How brown can bananas be for banana bread?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “How brown can bananas be for banana bread?” with an in-depth analysis of how brown bananas can be for making banana bread. Moreover, we will also discuss the nutritional value of bananas and what effect browning or over-ripening has on them.

How brown can bananas be for banana bread?

Dark brown bananas are mostly preferred for use in banana bread. Other less ripe or less brown forms can also be used, but darker, mushy forms of bananas are better than those having greenish-yellow or yellow color.

Why are brown bananas used in making banana bread?

Baking requires a rich taste indulgence within the baked food items. Darker, overripe bananas have a richer and sweeter taste than normally ripe or greenish-yellow ones. This makes dark brown or black bananas more suitable for being used in making banana bread.

The nutritional profile of unripe or yellowish-green banana:

  • Unripe or yellowish-green bananas, both have the same nutritional contents and health benefits.
  • Bananas are a rich source of carbohydrates which means they have high sugar content along with a high glycemic index. 
  • A medium-sized banana contains approximately 3 grams of fiber and  12% potassium of Recommended Daily Intake.
  • Bananas are a good source of Vitamin B6, providing approximately 20% Vitamin B6 of RDI.
  • A normal, single banana provides a wide range of micronutrients such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, and copper. 
  • One medium-sized banana provides up to 60-70 kcals.
  • Bananas do not contain any protein and fats.

Why can brown bananas be used for making banana bread?

As soon as the yellow bananas start to rot or become overripe, the complex starches within the banana start converting into sugars. As the ripening proceeds, more and more starches are converted to sugars, increasing the sugar content of ripening bananas.

Ripening process also causes the texture of bananas to become super soft, sticky, and oozy. This leaky structure is easy to mash within the batter of the banana bread releasing a pure taste into it.

Until when do brown bananas be used? 

Dark brown bananas or ones with apparent brown lines on their peel can be used for making banana bread unless molds grow on them. Even the most rotten form can be used until you see fungus or molds growing.

Where to look for the brown bananas?

Bananas are naturally yellow or greenish-yellow in color with the inside part totally solid and intact. They have a very short shelf life and start to rot easily. Those getting dark or have bruises on them are usually placed on separate shelves of the fruit section.

If you want to buy, just look for them on the shelves that display fruits less in quality at cheap prices.

Other FAQs about Bananas which you may be interested in.

Are wild bananas edible?

How can you get brown bananas?

It takes almost 4 to 6 days for yellow bananas to be converted into brown or dark brown form at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If you have yellow bananas and are not in the need of making banana bread hastily, then you can put the bananas aside for 4-6 days and let them age.

Once they are brown enough with the intact pulp becoming super soft, you can use them to make banana bread.

Can bananas become brown by freezing?

Yes, bananas when frozen to low temperatures eventually become dark brown within 2 to 3 days.

Does freezing impact the taste of the banana?

No, freezing does not affect the taste of the banana.

What to do when you want to use a frozen brown banana?

If you have frozen bananas, thaw them either by putting them out of the freezer for some time or by microwaving them. This will make them super leaky, releasing all the ice water but you can remove the peel and extract the soft pulp.

How can yellow or unripe bananas be used in making banana bread?

If you have to make banana bread in an emergency and don’t have the time to either wait for the bananas to get dark and soft, you can use bananas that are yellow with green stems or simple pure yellow with more ripe ones.

Less dark bananas have a lower sugar content than the overripe darker ones. Because of this, you have to add some extra sugar to the batter to compensate for the decreased sweetness. At least add 15% more sugar along with a bit more salt in the batter for a more enhanced taste.

You can read how to make banana bread here.


In this brief guide we answered the question “ how brown can bananas be for use in banana bread?” along with an in-depth analysis of the reason why should brown bananas be used in banana bread. moreover, we also discussed the nutritional value of bananas and how the ripening process affects the taste of bananas.


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Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.