check the fruit inside to ensure that it doesn’t look black or rotten before proceeding.
Remember that you don’t have to wait until the bananas are totally black. It’s fine to use them for banana bread when they’re fully ripened or when they just have some brown or black spots.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.