You should definitely know how to ripen avocados in case your fresh guacamole cravings suddenly hit. With a handy knowledge, you’ll be able to make the tastiest avocado dishes at any given moment. Convenient, right? The best part is that there are five easy methods to try, and we’re here to show you each one!
How to Tell if an Avocado Is Ripe
Here are a few notes to help you know if your avocado is ready.
If your avocado is hard and bright green, it is not yet ripe. This texture and color indicate that the fruit is still four to seven days away from ripening. Wait for it to ripen first before cutting it up for your Mexican-inspired breakfast, as unripe avocados are hard, waxy, flavorless, and unpleasant to eat.
A ripe avocado has a dark green or nearly black-colored skin. It is also quite firm when pressed gently. Upon slicing, the flesh of the fruit should be bright green, creamy, and can easily be pulled away from the pit.
If your avocado is black and has freckled skin, then your avocado is nearly rotten. Overripe or nearly rotten avocados also have a dry texture from the outside, and they feel mushy when touched. Especially if the insides also have brown spots, it’s better to just throw the fruit away as it will only taste bitter.
How to Ripen Avocados: 5 Easy Ways
With the wide selection of avocado dishes that you can whip up, knowing how to ripen avocados faster is a useful kitchen trick to have up your sleeve. Here are five tried and tested methods to consider:
How to Ripen Avocados Using Other Fruits
If you also bought some fruits from your nearby farmers’ market or grocery store, then good news! Ethylene gas naturally produced by bananas, apples, and even kiwi may help in quickly ripening avocados. Simply follow these easy steps:
- Store avocados together with any of the fruits mentioned in a bowl or inside a paper bag.
- Give the avocados two to three days to ripen. Use the fruit when desired softness is achieved.
How to Ripen Avocados With Flour
You can also get your avocados to ripen using flour and a paper bag. This works because flour absorbs the fruit’s excess moisture, all the while trapping ethylene gas produced by the fruit itself. All in all, this is a good method to do if you don’t have other fruits lying around in your pantry.
Here’s how to ripen avocados quickly using this method:
- Fill the bottom of the paper bag with 2 inches of flour.
- Then, place the avocados on top of the flour.
- Make sure to seal the paper bag shut and watch out for tears and holes.
- Check the contents of the bag once a day until the avocado has reached your desired texture. The avocado should ripen within one to two days.
How to Ripen Avocados With A Paper Bag
No apples, bananas, or even flour on hand? It’s alright! Make avocados ripen faster using only a paper bag:
- Place the avocado inside a paper bag.
- Seal the bag shut and leave it in the kitchen.
- Depending on the hardness of the avocado, it will ripen within four days.
Although the paper bag method is slower than the first two techniques, it still reduces the time it takes to ripen an avocado by half. Also, this might be the best method to try if you’re looking into how to ripen avocados naturally, since you won’t be needing anything else apart from a paper bag. However, this isn’t ideal if you want to ripen your avocados as quickly as possible to make your favorite guacamole recipes.
How to Ripen Avocados in the Oven
If you think the first three methods take too long, this oven technique can help you ripen avocados in just minutes. All you have to do is follow these steps:
- Wrap aluminum foil around the avocado to trap the ethylene gas inside. Make sure that it’s tight!
- Place the foil-wrapped avocado on a shallow oven-safe dish inside the oven.
- Set the oven’s temperature to 200 degrees F, then check the avocado every five to 10minutes.
- Once the avocado has reached your preferred softness, let it cool.
- Unwrap the avocado and place it inside the refrigerator. Let the fruit rest for at least an hour.
This oven method is quick and easy to do! But keep in mind that because this is an unnatural ripening process, there may be changes in the taste and texture of the fruit.
How to Ripen Avocados in the Microwave
Using your microwave is another good method of ripening avocados instantly. This is a much better option to try if you find the aluminum foil and oven method too much of a hassle.
- First, cut the avocado in half. Make sure to remove the pit of the chopped avocado.
- After that, wrap the chopped avocado in plastic wrap to trap the ethylene. Choose a microwave-safe plastic to avoid any unwanted accidents.
- Place the wrapped avocado inside the microwave and set it to medium or high heat.
- Microwave the avocado for 30 seconds. If it still isn’t soft enough for you, put the avocado back inside the microwave again and heat it for another 30 seconds.
- Repeat this process until the avocado has reached your desired softness. When the avocado is finally soft enough, let it rest for a few seconds or minutes. Once the fruit is cool enough to be touched, unwrap the plastic from the avocado.
- Then, place the avocado in the refrigerator for six minutes to let it cool further.
This microwave method is the fastest way to ripen an avocado. However, like ripening avocados in the oven, the taste, texture, and odor of the fruit might change after microwaving it.
How to Store Avocados
Ripe avocados should be refrigerated, while unripe ones must be stored at room temperature. Let your unripe avocados hang for a while on top of your kitchen counter. Give them three to seven days to ripen before transferring to the fridge. To achieve the best results, keep the fruits away from direct sunlight at all times.
Ripe avocados can last in the crisper drawer of a refrigerator for five to ten days. The cold temperature helps preserve the ripe avocados’ prime state, as it naturally slows down the ripening process of the fruit.
To extend the shelf life of avocados even more, you may also freeze them. It’s best to peel the fruit and blend its flesh with citrus juice beforehand. After which, you can store the pureed avocados in a freezer container for up to five months.
How to Slow Down Avocado Ripening
Like we said, storing avocados in the refrigerator helps keep them from ripening too fast, so you can save it in case you want to whip up some Mexican breakfast recipes in the morning. Because while warmth is a great catalyst for ripening an avocado, we want the opposite to preserve it. So to extend its shelf life, keep it in a cold place as much as possible.
Besides teaching you how to ripen avocados quickly, we also have a few tips on how to slow down this process. Find them below.
- Refrigerate the whole avocado – The cold temperature allows the fruit to ripen at a slower pace. Store the fruit in the crisper drawer.
- Drizzle cut avocado with lemon or lime juice – The natural citric acid from the citrus fruits inhibits the enzymes that cause the browning of avocados. Place the drizzled avocado in a sealed, air-tight container.
- Cover cut avocado with a clear plastic wrap – The plastic acts as a barrier that keeps the fruit from being exposed to air, minimizing oxidation. Make sure to seal it properly for the ripening process to actually slow down.
READ ALSO: Can You Freeze Celery? Yes! Here’s How.
Now You Know How to Ripen Avocados
You now know how to ripen an avocado using a simple paper bag to a microwave oven. Give these methods a shot and make the tastiest healthy food, even if you don’t have ripe avocados (yet) at your disposal!