How Long Do Bananas Last?

how long do bananas last

Bananas are not only nutritious, they are popular and cheap. Known for their high potassium levels, they are one of the quickest go-tos when you want to satiate sugar cravings.

How long do bananas last? The truth is that determining the shelf life of bananas isn’t always going to be easy. Like most other types of produce, bananas don’t come with a “sell by” date.

When trying to determine how long you can use them, the only thing you can really do is go by the date that you purchased the bananas.

Once you have them at home, their shelf life varies based on where and how you stored them as discussed below.

How Long Do Bananas Last On The Counter?

Depending on how ripe they are, whole, unpeeled ones last between 3 – 5 days.

On the other hand, peeled bananas deteriorate fast when left at room temperature. After peeling, cover them to prevent contaminants. Use immediately or within an hour.

How Long Do Bananas Last In The Fridge?

Never store green bananas in a refrigerator. They won’t ripen.

Ripe, whole bananas keep well in cool and humid temperatures of a fridge’s crisper drawer. Here, they keep well for 7 – 10 days.

Wrap each stem with a cling wrap or foil before storing.

When refrigerated, the skin will blacken after a few days. However, this doesn’t mean they are rotten. The flesh will still be firm and edible.

As for cut ones, coat the flesh with lemon or lime juice before refrigerating. Use within 2 days.

Peeled, sliced banana
Peeled and sliced

Do Bananas Go Bad In The Fridge?

If poorly refrigerated, yes, they will go bad. Poor refrigeration of bananas can range from:

  • Storing bruised, mushy ones.
  • Mixing with ethylene-producing foods.
  • Lack of mitigating oxidization if refrigerating sliced or peeled ones.

Once out of the fridge, how long will bananas last? Use such fruits immediately, within an hour or two. Once out of the fridge, the change in temperature causes their shelf life to deteriorate.

How Long Do Bananas Last In The Freezer?

As with refrigeration, never freeze green varieties. Moreover, avoid freezing whole, unpeeled ones.

When freezing,

  • Peel and slice the fruits.
  • Coat well with lemon or lime juice. This mitigates oxidation.
  • Flash-freeze. Arrange on a lined tray and freeze until hardened.
  • Transfer onto freezer-friendly containers or seal-able bags.

Frozen bananas last from 3 – 6 months.

How Long Do Bananas Last In Fruit Salad?

In such a scenario, the shelf life depends on the fastest spoiling ingredient used in the salad. As such, there is no specific duration for this.

Why Do Bananas Turn Black?

Whether left on the counter, peeled or refrigerated, bananas are notorious for turning black. This is caused by oxidation – when air comes into contact with iron-containing molecules found in most fruits.

For whole, unpeeled ones, this change in color is also brought about by ethylene. This is a normal occurrence during ripening process.

How To Tell If A Banana Is Good

Besides identifying spoiled fruits, how do you know when one is good enough to eat?

Here are a few pointers:

  • Good ones have a sweet aroma.
  • The flesh is firm but slightly gives in when pressed. Soft ones are also fit for consumption. Avoid mushy ones.
  • The skin is yellow, with small black or brown spots. Avoid artificially ripened ones that are uniformly yellow, but lack spots.
  • The skin peels easily.

How Do You Make Bananas Last Longer?

  • Bananas ripen when placed at room temperature. To slow down the process, wrap the stems with a plastic cling wrap or tin foil. This mitigates emission of ethylene gas found in them. This gas exacerbates ripening.
  • In view of that, avoid placing green ones near ethylene-releasing produce like apples and tomatoes.
  • Avoid storing in a lying position. This causes that particular side to soften and brown faster. Instead, store them in an upright position.
  • Keep fruit flies at bay when storing them at room temperature. Due to their sweetness, bananas easily attract fruit flies. As such, use fly-trapping methods or cover the fruits loosely.

Special Facts

  • One of the strangest banana facts that you probably aren’t aware of is that it is actually considered a berry. Oddly enough, they also grow on plants that are considered to be herbs.
  • Having these fruits around might even help when you’ve come into contact with poison ivy. Rubbing the inside of a banana peel onto affected area relieves both itching and inflammation. Some people even use these peels to soothe certain bug bites.

How Do You Know When Bananas Are Bad?

How long does it take bananas to go bad? There may not be a specific timeline for this, due to varying storage and handling factors. However, they will go bad at one time or another.

Here is how to identify spoiled ones:

  • Bananas will grow softer as they get older as well, and bad ones will be very soft and mushy.
  • Liquid oozing from unpeeled ones.
  • If you leave them out on the counter for a very long time, they will develop mold. Discard any with visible molds.
  • Blackened flesh. If browning advances into the flesh, get ready to use as soon as possible or discard.
  • Shriveled, sunken fruit. Advanced spoilage causes the skin to shrivel and the entire fruit reduces in size.
rotten bananas
Rotten bananas

In Conclusion

Storing bananas is a no-brainer. From knowing how long they last on the counter, refrigerating and freezing, these topical fruits will serve you well. Despite being highly perishable, using the few simple tricks mentioned in this post guarantees optimal usage.

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