Who else wants to know, can you leave bananas in the car?
Whether mistakenly or on purpose, I’m sure we’ve all left a banana or two sitting in the car.
However, depending on weather conditions, they may not look too great afterward, or perhaps they are giving off an extremely pungent banana odor.
So, I’d like to introduce you to the dos and don’ts of leaving bananas in the car.
It is always best to store bananas at room temperature while they ripen. So, it is doubtful that you will achieve the optimal temperature while storing bananas in your car. Extreme heat will make the bananas ripen quicker, and they may be prone to splitting. Whereas extremely cold temperatures impede the ripening process and will discolor the bananas. Realistically, you should never leave bananas in the car for longer than two hours.
1. Are Bananas Best Stored at Room Temperature?
I’m sure you didn’t specifically mean to leave bananas in your car, but it can certainly happen.
Perhaps a banana was going to be part of your working lunch, but you completely forgot about it, and it’s spent all day sitting in the car.
Then again, maybe you’ve visited the grocery store, and a stray banana (or two) ended up being left in the trunk of your car.
Either way, this isn’t ideal for the health of your banana.
Bananas should be stored at room temperature and, if possible, at a temperature lower than 21C (70F).
I know, depending on weather conditions, this isn’t always possible.
Bananas, when stored in the right environment and at the optimal temperature, have the opportunity to ripen naturally.
And once they are fully ripened, they can remain at room temperature for another day or two without having too much impact on taste or consistency.
However, it’s improbable that your car will provide the perfect banana temperatures.
2. Can Bananas Be Stored in a Hot Car?
If you leave a banana in the car during warm weather, you’ll be in for quite a surprise once you return.
As I’ve mentioned, bananas ripen best at temperatures below 21C (70F).
So, if it’s warmer than this outside, it’s definitely going to be even hotter inside your car.
Realistically, you shouldn’t leave bananas in your car for longer than two hours.
And no more than one hour if the temperature exceeds 32C (90F).
Any longer and the bananas will start to ripen quicker, and your car is going to take on a powerful banana odor.
Additionally, humidity also plays a role.
In fact, in warmer temperatures and with relative humidity over 90%, your bananas are likely to split open.
This will obviously expose the flesh of the banana.
So, it’s highly likely that by the time you return to your car, not only will the peel have started turning brown (or even black), but so will the inside.
While the banana may still be edible, it will have changed consistency to be mushier and will taste far sweeter.
Bananas Are Best Stored at Room Temperature
3. Can Bananas Be Stored in a Cold Car?
Cold temperatures will literally have the opposite effect of a warm climate (as you would expect).
So, if you leave a banana in the car overnight and the temperature drastically drops, the ripening process will cease.
Now, while you may initially view this as a good thing, it’s also likely that this will harden the banana, making it inedible.
You can always wait for the banana to literally “defrost,” but it will already have started to go brown inside.
Once more, I’ll state that this isn’t always a bad thing, but it will definitely change your eating experience.
Bananas don’t cope particularly well with cooler temperatures for more than a few hours.
This is why it is advisable to add some form of citric acid (lemon or pineapple juice) if you ever store bananas in the fridge or freezer.
It’s best not to leave bananas in the car, as this will typically change their complexion, consistency, and flavor.
Bananas are best kept at room temperature and allowed to ripen naturally.
If you leave bananas in the car when it’s hot, they will ripen much faster and are prone to splitting open.
However, if left in the car when it’s cold, your bananas will stop ripening and go hard.
Either way, this will affect the taste of your bananas.
Of course, if it’s too late and you have left your fruit in the car, you may be wondering if it’s actually safe to eat any bananas that have split.