IQ-tips: How to Ripen Fruit

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Don't you hate when you've got a hankering for a banana but all the ones in your fruit basket are green? Or you want to slice some avocado into your salad but they're hard as, well, unripened avocados? Here's a trick my mother taught me some years ago:
Fresh_Green_Cavendish_Banana_Philippines.jpg Place the bananas or avocados in a brown paper bag with a ripe apple inside. The fruit will emit ethylene gas, a naturally occurring hormone, which speeds up the ripening process. (It also stimulates flowers to open and leaves to turn colors in the autumn.)
Make sure you use a paper bag because plastic ones don't breathe well and moisture may build up in the bag causing the fruit to rot.
Interestingly, I've also heard that you can speed up the ripening process of a mango by doing the same trick only inserting a ripe banana into the bag, rather than an apple. (My hunch is the apple will work just as well.)
This classic ripening tip also works for kiwis, pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots"¦ just about anything. Give it a whirl and you'll see how great it works.

Check out previous IQ-tips here.

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October 21, 2008 - 2:00am
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