In a perfect world, we’d have the patience to let our avocados ripen at their own speed while basking in a glittering sunbeam on the countertop. After all, a perfectly sun-ripened avocado is truly a thing to behold. Back in the real world, we need guacamole, like, yesterday.
A ripe avocado feels heavy in your hand, yields slightly to gentle thumb pressure and has shiny, purplish-green skin. The vibrant green, creamy fruit is adored the world over for its singular flavor and texture. An unripened avocado is almost inedible, with a firm, spongy texture and mildly astringent flavor. Understanding how to tell when an avocado is ripe is almost an art form.
Avid avo fans often purchase avocados at varying stages of ripeness to pace their readiness throughout the week. And it could take almost a week for an avocado to ripen. Sometimes less-than-ripe avocados are the best quality available, so don’t let them pass you by! With a little know-how, you can learn how to ripen an avocado, fast.
Fair warning, don’t believe the hype about oven-ripened avocados or other claims about ripening avocados in minutes. Those tricks usually lead to lackluster texture and disappointing flavor in your precious avocados. Your friends at FruitStand care way too much about deliciousness to ever recommend those hacks you!
Here’s the secret. To ripen avocados faster while producing delicious results, use a method that maximizes the fruit’s exposure to natural ethylene. Ethylene is the gas that many fruits emit as they mature, which enables the ripening process. All you need is a perfectly breathable paper lunch bag, and one of three common household ingredients.
Bananas emit more ethylene than your average fruit. So much so, even being near a banana makes some fruit ripen faster. Avocados are one of those fruits. Place a ripe banana in the paper bag with your avocados. Fold your bag to securely enclose the fruit. Check on the avos daily to ensure they don’t over ripen. Expect perfectly ripened avocados (and one very ripe banana) in one to three days, depending on how ripe they were to start. If you don’t have a banana, some say an apple does the trick, too!
Now that most cell phones are water resistant, gone are the days of keeping a bag of rice handy for emergencies. Did you know this trick works to ripen avocados, too? Rice does an excellent job of trapping the fruit’s natural emission of ethylene gas, which helps the avocado ripen up earlier.
Simply fill your paper bag with enough dry rice to cover your avocados. Check on them daily to ensure it doesn’t over ripen. The fruit should be ripe in one to three days.
Sprinkle a scant cup of all purpose flour, or just about any flour you have on hand, into the paper bag. Nestle your avocados in the flour so that they’re about one third to one half of the way submerged. Fold the bag closed while leaving room for air to move freely around the avocados. Check them daily, and turn the avocado a little while observing their ripeness. Avocados should ripen in a similar timeframe to the other methods, about one to three days.
Any of these three methods will help you enjoy ripe, creamy avocados without the long wait. Do you have any secrets for ripening avocados? Join the private FruitStand Community on Facebook to share the love with other avocado fans!