Nothing’s worse than going grocery shopping, only to find that all the avocados are still hard and the mangos are still green.
No one likes to have to wait for days for their fruit to ripen, but luckily there are ways you can quicken the process — for most kinds, that is.
Some fruits don’t get any riper once they are picked, so when it comes to these options, make sure you’re only buying the ripest batch from the grocery store.
Fruits ripen from the gas ethylene, and harnessing this naturally-occurring gas can help speed up ripening. Here’s how to ripen your favorite fruits:
Like avocados, blueberries can be ripened in a paper bag and stored in a cool, dark place. Blueberries that are picked while white and green, however, will not ripen.
Avocados ripen only after being harvested. The best way to ripen hard avocados is to place them in a brown bag, which traps in the ethylene gas. Add a tomato, apple or banana to the bag to increase ethylene production and ripen your avocado faster.
Tomatoes need warmer temperatures to ripen. Place them on a shelf in a warm place, and cover them with newspaper, which traps the ethylene gas.
Place peaches stem down on a linen napkin out of sunlight, and cover with another napkin. You can also place peaches into a brown paper bag instead. Peaches are ripe when they have a strong smell and begin to soften.
Unfortunately, strawberries are one of those fruits that don’t really ripen after being picked. The berry may develop a redder color, but it won’t get any sweeter. Choose strawberries with a deep red color for the best taste.
Plums ripen simply sitting on the countertop for a few days, or you can speed up the process by placing them in a brown paper bag.
Pears are best ripened off the tree. Placing them in a brown paper bag with a ripe banana or apple can help encourage quicker ripening.
This fruit can be ripened on the countertop, where it will get softer and sweeter at room temperature. You can also ripen mangos in a brown paper bag or in a ventilated wooden box with hay.
Bananas ripen depending on the climate, so there are a number of ways to ripen your banana. Leaving them on the countertop for a few days is the best option, but if you want them to ripen quickly, you can stick them into the oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-15 minutes, which makes them soft for something like banana bread.
Pineapples do not ripen after being picked. They may get softer on your countertop, but they won’t become any sweeter. Look for pineapples with a golden hue and a strong smell. Want to trick your tastebuds into thinking they’re sweeter? Try sprinkling on salt instead of sugar.