Now that the summer has officially arrived it's time to crack out those classic party snacks that everyone knows and loves. When you're in a pinch, nachos with salsa or guacamole is the perfect way to keep guests happy before the main event of dinner. Now, as we all know, the key to a fantastic guac is the avocado. But what happens when your avocados aren't exactly ripe yet and you don't have a few days to wait for them to reach their peak? Don't call off the guac or avocado spread just yet because there are ways to ripen an avocado on your own.

How To Ripen An Avocado

a woman holding a cut open avocado

There are many different kinds of avocados out there, and though not all of them are sold in North American grocery stores, we still have a lot to choose from. Depending on the color of your avocado's skin and what kind you're dealing with, the ripening times will differ. There are ways to tell if your avocados are ripe when you buy them or how long you'll need to wait, but when you don't have the time to wait, you can speed up the process.

The Paper Bag Method

This has been a tried and true method for avocado-lovers over the years. The ethylene gas of the apples and bananas will help to ripen the avocado in such a confined space. Typically, this method will allow for your avocado to ripen in 1-3 days, though if you don't keep any additional fruit in the bag the process could take a while longer.

It might not be the most preferred method of someone who's hoping to get their avocados going in the same day, but this is something you can try at home.

  • If you stick your unripe avocado into a brown paper bag with an apple or banana, it should be good to go in a few days.
  • Make sure that the bag has no holes in it in and that it's sealed as much as possible. Keep it out of the sun, too, so that things don't overheat.

The Aluminum Foil Method

Another method you can try is to firmly wrap your unripe avocados in aluminum foil.

  • Wrap them with a big enough piece of foil that you can securely cover the avocado without any air reaching it.
  • Next, preheat the oven to 200 degrees F and once the oven is nice and hot, place your wrapped avocado on a baking sheet and place it in the oven.
  • Wait for about 10-15 minutes, take your avocado out and let it cool completely.
  • Then remove the foil and enjoy a softened avocado.
an avocado in a bowl

It's only natural to wonder how to ripen an avocado properly when you've got dinner or appetizers to make. But these simple methods will allow for you to enjoy a ripened avocado without needing to wait 3-4 days for it. Whip up some guacamole or a nice avocado spread for guests, or even just for yourself! The little superfood is a terrific addition to your appetizers or dinner and there's no reason why you shouldn't be rushing to have it!

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