Two easy storage hacks to ‘extend the shelf life’ of bananas

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Bananas are a staple in many homes, but they can quickly turn brown resulting in unnecessarily wasted fruit. Ben Ebbrell, chef and co-founder of YouTube’s SORTEDfood, shared two of the easiest ways to “extend the shelf life” of bananas.

As soon as bananas begin to turn brown, many people deem them inedible and send them to the bin. However, it’s this mindset that sees the fruit contributing to nearly 50million tonnes of global household food waste according to a recent study from Florida State University.

Further research conducted by experts from Youtube’s SORTEDfood found that 70 percent of consumers feel their large food shops don’t stretch as far as they’d hoped.

The SORTEDfood chefs are on a mission to help people make their weekly shop go further, and one crucial way of doing this is by storing your food correctly.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Ben Ebbrell, chef and co-founder of the brand, revealed that while there are plenty of “old wives’ tales” out there to keep bananas sweet and fresh for longer, the solution is far more simple.

He explained: “Storage is important as the vast majority of food waste in the UK happens in the home.

“There are lots of old wives tales about storing bananas in paper bags with other specific ingredients, but to be honest, I’m not convinced by them.”

He continued: “Instead, keep them in a cool, dry place out of sunlight, though not the fridge, to extend shelf life.”

Experts from Dole, who produce a vast majority of the UK’s bananas, recommend storing them at no more than 12C.

Any warmer than this and bananas are likely to ripen at a much faster rate.

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A darker room without direct sunlight is ideal, and therefore if your kitchen is normally warm, this might not be the best place to keep them.

They also advise against storing the fruit in a plastic bag. This can create a warmer environment for the bananas and thus see them ripening much faster.

If you do notice your bananas beginning to spot or turn brown, before throwing them away, it’s worth thinking of other ways you might use the fruit.

Ben said: “It is worth noting that there are things you can do to preserve them more.

“If a few bananas are on the turn and beyond the point you like them, remember, even a completely black banana can be sweet, unbruised and delicious inside.

“Then stash them in the freezer. Once frozen, they definitely go black, but inside is fine, albeit, when defrosted they are mushier.

“But that’s still perfect, and arguably better, for milkshakes, smoothies and baking in the likes of banana bread.”

While bananas can be frozen with their skin on, peeling them first can make it easier to use them at a later date.

SORTEDfood is launching a new meal planning tool and hosting a day of workshops in London on September 22, 2022, with their team of chefs and experts demonstrating innovative yet simple solutions to help Brits cut their grocery spending. Sign up for the workshop here: Sorted Food Workshop – Sorted

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