About Bananas

Northern California Banana Bread
Banana Nut Waffles
banana split

Purchasing Bananas

Fresh bananas are carefully grown, harvested, packed and shipped on state-of-the-art container ships. After arrival they are expertly ripened and shipped for consumption.

Availability—All year.
Packaging—Bananas are packed in clusters and as single fingers.

  • Clusters: Standard 40 lb. boxes of large bananas in clusters of 5-7 fingers which are also shipped to retailers across the country.
  • Large Singles: 10 lb. boxes contain approximately 25 full-size banana fingers which are perfect for operations receiving frequent deliveries and preferring larger bananas.
  • Smaller Singles: 40 lb. boxes contain 150 consistently sized, single banana fingers which are perfect for schools and other portion-controlled applications.

Yield—Varies with fruit grade (thickness), length and shape.

6" (with peel)—Sliced = 3/4 cup, Mashed = 1/3 cup

8" (with peel)—Sliced = 1 cup, Mashed = 1/2 cup

10" (with peel)—Sliced = 1-1/4 cup, Mashed = 3/4 cup

Storage—Bananas continue to ripen after shipping. The ideal temperature for ripe bananas is 60 degrees F.

Use this chart to determine the shelf life of bananas under varying temperatures.

60 degrees F bananas ripen 1/2 stage per day.
65 degrees F bananas ripen 2/3 stage per day.
70 degrees F bananas ripen 1 full stage per day.
75 degrees F bananas ripen up to 2 full stages per day.

Do not store bananas below 60 degrees F to avoid chill injury.

Serving Tips—Bananas are one of the most versatile fruits. They can be used all parts of the day and in all kinds of recipes. They never go to waste because even the ripest bananas are sweet and can be used in a variety of desserts and other treats.


Color (Ripening) Chart

Stage 4 Stage 5 Stage 6 Stage 7

Stage 4: (More Yellow Than Green) Ready for delivery to restaurants and institutions..

Stage 5: (Yellow with Green Tip) Firm texture, good for use in recipes such as fruit salads.

Stage 6: (Full Yellow) Eat out of hand use on cereals, waffles, oatmeal and fruit or salad bars.

Stage 7: (Yellow Flecked with Brown) Sweeter flavor and texture. Perfect for dessert recipes and eating from hand.


Northern California Banana Bread


Yield: 5 (2-pound) loaves


  • Butter or Margarine—1 lb (2 cups)
  • Sugar, brown—1 lb (2 cups packed)
  • Sugar, granulated—15 oz. (2 cups)
  • Eggs, whole—1 lb (8)
  • Bananas, extra ripe, peeled, puréed—3 lb (8 medium)
  • Vanilla extract—2 T.
  • Flour, all purpose—1 lb. 6 oz. (5-1/2 cups)
  • Flour, whole wheat—10 oz. (2-1/4 cups)
  • Oat bran—8 oz. (2 cups)
  • Baking powder—2 T.
  • Baking soda—2 tsp.
  • Cinnamon, ground—1 T.
  • Salt—1-1/2 tsp.
  • Buttermilk—2 cups
  • Chopped dates—1 lb. 8 oz. (6 cups)
  • Silvered almonds, toasted, chopped—10 oz. (2-1/2 cups)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, puréed bananas (4 cups) and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Add remaining ingredients; mix until just moistened.

Scale approximately 2 lb. batter into each of 5 greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until done. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Turn onto wire racks.


Banana Nut Waffles

Yield: 48 (4 inch) waffles


  • Bananas, extra ripe, peeled puréed—3 lb. (8 medium)
  • Egg yolks—6
  • Milk, whole—4-1/2 cups
  • Oil, vegetable—1-1/4 cups
  • Pancake and waffle mix—1 lb. 8 oz. (6 cups)
  • Chopped walnuts—12 oz. (3 cups)
  • Cinnamon, ground—3/4 tsp.
  • Egg whites—6
  • Whipped butter or margarine
  • Maple syrup, warmed


Combine puréed bananas (4 cups), egg yolks, milk and oil.

In mixer bowl, combine pancake and waffle mix, walnuts and cinnamon. Add banana mixture to dry ingredients. Mix on low speed just enough to moisten.

Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter.

Using No. 10 dipper (1/3 cup or 3 ounces), plate batter on preheated waffle iron. Baking until golden brown. Serve with butter and syrup.


This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified February 2007

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