If you are dealing with the case of unripe fruits, there is no more woe in waiting forever for them to ripe. Read on this article to find out what are the ways to ripen fruits faster! With some simple tips and tricks, you can speed up your fruit’s ripening process and enjoy them the way you want to!
There are those days that no matter how hard and how much time you have spent to plan ahead to get your fruits to be perfectly ripe in-time for your friend’s party or night-out gathering, yet that does not happen at all. But that’s just how life is, isn’t it? And you find yourself opening bags of underripe avocados, peaches, or bananas with a look of dismay written all over your face. You are looking just as sad as your underripe fruits.
But not all is at lost. Before you start scratching your head to scramble out a new menu and think of new recipes for the party, Science is here to save the day! You have plenty of ways to ripen fruits faster and it is mostly got to do with understanding the chemistry that is taking place inside them. So, let’s check out the ways to ripen fruits faster in a breezy manner!
Paper Bag Method
See, there are some fruits that produce a natural gas called ethylene which helps in the fruits’ ripening process. Climacteric fruits such as tomatoes, avocados, apples, melons, peaches, and more, produces ethylene. Its production of ethylene in these fruits are also known as autocatalytic, where an initial concentration of ethylene will cause the production of ethylene to increase. In other words, once the production of ethylene starts, these climacteric fruits will naturally increase the amount of signal made to increase their ripening. So, by having this knowledge now, you can use this natural process to your benefit by finding some ways to store these fruits in their own ethylene to speed up the ripening process.
So, whether you want to sweeten or soften a climacteric fruit, the solution to ripening it at home is to make use of its naturally occurring ethylene. That’s why there is the paper bag method. All you need is a paper bag for this, and you don’t have to put only one fruit into the paper bag. If there’s space to fit more of them, go ahead. Store the fruits in a brown paper bag and have it folded closed (but not fully). Closing the bag traps the ethylene inside the bag and also allows the fruits to have a slight amount of breathing so the fruit sugars can mature and acids break down. After some time, you can check for your fruits and see if they are ripe enough to eat.
Other fruits that will work with this paper bag method include but are not limited to:
- Kiwis. Apples. Blueberries. Avocados. Plums. Peaches. Tomatoes.
Here’s an Interesting Trivia:
Did you know that for the thousands of years, people have used all sorts of different techniques to boost ethylene production even when they had no idea that was what they were doing? For instance, the Ancient Egyptian harvesters would have the figs they collected slashed open to stimulate ripening. And Chinese farmers would leave pears in closed rooms with incense burning! Eventually, it would come to light in later research that wounding and high temperatures would trigger plants to produce ethylene.
This Banana method sounds like an unorthodox method, but it helps to ripen pears quickly. Since pears are one of the few fruits that taste better when they ripen off the tree rather than being on the tree, people would be quick to pick them off the trees before they are ready to be eaten. That means, it is possible for you to have an unripe pear in your hand without you realising—and they are very hard and bitter, so watch out for that.
Thankfully, you can easily ripe your own pears quickly through the banana method. All you have to do is place your pear in a bag with a ripe banana. Close the bag and let it stay in it for a day or two. You can guess what is the reason for placing the bananas in the bag with the pear… that’s right, to release ethylene faster. And you get ripe pears faster too!
Rice Bath Method
But what if you do not have any paper bags with you? Don’t worry, you can still have soft and ripe fruits without waiting too long. If you do not have paper bags, there is the rice bath method that you can consider. Don’t be surprised, this method isn’t new and typically, in Indian households, they would submerge their mangoes in a container of rice to increase the fruits’ ripening speed. The reason? Rice traps ethylene. So, get yourself a full bowl of rice and cover the underripe mango with it. Since the rice will trap the mango around in ethylene, your mango will be ready to be eaten in a day or two. Again, it’s the same concept as to placing an underripe fruit into a brown paper bag.
You can tell that your mango is ripe enough to eat when it is sweet and juicy on the inside. Anything other than just means it is still unripe. Here are some quick shopping tips: If you do not intend to eat a mango for a few days while you are shopping, consider buying the ones that are a little firmer so they can be perfectly ripe by the time you intend to use them. Meanwhile, if you want mangoes that you can eat right away, give them a gentle pressure. A mango that gives too much to gentle pressure may be too ripe. These soft mangoes are great if you are planning to turn them into smoothie or slushies. However, if you find some mangoes to be completely mushy, just avoid those.
Linen Napkin or Tea Towel Method
This works specifically for peaches. Peaches are one of those fruits where it can be difficult to tell its level of ripeness simply by looking at them. If you have ever returned home from grocery shopping with a bag full of peaches only to find out that many of them are underripe, we are here to help. Nobody wants to sink their teeth into a hard and stringy peaches—what we want are juicy and mouth-watering peaches!
The solution here is simple! Grab a tea towel or a linen napkin and lay it flat on a counter or table. Then place your peaches on the tea towel with their stem side down, but don’t let them touch. Then place another piece of the cloth on top and gently tuck the peaches in the sides so they get covered (comfortably). Make sure the peaches aren’t touching each other on the tea towel. Let the peaches stay that way. In a few days, check on them and enjoy the sweetness and juiciness of your ripe peaches! Check out our beverage recipe for a refreshing Momo Chizu that uses peaches!
You will know when they are ready because peaches give off a strong, fragrant scent and their stem sides will have flattened a bit. If your peach lets out an irresistible sweet scent, you can bet on it being ready. Also, to be sure, you can feel the peach to tell if it’s ripe; a fully ripe peach will feel soft.
What’s the conclusion here?
To summarise, while we all know it is best to let nature take its course and let fruits ripen on their own, it is always nice to know that there are some solutions to speed up nature a bit, especially when you are in a hurry for ripe fruits! If you have loved this article, check out other ones such as How to Stop Avocados from Browning and the Simple Steps to Store Herbs to Last Longer for your needs.
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