Bananas are a staple in our household. I enjoy eating bananas when they are still firm with just a hint of green. My husband prefers eating bananas when they have had time to ripen and display a few brown spots. My children enjoy the over ripened banana because it means time for banana bread! While we each enjoy bananas at different stages, following as some basic guidelines for choosing and storing bananas:
Generally look for plump bananas that are evenly colored yellow. Small spots of brown indicate general ripeness. If you purchase green bananas, simply place them in a brown paper bag until the desired ripeness is obtained. Adding an apple to the bag will accelerate the ripenig process.
Always store bananas at room temperature. A completely brown peel indicates the banana is overripe and ready for use in bread, pancakes or brownies. I often mash one ripe banana and add it to my oatmeal muffin batter. If I'm not in the baking mood, I simply mash the banana and store it in the freezer in a Ziploc bag. The mashed banana thaws quickly in the microwave and can be added to the batter when I'm ready.