One of life’s most irritating little inconveniences is going to the grocery store, choosing some produce, and then realizing days later that you picked something that wasn’t ripe enough to cut into and eat yet. Sure, it’s a good move to buy things like bananas, avocados, and the like that aren’t totally ripe yet so that they last. After all, there’s a reason why a beloved millennial joke and meme centers around this fruit’s (yes, avocado is a fruit) penchant for ripening and spoiling in practically the same breath. But sometimes it takes forever for something to be good enough to eat!
It’s not just avocados, though. There are tons of fruits that take a hot minute to ripen. And you need to make dinner and pack lunches, like, yesterday. You just have to let nature do its thing most of the time, but there are some time-trusted tricks, hacks, and tips to move the process along. Just be careful what you wish for because, one day, your avocados aren’t ripe enough to make some guacamole, and the next day, they’re too mushy to eat all.
Whether you’re making baby food, need ripe fruit for a dessert, or just have a hankering for that peach or papaya right now, here are some tips to find that sweet spot when it comes to ripening fruit at home.
How to Ripen Avocados
One way to ripen an avocado is to not put it in the fridge at all and keep it on the counter. You can also put it in a paper bag with a banana or an apple and it should ripen up quicker because of the ethene gas that the hard fruit releases. Natural gas softens the fruit so that you can eat it when you want to.
How do you ripen avocados in 10 minutes?
Is your avocado still too green to be mushed into guac? If you’re looking to speed up the ripening process, wrap your avocado in foil. Then place it in the oven for about 10 minutes at 200 degrees. This is the easiest way to get your fruit to release ethylene gas, making it perfect for eating. Once it’s nice and soft, stick it in the fridge for a couple of minutes so you can peel it without making a mess.
How to Ripen Bananas
Much like with an avocado, you can place a banana in a paper bag with another ripe banana, apple, kiwi, or avocado to get it to soften up quicker. That will take a day or two, but if you need the banana right away, you can peel it and bake it in the oven for 15 minutes at 300 degrees.
How to Ripen Mangoes
You want to keep mangoes at room temperature for them to ripen within a couple of days of buying. You can also use the paper bag method.
How to Ripen Pineapple
Pineapple is usually pretty ripe by the time you buy it at the grocery store, but if you want it even sweeter and softer, you can leave it out on the counter for a day or two. You can also put it by itself in a paper bag like the other fruits.
How to Ripen Peaches
Unlike pineapple, peaches are usually unripe when they get to the grocery store. They’re shipped rock hard so that their soft skin isn’t damaged by the shipping process. To make them edible, put them all in a paper bag on their sides to soften them up.
How to Ripen Kiwi
You guessed it — throw these guys in a paper bag and close it up so that the natural gas isn’t released and they soften up.
How to Ripen Pears
Keep pears at room temp or in a paper bag for two to four days after buying in order to ripen them up.
How to Ripen Papaya
We’d love to tell you that there’s a secret to ripening papaya, but it’s not unique — papaya also releases ethene gas that can be captured in a paper bag to soften it up in just a couple of days.
How to Ripen Cantaloupe
Think this one is different? Guess again. Grab your trusty friend the brown paper bag and place the cantaloupe inside, making sure there’s plenty of space around the fruit for when it releases gas.
How to Ripen Apricots
Looking to accelerate your apricot’s ripening process? Place them in a paper bag as it helps preserve the ethylene gas the fruit needs to mature. Putting a ripe banana next to or in the bag can also help speed things up.
How to Ripen Plantains
Place your plantains in a warm space for about one to two weeks.
How to Ripen Plums
Keep this plump pleasure at room temperature and avoid placing them in direct sunlight.