If you've got an impromptu banana-based baking project or you just realized that your meal plan for tomorrow morning's breakfast calls for ripe bananas, yet all you have are the greener ones, no need to worry. Thanks to the handy-dandy air fryer, you can ripen bananas faster than nature's pace and start making your delicious banana bread at a moment's notice. Here's the neat trick: An air fryer uses circulating hot air to cook, which can also simulate the natural ripening process of bananas by providing a warm environment.
To use this appliance for banana ripening, first preheat it to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, then choose semi-ripe bananas, i.e., those that are just turning yellow. These are the ones that will benefit most from this method. Keep the peels on and place the bananas in the air fryer basket lined with aluminum foil or parchment. Arrange them in one layer, ensuring they're not overcrowded. Cook for about eight minutes or until the banana's skin color changes to a dark brown or black. This color change indicates that your fruits are softening and sweetening inside, just like they would if left to ripen naturally over several days. Once the bananas have reached your desired level of ripeness, remove them from the air fryer and let them cool for about 10 minutes. They are now ready to be used in your favorite banana recipes.
What To Do If You Don't Have An Air Fryer
If you don't have an air fryer, there's an easy oven trick that works just as well for ripening bananas. While it's a bit more time-consuming, especially in the preheating stage, you'll still achieve similar results. Start by preheating the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. As with the air fryer method, you're aiming for a gentle warmth, not cooking heat. While the oven preheats, lay out your bananas on a lined baking sheet. If the bananas are still attached in a bunch, separate them to ensure even ripening, and again, leave those peels on.
Once the oven is preheated, place the baking sheet with bananas inside. Let them warm in the oven for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on their initial ripeness. The bananas are ready when their skins turn dark brown or black, and they feel soft to the touch. After removing the bananas from the oven, let them cool down before using them.
Using an oven for ripening bananas is particularly useful when you have a larger quantity. The spaciousness of the oven allows for more bananas to be ripened at once compared to most air fryers. However, it's important to note that oven temperatures can vary, so the first time you try this method, it's a good idea to check the bananas regularly to prevent them from over-ripening or starting to cook. So, whether you use an air fryer or an oven, you no longer have to wait days for your bananas to ripen.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.