How To Choose The Right Avocado and Quicken the Process for Your Under-Ripe Ones!

My daughters and I have an obsession and it’s not chocolate or unicorns- it’s avocados!! This tasty little power food is our favorite way to compliment so many meals- avocado toast, tacos, salads, sandwiches/wraps, quesadillas, chicken and rice, cottage cheese- there isn’t much that doesn’t taste better with a little avocado! However, as tasty as a perfect avocado is, an avocado that is too ripe or that isn’t ripe enough is quite nasty- but you can avoid this with the right knowledge ;).

When purchasing avocados, it’s best to have a general meal plan so you know when you’ll be using them. If you’re wanting to use avocados that night, find ones that are that deep purple color, and have just a little give when you push them. You don’t want them too mushy, though, as that’s a sure sign they’re overripe! If you’re planning on using your avocados several days in the future, then pick the greener ones, as they’ll still need a few days to ripen, which will put them at the perfect “ripeness” when you need them!

Here’s another little handy trick to see if an avocado is ripe or not- because sometimes those outer skins can be a little deceiving! Pull off the stem of the avocado - the tiny little knob at the tip. It’s like a peephole into the inside of the avocado, showing you exactly what’s going on inside! If your avocado is a deep purple, and you see a beautiful bright green when you pick off that stem, well congratulations- you’ve got the perfect avocado in hand! However, if you pick off that stem and see brown, the avocado is going to be a little too ripe, and you’ll want to pick a different one. If you’re having a hard time getting the stem off at all, then you know your avocado needs a little more time to ripen.

However, sometimes when you go to the store, all that’s left are a bunch of bright green avocados, and you need an avocado within the next day or two. Fear not, there are a couple tricks to help you quicken that process!

The first method is the best way to go if you don’t want to sacrifice the taste. When you get home, place your avocado in a paper bag with another piece of fruit, like a banana or tomato. Within the next several hours you should be seeing a much riper avocado! (You’ll probably need to use the avocado the next day, unless you start this process early in the morning). This process works because you are trapping all the ethylene gas that is being emitted from the fruit, and this is what actually triggers the ripening process. You can just put the avocado in the paper bag by itself, but it will take a couple more days to ripen.

The second method is really only if you’re desperate, and if you don’t mind sacrificing the taste of a fully ripe avocado. Wrap your avocado in tin foil, place it in a baking dish, and bake at 200 degrees for 10 minutes or until soft (at that perfect ripe texture). While this is definitely not the way to go if you’re looking for the perfect avocado, it might work for you if you’re really in a bind! (It also probably works better for avocados that are just a little under-ripe, rather than avocados that are still green and rock-hard).

So hopefully next time you go to the grocery store, you know exactly what to look for, and if you have to grab an avocado that’s not quite ripe enough, you have a couple tricks up your sleeve to help!


    Camille Hoffmann
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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