The Best Way To Ripen Fruit Quickly

Because no one wants green bananas.
The Best Way To Ripen Fruit Quickly

Photo, iStock.

If you've got a bunch of green bananas, or a carton of rock-hard peaches, fear not — there's a way to make them softer and juicier stat. All you need are some brown paper bags — and just a little bit of time.

How to turn green bananas yellow

Sometimes, the grocery store only has green bananas, which is a real bummer if you're craving one immediately (or even the next day). To hasten the ripening process, stick your bananas (perhaps do a few at a time to make your bunch last longer) in a brown paper bag. Bananas emit ethylene gas as they ripen, and the brown paper bag will help trap it to speed up the process. If you want to move things along even more, place an apple or tomato in the bag along with your bananas (apples also produce ethylene gas). They should be ready in up to a day.

To get soft bananas even faster, poke a few holes in the peel and stick 'em in the microwave for about 30 seconds. (This method is best if you need ripe bananas for banana bread, not a healthy, on-the-go snack.)

How to ripen tomatoes

Yes, tomatoes are a fruit! Use the handy paper bag trick for softer, more flavourful tomatoes. Place unripe, green tomatoes in a paper bag, along with an apple to speed up the ripening process.

How to ripen a mango

It's all about the paper bag for mangoes. However, you can also try submerging your mango in a container of rice or popcorn kernels if you want to try something new. Whichever method you choose, your mango should be soft enough to eat in a about a day.

How to ripen stone fruit

While the paper bag trick would also work for stone fruit, Food52 recommends a gentler method for delicate fruit, such as peaches. Place hard peaches between two towels and wait a few days until they smell deliciously peachy. (Be sure to store ripe stone fruit in the fridge as it'll go bad quickly on the counter.)

If your bananas are starting to get mushy, stick them in the freezer and then make an almond butter banana sundae


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