It’s a little defeating when you reach for a piece of fruit and realize it has some more ripening to do before you can fully enjoy it. Fruit is not only at its tastiest, but it is the most nutritious when it has been able to ripen fully. Instead of playing the waiting game (until you’ve forgotten about your produce and it goes bad!) try these simple tricks to enjoy your ripened fruit faster:
Paper Bag it
One of the most tried-and-true ways to ripen fruit is to stick it in a paper bag. Loosely fold over the top of the bag and store the fruit in a dry place at room temperature, being sure to keep it out of direct sunlight. Fruit contains ethylene, a gas which is released during the ripening process. When you place an unripe piece of fruit in a paper bag, the ethylene becomes trapped, allowing ripening to occur faster. Try this method with bananas, pears, peaches and avocados. Apples and bananas give off more ethylene, so add one of these to the bag to ripen your fruit even quicker.
Submerge in Rice
Although this method seems a little odd, it works like a charm for fruits with tougher skins. You can use any kind of rice, as long as it is uncooked. Place your fruit deep down into a bowl of rice, being sure to cover it on all sides. The rice surrounding the fruit traps the ethylene, allowing for delicious fruit to hit your mouth sooner than watching it ripen on the counter. This trick works especially well for mangoes and avocados.
Wrap it in Cloth
For fruit with soft skin, use a clean, soft linen or cotton cloth for ripening. Lay fruits like peaches or plums on the cloth, folding the remaining sides around it or laying another cloth on top. Leave the wrapped fruit on the counter until it is soft and ready to eat!