How to Ripen an Avocado


Did your recent craving for guacamole culminate in grappling with a rock hard avocado? If yes, then you need to learn how to ripen an avocado at home. Since avocados are commercially ripened after harvesting, it’s easy to end up buying either overripe or rock hard avocados.

Avocados are one of the tastiest fruits around, not to mention their awesome health quotient. They are a great source of healthy fats, fibers and other important nutrients. They are extremely rich in potassium. They can help you lose weight in a healthy way, too. Avocados are heart-friendly as well.

Avocados can be used in a variety of recipes, as their rich buttery texture goes well with many different ingredients. The most popular is, of course, guacamole. Also, you can simply scoop the flesh out with a spoon and eat it plain.

However, unripe avocados are difficult to incorporate in any recipe. But, you can easily ripen them at home. Basically, all you need to do is cocoon them in ethylene gas that helps speed up their ripening.

Here’s how to ripen an avocado in four easy ways. You can use whichever is most convenient for you.

Method 1: Put It in a Sunny Area

Things you’ll need:

sunlight things need

  • Area with abundant sunlight
  • Unripe avocado

Step 1. Put avocado in sunlight

Put avocado in sunlight

The most natural and hence the best method to ripen an avocado is by putting it in sunlight for a few days.

Place your unripe avocado in an area that receives sunlight in abundance. A window sill, patio or porch that sees ample sunlight daily will be an ideal place to ripen your avocado.

Step 2. Check its ripeness daily

Check its ripeness daily

By the second day, you’ll notice that your avocado has begun its ripening process. You’ll see some brown spots on its surface and it might be a bit tender to touch.

Press ripe avocado gently

Day 3 brings you a thoroughly ripe avocado. The skin will have turned completely brown and the fruit yields a little when slightly squeezed by fingers.

Sunlight provides a naturally warm environment that helps ripen this tropical fruit.

Method 2: Put It in a Brown Paper Bag with a Ripe Apple and Banana

Things you’ll need:

Apple banana things need

  • Brown paper bag
  • Ripe banana – 1
  • Ripe apple – 1
  • Unripe avocado –1

Step 1. Place avocado in a brown paper bag

Place avocado in brown paper bag

This method also works nicely. Just place your avocado in a brown paper bag.

Step 2. Put a ripe banana in the bag

Put a ripe banana in the bag

Put 1 ripe banana inside the brown paper bag to keep your avocado company.

Step 3. Put a ripe apple in the bag

Put a ripe apple in the bag

For a good measure, put 1 ripe apple inside the brown paper bag as well.

Step 4. Fold the bag

Fold the bag

In order to trap the ethylene gas inside the bag, fold over the mouth of the bag.

Step 5. Monitor progress

Monitor progress

By day 2, the avocado starts to ripen. It won’t be as rock hard and will start browning a little.

Color is changed

By day 3, you’ll have a nice, ripe avocado that is brown on the outside and soft to squeeze.

The ethylene gas released by the ripe banana and apple is trapped in the brown paper bag, which helps speed up the ripening process of your avocado.

Method 3: Put It in a Brown Paper Bag

Things you’ll need:

Brown paper bag things need

  • Brown paper bag
  • Unripe avocado

Step 1. Put avocado in a brown paper bag

Put-avocado in a brown paper bag

You can ripen your avocado by just keeping it inside a brown paper bag.

Step 2. Fold the bag to seal in the avocado

Fold the bag to seal avocado

Fold the mouth of the bag

Be sure to fold over the mouth of the bag so as to seal the avocado in with the ethylene gas that’ll be released.

Step 3. Check progress

Check progress

Checking your avocado on the second day, you’ll see that it’s still mostly green on the outside, but not as rock hard.

Press gently with fingers

On day 3, you’ll find your avocado ripened. The skin won’t have browned much, but the pulp yields under the slight pressure of your palm.

Method 4: Put It in Rice

Things you’ll need:

Ricebowl things need

  • Bowl
  • Rice
  • Unripe avocado

Step 1. Fill a bowl with rice

Fill a bowl with rice

Fill a large bowl with rice. The bowl should be large enough to contain the avocado as well as the rice.

Step 2. Bury unripe avocado under the rice

Bury unripe avocado in rice

Cover the unripe avocado

Push the unripe avocado deep into the rice, burying it completely.

Step 3. Check ripeness

Check ripeness

On the second day, you won’t observe much difference. If your avocado is still hard, you might be disappointed. But don’t lose heart. This method requires some patience, that’s all.

Check ripeness by pressing gently

On day 3, you’ll see that the avocado has ripened enough to yield under slight pressure, although the skin might not yet be brown. Still, your favorite fruit is now ready to be consumed.

Rice works in a similar way to that of the brown paper bag. It helps speed up the ripening process by trapping the ethylene gas around the avocado.

Additional Tips:

  • You can also ripen an avocado by putting it in flour instead of rice.
  • Be patient for a couple of days. The ripening process will take place gradually. The time taken for the avocado to completely ripen will depend on how unripe it is initially.
  • Refrain from speeding up the ripening process by artificial methods – say, by nuking it in an oven –as it might not be healthy.
  • Different weather conditions might also affect the ripening process of your avocado.
  • You can also put tomatoes along with the apple and banana in the brown paper bag to speed along the ripening of your avocado.
  • Refrigerating an unripe avocado will hinder its ripening process. Although once ripened, you can keep your avocado in the refrigerator to extend its shelf life.

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How to Ripen an Avocado

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