How (not) to Ripen Bananas

Confession: I had in mind a lovely how-to about Ripening Bananas in One Hour or Less. And then my process flopped.

This is supposed to work. An unidentified website told me so.

Put green bananas (peel still on) in a row on a cookie sheet. Set your oven to its lowest temperature, likely 170°. Place cookie sheet in oven for one hour, checking periodically. Remove when they are yellow, but before brown spots form.

Mine were green all right. I bought them to make fruit slush with my boys, and the only variety my local supermarket had in stock were Hard Emerald Wonders. I thought I would let them ripen naturally (a 3 or 4 day process), or maybe put them in a brown paper bag with an apple or tomato (a 24-hour process)… but in the end, I was too impatient for either. I wanted to use the rest of my fruit while it was at its peak freshness, so I baked my bananas.

After one hour, they were not brown-spotted. They were not even yellow. They were—uh, green and black. Very interesting.

However. They had softened, and lost their bitter flavor. I was able to chop and use them, but I could never recommend the method. Eaten plain, they would have been nasty and squishy. (Kim, I can see the look on your face. Stop it.)

The slush is marvelous. Here’s the recipe we like, from my friend Cynthia Brubaker.

2 cups sugar

3 cups boiling water

1 can (12 oz) orange juice concentrate, thawed

7 medium bananas, diced

1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple with juice

1 bottle (20 oz) lemon-lime soda (this is the special ingredient!)

*Additional fruit as desired*

Dissolve sugar in boiling water. Add concentrate and fruit; stir. Stir in soda. Pour into containers and freeze. Remove from freezer 1 hour before serving (depending on size of container).

If you add a lot of fruit, a batch yields 6 quarts of slush!

For the “additional fruit,” we used canned mandarin oranges, and fresh mango, peaches, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, black raspberries, and grapes.

The kids had lots of fun chopping fruit. Even Kelly had a banana and a table knife.


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Mom Coblentz
11 years ago

Ooh, nice!! I want a bite…or maybe a bowlful!

11 years ago

I’m off to make some myself (after a trip to the store!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). I think I’ll just skip the banana part if Meadville has nothing better to offer than green ones!

11 years ago

That looks absolutely fabulous. I was always too lazy to search out a good slush recipe, but why do it when your sister can? 🙂 I love slush.

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