This Simple Trick Will Help Ripen Your Peaches

All you've been craving lately is a sweet, juicy peach, but — shoot! It's not peach season anymore. Chances are, you can still score some unripe peaches at your local grocery store, but then you're on your own. Luckily for you, it's easy to ripen peaches with this one simple trick. According to WikiHow, all you need is a paper bag and you're in business. Once you have your unripe peaches in hand, place them in your paper bag and leave them in a safe spot outside the fridge for a day or more.

Why a paper bag, you ask? Fruits like peaches naturally release ethylene gas, which is also sometimes added to fruits artificially to speed up the ripening process (via International Journal of Food Science). Placing peaches in a paper bag instead of plastic will hold in enough ethylene to ripen the peaches, without trapping in too much moisture, which The Kitchn says could cause them to rot.

How to ensure the ripest peaches

Once in the paper bag, it should take about a day or maybe a little longer for your peaches to reach peak ripeness. WikiHow says the speed at which they ripen depends on how far along they were to begin with and how many peaches are in the bag. If you don't have a paper bag, a linen cloth will also do. It might take a little longer, but wrap the fruit in the linen and tuck in all the sides to seal the bundle from outside air. For a little extra speed, add a banana to the bag or bundle; The Kitchn says these fruits give off a lot of ethylene and will hurry the process along. You can tell the peaches are ripe once they are a little bit soft and give off a sweet scent (via Parlee Farms). If a day in the bag doesn't do it, leave them for another 24 hours or so.

One other trick to properly ripening your fruit: don't refrigerate it! The cold interrupts the ripening process and can lead to mealy peaches (via WikiHow). The Chicago Tribune says that only when fruit is fully ripe should you store them in the fridge to prolong their life.