Nobody likes to buy fresh produce only for it to go bad before you’ve had the chance to eat it. Bananas tend to fall into that group for me, and as much as I like to bake with them when they’re overripe, it’s frustrating when you’d rather have them for a quick on-the-go snack. With that in mind, I went searching for a hack to help keep my bananas longer, and I found one that actually works!
A Hack to Keep Bananas Fresh
Buying perfectly ripe bananas typically means you’ll only have a few days (if you’re lucky) to use them before they start turning brown and spotty. That’s because our favorite yellow fruits contain a chemical compound called ethylene, which causes them to ripen faster.
Ethylene helps fruit age faster, which is why you can throw some bananas into a paper bag in the morning with a firm avocado to make it ready for guacamole by dinnertime. Other fruits that contain ethylene are apples, peaches, kiwis, and tomatoes, but bananas have the highest amounts, which is why they don’t tend to last very long.
According to experts over at the Food Network, the stems of bananas contain the most ethylene, and the expedited ripening happens when it travels down to the fruit itself. The best way to prevent the ethylene from traveling, then, is to wrap the stems.
Wrapping the banana stems in plastic helps prevent the ethylene from traveling down and contaminating your fruit. All you have to do is take some plastic wrap and wrap the top stems of your bananas a few times around. You can leave the bunch together, or separate the bananas and wrap them individually. I personally wrapped a whole bunch (with a piece of plastic torn from a bag, since I ran out of plastic wrap), and my bananas (which I bought at perfect ripeness) have so far lasted an entire week!
As you can see, these bananas even retained some of their green! No harsh brown spots to be discovered yet, and I’m looking forward to snacking on them this week.
Looking for other ways to preserve your ripe bananas? If you use them in recipes like smoothies, try freezing them with these expert tips!
This story originally appeared on our sister site, First for Women.