How to Ripen a Kiwi (Without It Turning to Mush)

how to ripen kiwi

Fuzzy, tangy and freakin’ adorable, kiwis are also pretty damn versatile. They add brightness to smoothies, make for Instagram-worthy tarts and are totally delicious in a spicy margarita (seriously, try it). But they can just as easily be enjoyed when eaten on their own with a spoon. Another reason we love kiwis? They can be stored for weeks. Simply put them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator (away from other foods) and they’ll sit there quite happily for up to one month. But what should you do when you want to eat your kiwifruit ASAP? When it comes to ripening a kiwi, the best method is simple: Just pick the right type of fruit and put it out on the kitchen counter. Let’s break it down.

1. Choose the right type of kiwifruit.

When choosing a kiwi at the grocery store, opt for one that doesn’t have any blemishes or dark spots on the skin. The fruit should feel firm in your hands. And don’t worry about the size; the smaller fruits taste the same as larger ones.

2. Put the kiwi in the refrigerator until you want to ripen it.

Remember what we said about kiwis being super easy to store? Unripe kiwis will keep in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator for about four weeks. Just make sure to store them on their own so that they don’t come into contact with other foods, which can speed up the ripening process.

3. When ready, put the fruit out at room temperature.

Your kitchen countertop will work great. Here, the kiwi should ripen in about three to five days. But keep the kiwi out of direct sunlight, which can cause discoloring or even rotting. If you want to bite into a juicy kiwi sooner than that, you can speed up the process by placing the fruit in a paper bag with an apple or banana. These fruits emit ethylene gas, which will help the kiwi ripen in about a day or two.

4. Test your fruit for ripeness.

Gently press the outside of the fruit with your thumb. It should yield to slight pressure when ripe.

Can you freeze kiwi?

Yep, you can totally freeze kiwifruit. Here’s how: First, make sure the fruit is fully ripe. Then remove the skin (here’s an easy hack for how to peel a kiwi) and cut the fruit into slices. Place the fruit on a cookie sheet or tray and freeze. Once frozen, place the slices in a sealable bag. The fruit will retain its vibrant color and sweetness—great for juices and smoothies.

3 Health Benefits of Kiwi

They can help treat asthma. According to a study published in Thorax, the high amount of vitamin C in kiwi may help protect against asthma. Researchers found that children who ate the most citrus and kiwifruit (defined as five to seven servings per week) had 44 percent less incidence of wheezing compared to those eating the least (less than once a week).

Kiwis can help boost the immune system. You know the theory that a healthy dose of vitamin C may help ward off a cold? Well, according to a review published in the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, kiwis may support immune function and reduce the incidence and severity of cold or flu-like illness in at-risk groups such as older adults and children.

They can help lower blood pressure. According to a 2014 Norwegian study, bioactive substances from consuming three kiwis a day can lower blood pressure more than eating one apple a day. This can help decrease the risk for conditions caused by high blood pressure like stroke or heart attack. Not too shabby.

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