You stocked up on half a dozen avocados and put them in the fridge so they wouldn't all ripen at the same time. But if you're mildly obsessed like me and eat an avocado a day, you need a ripe avocado now. Here are two ways to ripen an avocado fast.
The Banana Bag Hack
All you need are a banana and a brown bag. Bananas contain a natural plant hormone called ethylene that speeds up the ripening process. So when you place your hard avocado in a closed brown bag with a banana, the ethylene gas gets trapped, surrounds your avocado, and helps to soften it faster than if your avocado was just sitting on the counter.
If you don't have a banana, an apple or kiwi will work, too. You could also just place the avocado in a brown bag alone since it also emits ethylene gas - it just will ripen slower than if it's paired with one of those fruits. Depending on how hard your avocado is, this could work as fast as overnight. Get excited for avocado toast in the morning!
The Sun Hack
Don't have a banana, apple, or kiwi? That's OK. Heat also helps ripen avocados faster; that's why fruit ripens faster on your counter in the summertime. Place your unripe avocados in a warm area of your home, like on the windowsill, near the oven, or near a heater. You can even combine these two hacks and place your avocado-banana bag in a warm spot.
I have a system in place now so that I always have a ripe avocado on hand. I keep a few in the fridge so they stay unripe. I put a few in my fruit basket next to a bunch of bananas to start the ripening process. And then I put one or two in a bag with a banana so I always have a perfectly soft avocado waiting for me. Every time I use one, I take one out of the fridge and put it in the fruit basket. Then I take one from the fruit basket and put it in the bag. When I run out of avocados, it's time to go shopping to stock up on more. It's a beautiful cycle, isn't it?