How Can I Soften an Avocado?

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Avocados don't ripen until after they're picked, so they often show up at the grocery store green and hard. It can take an avocado a week or longer to fully ripen at room temperature, and refrigerated storage just lengthens that amount of time. With a little planning, you can speed up the process so your avocados soften and develop their full flavor and creamy texture in less than week.

Step 1

Place one to three avocados in a brown paper bag. The bag traps ethylene gas, which helps speed avocado ripening.

Step 2

Place a ripe banana or apple in the bag with the avocados. The ripe fruit emits more ethylene gas to further speed the ripening of the avocado.

Step 3

Fold the paper bag opening down to seal it closed and trap the gas. Leave the bag on the counter at room temperature for two to five days.

Step 4

Check the avocados daily for ripeness. A ripe avocado yields slightly under gentle pressure and the skin usually changes from green to nearly black.