How many times have you purchased a beautiful bundle of yellow bananas only to have them turn brown within a day or two? Throwing food out is the worst, especially if you didn’t even have a chance to eat it! All is not lost. There are a few simple tricks to help get your bananas to stay fresh for longer. 

1. Buy green bananas

Okay, so this is technically cheating, but it’s a good place to start. If your yellow bananas are always turning brown before you eat them, the simplest solution may be to buy green bananas, or half and half. That way, that have a few extra days to ripen guaranteed.

2. Let them breathe

If you carried bananas home from the store in a bag, take them out as soon as you get home. Bananas covered with bags ripen faster. Let them sit at room temperature away from heat and direct sunlight. 

3. Use a basket

The cause of your banana grief might be as simple as they are getting bruised and battered more than you realize by sitting on the countertop. Put bananas in a basket and out of the way. A hanging basket is actually the best way to store them. 

4. Store bananas in the fridge

If you know you’re not going to eat all of your bananas in the next few days, wrap your ripe bananas in plastic wrap or place in a zip-top bag and store them in the fridge. (This prevents the banana flavor from seeping into other foods.) Refrigeration can add up to a week to the life of your bananas.

There is a dark side to this step. While the fruit inside will stay perfectly fresh, the feel will turn brown and unappetizing. But a brown peel won’t effect the flavor, so it’s a small price to pay if prolonged banana life is what you’re after. 

Note: Never refrigerate green bananas. They won’t ripen properly.

5. Keep away from other fruit

The ethylene gas produced by ripened fruits can cause unripened fruits to mature faster. So if you’re storing your bananas near other fruit, they’re going to ripen more quickly than if they were kept separate.

6. Wrap the stems

You know that brown part at the top of the bunch? That’s the stem. Wrap this part in plastic wrap to prevent ethylene gas from escaping. Every time you remove a banana you’ll have to rewrap the bunch, but this will keep them all fresh for longer. If you want to get the best seal possible, separate the bananas from one another and wrap individually.