This Avocado Ripening Hack Gives You Guac-Worthy Fruit In 10 Minutes, Plus 5 More Tricks For Riper Fruit, Faster
Shopping for avocados is a game for me. I purposely buy them rock hard so that I can pick the perfect point of ripeness to crack those bad boys open and chow down. However, if you are just a minute late, the avocado turns brown and tastes like a foot. Good news: Someone discovered a new hack for how to ripen avocados faster, effectively putting you in control of this fruit-that-everyone-thinks-is-a-vegetable-but-it's-really-a-berry and essentially making you the mayor of Avocadoville. I laugh in the face of the avocado gods.
According to this neat trick currently making the Internet rounds, all you do is wrap the avocado in tin foil, then put it in the oven on a baking sheet and bake it at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. What kind of witchcraft is this, you ask? It's not witchcraft — it's science! Avocados ripen due to the ethylene gas they produce. By wrapping the fruit in foil, you're surrounding it in this gas as it heats in the oven, thereby fast-forwarding the ripening process. Avocados aren't cheap, and its hard to find good ones in the first place (especially organic!), so the fact that we can control their ripeness is cool beyond words.
It doesn't end here. Try these other nifty fruit-ripening hacks to make your fruit ready-to-eat faster and — if you're anything like me — help prevent food waste.
1. More Avocado Magic
It turns out there are even more ways to ripen an avocado. I know, I'm excited too. One option is to let it sit in sunlight for a few days, which reportedly produces slightly mushier, guac-worthy avocado. A second method is to store it in a paper bag, which traps the ethylene gas, as it does in the oven. (You can speed up the process by putting extra fruit in the bag to give off even more gas.) Third is the refrigerator method. (Don't be alarmed by the reddish tint!) And finally, what might be the most flawless plan of all: putting the avo in a paper bag with a couple inches of flour.
2. Ripening Too-Green Bananas
Similar methods can be applied to bananas to help them ripen faster — but to start, here's a cool tip I wasn't aware of: Keep them together, instead of separating them or pulling them apart. Again, it's all about the ethylene gas. When you keep bananas in a bunch, there's more gas surrounding them, so they'll ripen faster. You can also brown-bag them, or even microwave them! Poke holes in the skin with a fork and stick it in there for 30 seconds, or until the desired ripeness. (Heads up: the nana might come out a little mushier than you're expecting.)
3. Orange You Ready For Ripe Oranges?
That was lame. Sorry.
If you're in the mood for a citrusy treat, but your orange isn't ready yet, pop it in the microwave for about 15 seconds on medium-high. For an extra gassy kick, add a banana or apple, since they produce more ethylene than some other fruits. Disclaimer: The exposure to the gas should ripen the orange peel, but it likely won't make the fruit itself any sweeter.
4. Getting The Perfect Pumpkin
If the pumpkin is still on the vine, leave it there! Cut away any leaves so that the sun hits the pumpkin as much as possible, which will help it ripen faster. If a cold front is coming in, cover it with plastic to shield it. If it's a pumpkin you've perhaps purchased off the vine, sunlight and warmth are still key. Whether indoors or outdoors, put it in the sunniest, warmest place you can.
5. Perfectly Soft And Juicy Mangoes
Nothing is nastier (or more painful to chew, I might add) than an unripe mango. As with the other items, you can bag these to speed up the ripening. You can also put a mango in a ventilated box (cardboard, wood) with lots of hay. Another method is to bury it in a bin of wheat or uncooked rice. Finally, you can also use the microwave method. Poke holes in the fruit with a knife, wrap it in a kitchen towel, and microwave it in five to 10 second increments. It's immediate but it could affect the taste!
Noticing any common themes here? Gas! As a general rule, increase the gas, speed up the ripening.
Images: Giphy (5)