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How to Soften a Hard, Unripe Avocado

What's the Fastest Way to Soften Avocados?

We've all been there; you want to make guacamole or avocado toast today, but all the avocados at the store are hard. What do you do? I reached out to the California Avocado Commission to find the answer. "The majority of stores carry avocados that are ripe and ready to eat today or tomorrow," explained Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing. "Many consumers purchase enough avocados for weekly consumption, so they always have some ready to use."

She suggests shopping at stores that have ripe avocado programs for immediate use, or, if you have a few days to spare, placing avocados in a bag with an apple or a banana at room temperature to expedite ripening. (Apples and bananas emit a ripening agent called ethylene gas.) Conversely, ripe avocados can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two to slow down the maturation process. If all else fails, take a tip from Pinterest and use a potato ricer to create fluffy, small grains.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sheila Gim
Join The Conversation
Spectra Spectra 7 years
My store has two bins of avocados: ripe and unripe. I usually buy two ripe and the rest unripe. I make my guacamole with the ripe ones and let the other ones ripen up so I can eat them later that week. I usually put the unripe ones in a paper bag to speed up the ripening process.
sourcherries sourcherries 7 years
Brown paper bag with apple AND banana. ;p Works like a charm.
Moni-B Moni-B 7 years
I once used an avocado that wasn't quite ripe for my guacamole, but it seems like the addition of lime juice helped with softening it.
jillybean jillybean 7 years
I have not found a way to ripen them quickly :( I was told once at a grocery store, buying small hard avacados to make guacamole for dinner that night, that you can microwave them to soften them. IT DID NOT WORK!!! Made things worse. I had to throw all 3 out!! :( Recently I bought 6 avacados ahead of time so that they would be ripe for my Cinco de Mayo party, only to have them all rotted inside by the time I went to use them. I never had that happen before. Had I not been so rushed with entertaining and getting things ready, I would have taken them back to the store. Good thing I have a great sister-in-law who was able to by ripe ones and drop them off before the party :)
threadhunter threadhunter 7 years
i store the unripe avocados in a closed cabinet with garlic. & that seems to advance the ripen process rather quickly!
le-romantique le-romantique 7 years
If there's one thing I don't like... its eating an avocado that isn't quite ripe... thanks for the advice!
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