New year, old mistakes. My resolution to eat more fruits and veggies this year has lost out to reality; whenever I buy tonnes of fruit and veg for one person, I end up with litres of (admittedly nutrient-dense) sludge in my fridge’s crisper drawer instead of 18 healthy dinners.
The raspberries go first, with their loathsome furry white mould scarves. Then, the bananas blacken (and get that weird mushy, stepped-on texture we all hate). But thankfully, there could be a way to keep my favourite fruit fresh for longer ― and it’s been tried and tested for me.
Food pro Mike from Kitchen Experts Online begins his video by showing two sets of bananas, both ten days old. One bunch is brown and mottled, while the other is fresh and yellow.
So, what was the difference?
We saw that at the beginning of the experiment, both bunches were slightly underripe, with a greenish tint.
Mike put one bunch in an airtight container with some “blue pods” (ethylene-absorbing balls, which you can buy online), while leaving the other bunch out as-is on the counter.
By day six, the latter bunch was already looking far worse for wear than the ones in the container ― and by day eight, the exposed bananas were so much softer than those in the airtight container with the pods that Mike put them in the fridge to give them a better shot at lasting.
“By about ten days, the bananas that were in the refrigerator were so soft that we decided to make banana bread,” Mike said.
Meanwhile, the bananas which had been placed in an airtight container with the ethylene-absorbing balls “still had green on ’em” by day 15, though there was a little bruising on them.
Of course, Mike put his bananas in the fridge when they had already started softening ― “When it comes to refrigerating bananas, timing is everything,” Southern Living points out.
“Refrigerating bananas will slow or stop the ripening process, preserving the fruit at its current state. This means that you should only refrigerate bananas once they’ve reached the precise level of ripeness you’re looking for.”
So, depending on your preference and available space, using your fridge or ethylene balls could help to extend the life of your produce.