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How to Ripen Avocados

Try this smart trick to quickly ripen rock-hard avocados.

Illustration of an ax in an avocadoClayton Junior

“I’m making guacamole, but the avocados are hard as rocks.”

Vivian Tran, via e-mail

The Fix: Place avocados in a brown paper bag with a banana, then leave the bag on a sunny windowsill for 18 to 24 hours, says Joe Quintana, the New York City–based regional executive chef for the Rosa Mexicano restaurants. Together, the banana and the avocados release a large amount of ethylene gas, which can hasten ripening. (The heat may help speed the process, too.) If you can’t wait a day, try this trick from California avocado grower Carol Steed: Place 2 peeled, pitted avocados in a blender with 1 cup peas (fresh, or frozen and thawed); pulse until smooth. The peas will help soften the consistency of the unripe avocados but won’t affect the flavor. Watch the video for more ways to ripen an avocado.

Get more tips on choosing and storing avocados, plus find an easy guacamole recipe.

Read More About:Food

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Quick Tip

Aluminum foil and plastic wrap in a drawer

The flan can be baked up to 3 days in advance; refrigerate, loosely covered with plastic wrap. Unmold just before serving.