Mash Bananas Inside Their Peels To Avoid A Sticky Mess

Mashing can be a messy business, especially when a fruit like the banana is involved. Mashed bananas are an important ingredient for brown butter banana bread, hummingbird cake, banana pancakes, and even banana baby food, but the process generally involves using a kitchen tool like a potato masher, food processor, or fork to get the job done. Well, not anymore. You can mash your banana in its skin, with no extra tools needed other than your hands, and not have to deal with a sticky mess.

Press gently on the banana while it is still zipped up in its peel. This will soften the fruit while it is still enclosed in that soft thick, yellow skin. That said, you want to take care that you don't accidentally break the skin open before you've accomplished your mission. When you are done lightly massaging your banana, simply cut off the top and squeeze all the fruit out. It will be perfectly mashed, ready for baking or adding to a smoothie.

Ripe bananas work best

This mashing trick works best with ripe bananas. Those that are still green or have not quite hit the ripe stage are going to be too hard to mash while they are still in the skin, let alone with a potato masher for that matter. If you need to soften up your bananas so you can mash them, you can put them in the oven and bake them at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. This will cause the banana skins to turn black, their fruit to soften up, and all the sugars to become sweet and concentrated. It is at this point they will also be easy to mash in their skins.

Overripe bananas will also present a bit of a problem with this hack. You may find that if your bananas are too soft, the skin will break open when you press on it, making a bigger mess than if you had just removed it from the skin. For this reason, choose your bananas wisely when you are going to press on their skin to mash them up.