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Why Are Overripe Bananas Best for Baking?

Two overripe bananas sit on a countertop.

Whether you’re a pro in the kitchen or just starting out, chances are you’ve heard that overripe bananas are best for baking. In fact, most fruit that is a little too ripe is excellent for baking. But why?

Even though brown and black bananas are unsightly, it turns out that the riper the fruit, the sweeter it becomes!

As a banana ripens, its flavor intensifies and becomes sweeter because the starch within the banana begins to break down into sugar over time.

Who doesn’t like a sweet baked good? Sure, banana bread recipes also call for sugar, but when the banana is overripe, you can reduce the amount of sugar you use since the banana provides enough sweetness on its own.

Of course, there is such a thing as too ripe. If your bananas are growing mold or have an off-putting smell, it’s time to toss them. And if your bananas are overripe (or close to it), and you aren’t ready to get your bake on, you can throw them in the freezer until the time is right!

Tired of making traditional banana bread? Check out these five delicious upgrades of basic banana bread that will make you go bananas!


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