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How to Ripen an Avocado in Under 10 Minutes

Reader's Digest logo Reader's Digest 3/21/2019 Claire Nowak
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Avocados are the Internet’s favorite fruit. Everywhere you click, there’s a discussion about how healthy they are, how expensive they are, and whether they’re considered fruits or vegetables.

But whether or not you eat enough avocado toast to lose your chances of buying a house, that fruit is still worth keeping in your life—for nutritional benefits and beauty hacks.

The problem is finding the best avocado. Once ripe, it only stays good for two or three days before it’s too late. Your best bet is buying an unripe avocado and helping the process along, which saves you time and money—just don’t throw your avocados in the fridge along with these other foods that shouldn’t go in your refrigerator, because they’re best kept at room temperature. (Did we mention avocados are expensive?) Here’s how to ripen avocados at home:

If the avocado is not quite ripe and not hard:

A ripe avocado in just two minutes?! Yes, it is possible, thanks to this Taste of Home hack for how to ripen avocados. Cut it in half vertically and remove the pit. Wrap each half in microwave-safe plastic wrap. Microwave on high for two minutes. When they’re cool enough to hold, run the wrapped avocados under cold water so they stop cooking.

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If the avocado is rock hard:

Wrap the uncut fruit in tinfoil, and bake on a baking sheet at 200˚F for 10 minutes. (Disclaimer: If your avocado is too hard, it could take up to an hour for it to soften. Check every five minutes if it’s not ripe in 10.) Then remove your newly softened avocado. Leave it in the fridge for a few minutes to cool down.

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If you have time to spare:

Keep your avocado in a sealed paper bag with an apple. Poke holes in the bag with a toothpick and leave it at room temperature. The fruit should be ripe in one to three days.

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How is this possible?

Avocados (and apples and kiwifruit) produce ethylene gas, which helps them ripen. When an avocado is covered with wrap or kept inside a paper bag, the ethylene is concentrated around the fruit and speeds up the ripening process. So thank science that you can eat some fresh guacamole wherever, whenever you want. Now that you know how to ripen avocados at home, make sure you avoid these produce mistakes you might be making that’s causing your fruits and veggies to spoil quickly.

RELATED VIDEO: Ina Garten reveals which trendy foods she likes and dislikes (via TODAY)

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