If you’re like me you love bananas. I love fruit in general, and I eat quite a bit of it. For a long time I was a raw vegan, and I’m still a fan of the lifestyle, it just wasn’t right for me. But I still include loads of fruits and vegetables in my diet, and bananas are up there on the list of “must haves” in my pantry. But I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t know how to pick out ripe bananas, and they wonder why their bananas either don’t taste how they expected or cause them stomach issues. Below is my guide to picking out perfect bananas.
Pick Them in Stages
First of all you don’t want to go to the store and buy 20 ripe bananas. If you’re going to purchase a lot of bananas – and you aren’t going to use them all the day you get them – you should pick them in stages. In other words, you should have some green bananas, some yellow bananas, some lightly speckled bananas, and then a handful of ripe bananas. You can eat the ripe ones right away, and then you’ll have bananas ripening on a fairly continual basis for a few days so you won’t waste any.
Look for Coloring First
The first thing you want to look for when picking out bananas is the color. However, you might expect that yellow bananas are ripe. After all, most of the imagery we see every day regarding bananas pictures them as yellow. But a truly ripe banana has brown speckles on it. Until those speckles appear your banana isn’t truly ripe, and eating fruit that isn’t fully ripe can cause stomach issues. Not only that but an under-ripe banana won’t taste as good as a really ripe one. So if you’re looking to pick out super ripe bananas, grab ones with a good amount of speckles.
Feel for Ripeness
While you certainly want to look at color as an indicator of ripeness, you also want to feel the bananas to see if they’re ripe. Some bananas ripen oddly and while they may look greenish or yellow on the outside they’re actually very ripe. I’ve even purchased bananas that ended up green and speckled, which is a bit confusing since the outward appearance told me it was both green and ripe. But by softly squeezing the banana you can tell if it’s ready. A ripe banana is pretty squishy, and you won’t have to press hard at all to feel the squishy or soft nature of the fruit. If you have to squeeze the banana more than once or squeeze it hard to see if it’s soft, it’s probably not ready yet.
The Smell Test
Don’t forget to smell your bananas. This is true with most fruit, but bananas in particular will be very potent when they’re ripe. If you have to get your nose really close to the fruit to smell the banana scent, or if you aren’t smelling anything at all, they aren’t ready. A ripe banana will smell very strongly and sweetly of banana, so if all else fails follow your nose to the ripe bananas.
Hopefully this has helped you in your quest for the ripest bananas. Always purchase your fruit in stages so you can enjoy just-ripe fruit day after day. Make sure your bananas are heavily speckled, soft to the touch, and smell sweetly of banana before consuming. Bananas are full of potassium and great for warding off muscle cramps, and have even been said to ease nerves, making them a perfect pre-performance or pre-exam snack. So go – seek out the ripe bananas, and enjoy!