The Simple Rice Trick To Help Ripen Fruit

Rice is a staple in cuisines across the globe. It can be seen in everything from savory classic seafood paella to sweet mango sticky rice. But the grain is also known for much more than its culinary capabilities. It can be used as a closet deodorizer, helps to dry out a waterlogged phone, and can ripen fruit.

To get the best flavor and texture, eating fruits at the peak of ripeness is crucial. However, waiting on them to soften and sweeten can take days, which feels excruciatingly long. Instead of letting nature take its course, speed things up by dropping the fruit in a container of rice.  

Fruits like apples, avocados, mangoes, figs, peaches, and bananas produce ethylene gas, which aids in the ripening process. By placing fruits that are just beginning to ripen in a container of rice, the grain traps the gas instead of releasing it into the air, shortening the ripening time by a few days. Enclose the fruit in a bag filled with rice and check it every day to see when the fruit reaches your desired level of ripeness.

Follow these tips to ripen fruit quickly

One of the most common fruit ripening tricks is to use a paper bag. This method works similarly to the rice hack — when enclosed in a paper bag, the ethylene gas being released is trapped in the bag, which speeds up the ripening process. But to quickly ripen an avocado, you may want to include another fruit that's already ripe.

With a ripe banana, or apple, present in the paper bag, the amount of ethylene gas being produced is doubled, speeding up the ripening process even more. Store the paper bag in a dry, room-temperature environment.

If you're short on paper bags, try placing your fruit in the sun for faster ripening. While the sunlight itself has little to do with fruit growing riper, the heat does. Fruits tend to mature faster in the heat; however, they can also spoil quickly, so check on them frequently if you're going to leave them outside.