What's the secret to and the best ? The answer is easy: ripe avocados! The only problem is that, more often than not, they're rock hard when you buy them in the grocery store. So what do you do when the craving for your favorite strikes? All hope is not lost because we've got the scoop on how to ripen avocados quickly. We're talking as little as ten minutes! So, before you whip up those or reach for the green fruit (yes, it's a fruit), read on for everything you need to know about how to ripen an avocado.
Of course, the best way to ripen an avocado is to let it happen naturally. But if you're about to make a recipe that calls for avocados—whether it's a tasty
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When shopping for avocados, look out for the firmness and color as indicators of ripeness. Ripe avocados will feel firm, with a slight give when squeezed, and will typically be very dark green in color. If it looks black and mushy, the avocado is past its prime. On the other hand, if it's bright green and very hard, the avocado is underripe and can still be used with one of the tricks below.
The best way to ripen an avocado is by letting it happen naturally. Set the avocado in a bowl in a sunny spot on your kitchen counter. The warmth from the sun will also help the avocado ripen faster. Depending on how ripe your avocado was when you bought it, this could take a few days.
To speed up the ripening process, place the avocados in a paper bag. This process is similar to . Certain fruits, like bananas and avocados, produce ethylene gas which causes them to soften after they're harvested. When avocados are placed in a paper bag, the gas becomes trapped which speeds up the ripening process. You can expect ripe avocados in three to four days (or less!)—keep an eye out every day.
And here's another paper bag trick: Place the avocados in a paper bag with other fruits that also produce natural gases, like apples or bananas. The gases will concentrate and help your avocados become softer, faster. This can happen in as quickly as one to two days.
If you simply can't wait any longer, you can try ripening your avocado in the oven. This method will heat the avocado to slightly soften it. While it won't produce the best tasting, silky-smooth avocado we know and love, it'll do the trick when you're in a pinch. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, wrap the avocado in foil, and place it on a baking sheet. Depending on how hard your avocado is, it can take about ten minutes (or longer) to soften. Allow the avocado to cool, then place in the refrigerator to cool completely before using.
While some claim a microwave works even faster than the oven, we don't suggest ripening an avocado this way. It will actually cause the avocado to smell bad and turn mushy quickly—and ruining a perfectly good avocado like that just feels wrong (even if it's unripe).
If your avocado is the perfect ripeness, but you’re not quite ready to use it, you can always in the refrigerator. The chill from the fridge will allow you to hold on to the avocados for a few extra days. If you've already cut into the avocado, prevent it from turning brown by leaving the pit in, squeezing it with lemon juice, and covering it with plastic wrap. Or, invest in a handy
The options are endless with ripe avocados. With their high protein content, they make excellent additions to (including plenty of ) because they help keep you feeling fuller longer. And thanks to their thick creaminess, they are naturals for like guac, but also add great texture to . Speaking of texture, try them as a for added interest or atop spicier fare like to help balance the heat.