How to Ripen Avocados

Clayton Junior"I'm making guacamole, but the avocados are hard as rocks."

Vivian Tran, via e-mail

Originally appeared on RealSimple.com.

The Fix: Place avocados in a brown paper bag with a banana, then leave the bag on a sunny windowsill for 18 to 24 hours, says Joe Quintana, the New York City-based regional executive chef for the Rosa Mexicano restaurants. Together, the banana and the avocados release a large amount of ethylene gas, which can hasten ripening. (The heat may help speed the process, too.) If you can't wait a day, try this trick from California avocado grower Carol Steed: Place 2 peeled, pitted avocados in a blender with 1 cup peas (fresh, or frozen and thawed); pulse until smooth. The peas will help soften the consistency of the unripe avocados but won't affect the flavor.

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