How to make your banana bunch go further

There are many ways you can make bananas – that diet staple – last longer, so that you don't need to throw out fruit unnecessarily.

Fruit and vegetables tend to go off faster in the hot summer months, but here are some handy tips and tricks to make your bananas last as long as possible.

Bananas

Bananas can brown quickly, becoming unpalatable. One way to extend the lifespan of this yellow fruit is to separate it from other bananas.

Then, cover the 'crown' or the top section that you pulled away from the other bananas. You can then wrap them up in a produce bag.

This step is important because bananas produce ethylene gas, which when released into the air makes them ripen more quickly. This gas is spread from the stem, so by covering up that area your bananas might have a longer shelf life.

Separate bananas from other fruit

Ethylene gas makes fruit other than bananas ripen more quickly, so to make your apples, oranges and pears last longer you could keep them separate from your bunch of bananas.

Put them in the fridge when they are ripe

Many people purchase bananas when they are green with the hope they will last longer.

While you might have to wait longer to enjoy them, you can actually expand the lifespan of slightly older fruit by putting it in the fridge when it ripens up.

The skin may still turn that ominous black colour but the inside of the fruit will remain edible for at least a couple of weeks.

Don't throw away brown bananas

If your bunch has not stood the test of time, don't send the fruit to landfill. There are plenty of recipes that call for mashed bananas.

Turn your overripe fruit into a delicious treat to include in lunchboxes – don't forget to wrap it up in reusable sandwich wrap.

Homemade banana muffins, banana bread or banana cake is a better option than buying commercial baking as you can minimise the impact on the environment caused by disposable plastics.

If you don't have time to whip something together, pop them in the freezer. They last up to 6 months frozen.