Even hardcore avocado lovers don't love this fruit when it's unripe. An unripe avocado is hard as a rock, doesn't have the smooth texture of the ripened fruit and just tastes terrible. Here are a few suggestions for what to do when your avocado isn't quite as ready for lunch as you are.
1. Tin foil in baking dish
If the avocado is nearly ripe, wrapping it in foil and putting it in an oven (200 degrees Fahrenheit, 93 degrees Celsius) will help. Warming the fruit encourages it to release ethylene gas, which promotes ripening; the foil traps the gas and speeds the process. Kelli Foster of The Kitchn tested this method and found that it works, although it's a little tricky to know exactly how much time is needed — anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes.
2. Direct sunlight
After ruling out a microwave method of ripening an avocado, Erika Owen of Bustle found that sunlight has "some kind of magical tasting power." Three days in the sunniest spot of her windowsill turned her rock into a "beautiful green fruit."
3. Brown paper bag and apple
Ethylene gas can also be trapped by putting the avocado in a brown paper bag; to speed things along, add an apple, banana or tomato. The extra fruit adds its own ethylene gas to the process, explains wikiHow. Store the bag of fruit in a dark, dry location for a day or two, and your avocado will be ready to eat, days earlier than it would on its own.
4. Brown paper bag and flour
Another method of quick-ripening an avocado involves enclosing it in a brown paper bag with about 2 inches (5 cm) of flour. Initially skeptical of its effectiveness, Owen now calls this the "drop everything you're doing" method of achieving a "perfect avocado" in two days.
5. Lemon or lime juice
If you didn't realize the avocado wasn't ripe until cutting into it, it's not too late. Simply sprinkle the halves with lemon or lime juice, put them back together and seal in tightly wrapped plastic or an airtight container before storing in the refrigerator. The acid in the lemon will keep the exposed flesh from turning brown while the rest of the fruit ripens — exactly how long it will take depends on how close the fruit was to ripe before being cut.
Microwaving an avocado is NOT recommended. The microwave may warm the fruit enough to soften, but its buttery taste will be zapped away — defeating the entire purpose of this delicious fruit.
Have you ever tried these methods of ripening avocado? What worked the best? Please SHARE this article and let us know in the comments below.