In general, color is the barometer of ripeness when purchasing bananas. Bananas with green tips will be firm. If the peel is golden yellow the interior will be a bit sweeter.
* Once bananas have reached the desired degree of ripeness they should be refrigerated. Chilling will darken the peel, but will not affect the fruit.
* Should bananas become overly ripe, mash them with a small amount of lemon juice, place the pulp in a moisture-vapor proof container and freeze. Add to the container until there is enough to make a loaf of banana bread or muffins.