How to Ripen a Banana in 30 Seconds

unripe banana
Cole Saladino/Thrillist
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

The thing about bananas is that people will eat them (or at least find a use for them) until they're well-past ripe and verging on brown. But if they're green? They're basically useless, suitable for nothing more than causing constipation. Heck, you wouldn't even use them to make banana bread!

Sometimes, though, you just want to eat the fruit before it's ready but don't have three days to wait until it's that perfect yellow with only a handful of brown freckles.

This is where the microwave trick comes in. 

poking the banana
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

First you want to score the sucker with a fork on all sides so it's easily penetrated by the heat. Then pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds to one minute.

microwave-ripened banana
Cole Saladino/Thrillist

What you end up with is incredibly unappealing-looking, but the texture is that of a totally ripe banana! And considering banana bread typically calls for overripe bananas, this is a pretty solid way to make sure your ingredients are all up to par.

As for eating, we fridged this bad boy right after it came out of the microwave because, frankly, hot bananas are pretty gross. And once it was cooled, it was fine! So long as you can get beyond your prejudices about what a beautiful banana should look like. It's 2016, for cryin' out loud. Enjoy.

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Carrie Dennis is a former Food and Drink editor for Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @CarrrieDennis.