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    Love them or hate them, bananas are a fruit staple in Australia and around the world. Their rapid ripening process will often mean they’re the last thing left in the fruit bowl, where they soften, brown and lose their bright yellow appeal.

    While not so tempting to eat by themselves, over-ripe bananas are ideal for cooking and with a little thought, need not end up in the compost or garbage bin.

    Store |

    Store bananas at room temperature. Bananas ripen because of a natural gas they release called Ethylene. By controlling how much Ethylene bananas are exposed to, you can speed up or slow down your bananas ripening process depending on when you want to eat them:

    To ripen: store in a brown paper bag, and add an apple to speed ripening.

    To slow ripening: store ripe or browning bananas in the fridge to keep them fresher, longer. The skin will darken and brown in the fridge, but this won’t affect the flesh. NOTE: do not store green, unripe bananas in the fridge as this will prevent them ripening even after removal from the fridge.

    Keep peeled bananas from browning by sprinkling with a little lemon or lime.

    Bananas also store well frozen. Store fully peeled, or mashed bananas, in a plastic bag in your freezer, ready for use in smoothies or baking.

    Cook |

    • Overripe bananas are perfect for baking. A natural, strongly flavoured sweetener, bananas can be reinvented as banana breads, muffins, pancakes, fritters, and even scones.
    • Smoothies make a great breakfast or snack to use up bananas on the turn – blend bananas (fresh or frozen) with milk, yoghurt and a little honey for a kick of calcium and a daily serve of fruit.

    Buy |

    Choose the ripeness of your banana based on how long you expect it to be before you eat them. If you’re buying stocks to last a whole week, make sure to choose a variety of ripenesses to make sure they don’t all come to ripeness at the same time.

    In Season |

    Australia produces bananas all year round,  so every season is banana season.

    Fun Fact |

    The banana is the fourth most consumed food on the planet and is in fact native to South East Asia. In Australia, 90% of our bananas are grown in Queensland.

    Recipe Ideas |

    Here are some recipes which will give you some great ideas on how to use bananas in your cooking: