Bananas are always harvested before they are ripe – that’s why you’ll often find very green looking bananas in the store.
As they ripen, they give off a lot of ethylene gas (which causes them to turn yellow) – and they soon begin to develop brown spots as they ripen further still.
So when is the best time to actually eat them?
Well, unripe bananas are very high in starch. This starch begins to ferment in the large intestine once consumed, as the small intestine is unable to digest it. If your baby eats unripe bananas, it’s very likely that he will suffer from a bad case of uncomfortable gas as a result.
But as a banana ripens, that indigestible starch changes into sugar (which explains why the blacker the banana, the sweeter it is!).
Many people agree that the best point to eat a banana is when it is almost wholly yellow, but still green at the top and bottom.
At this point, the texture is not too firm – but not mushy either – and the taste is pleasantly sweet without being overly so.
To keep bananas at this stage of ripeness, pop them in the refrigerator! Yes, the skin will turn black, but the flesh itself will remain unblemished for a couple of days longer than it would if left unrefrigerated.
So is it bad to give my baby overripe bananas?
No – in fact recent research in Austria suggested that fully ripe fruit (almost to the point of spoilage!) contains higher levels of antioxidants than fruit that is under-ripe.
If the somewhat unappealing look and texture of very ripe bananas doesn’t deter you, then it’s fine to go ahead and use them to make your baby’s food. Indeed, in some parts of the world, bananas are not considered to be ‘ready to eat’ until they are good and speckled!
Extremely overripe bananas, however, are best used for other purposes – like banana pancakes or banana bread – where their mushiness is an asset!
Baby’s Banana Ice Cream
Here’s a quick and easy ‘recipe’ for you using nutrient rich banana!
Simply freeze a whole banana (in its skin), then peel it and immediately mash it into baby’s bowl. This makes a cooling and healthy treat in the summer – or a great gum numb-er if your baby is teething!Pin It