A quick question: What is the optimal ripeness to eat a banana?
Let’s break banana ripeness down to 5 stages, only 3 of which I expect anyone to choose.
3. All yellow
4. Yellow, with few brown spots
Anecdotally, I’ve heard most people strongly defend either #2 or #4, with actually fewer people choosing #3, which is kinda backed up by this small survey. Also, this summary describes the taste differences of ripe vs. less-ripe bananas, but doesn’t mention any nutritional difference. I heard someone argue that the slightly brown bananas are actually more nutritious because the nutrients from the skin have gone into ripening the banana fruit itself. I haven’t found anything to back this up, but it sounds rather logical, and I know other skinned fruits and vegetables contain many of their nutrients in the skins/peels.
My personal preference? I like bananas a lot and will eat them at any of the three middle stages. After hearing the nutritional theory above, I figured there wasn’t much harm in trying it, especially if it turned out to be true. So I’ve gotten in the habit of letting bananas ripen a little longer until they’re yellow with a few brown spots.