ripen avocado

No doubt, I’m a bit obsessed with avocados. I pretty much eat them every day in some form in my lunch – guacamole or fresh. I regularly stock my fridge with Wholly Guacamole although I prefer just a fresh avocado cut up. But I need the guac because finding that perfect Avocado is a delicate science.

How many times have you bought an avocado, only to cut into it to make guacamole the next day and find it’s still hard?

Or the opposite, cut into it and it’s too soft and brown.

Today I’m sharing tips on having the perfect avocado. I recently did a Twitter party and we talked all about produce. I learned some cool things about ways to both ripen an avocado and ways to tell when it’s perfect. Here’s what I learned:

To ripen an avocado:

  1. Brown Paper Bag & Fruit {Moderate speed-up} – I was skeptical about this one but it really works! Google it and you’ll see it’s talked about everywhere. If you have an avocado that’s still hard and you need to hurry it along, place it in a brown lunch bag with either an apple or a banana.There’s ethylene gas in the apple/banana that speeds things along. Fold up the brown bag and leave it on the counter for 24 hours. The result is amazing! (Extra tip – need to make it go even faster? Put several apples or bananas in the bag with the avocado.)
  2. Sunshine & your windowsill {Slow speed-up}- this one can take a few days depending on how ripe your avocado is but it’s faster than leaving it in a shaded produce box.
  3. Oven & foil – {Fastest} you can apparently wrap an unripe avocado in foil and put it in your oven. Set the oven to 200 degrees and try it for 15 minutes. It works! Not everyone loves this option because your avocado’s then warm and it’s easy to overcook it so be sure to test it until you find the right amount of time for your oven.

To tell if it’s ready:

I also have made the mistake of cutting into an avocado thinking it’s ready and then being bummed when I realize it’s not and I’ve now wasted what would have been a good avocado several days later had I just waited.

So I learned some tips on how to tell it’s ready from the outside without opening it:

The stem is really your biggest clue as to what your avocado looks like inside, short of cutting into it.

Here’s two avocados I had in my kitchen:

They look kind of similar and both look like they would be ripe and good, right?

In removing the stem (the little nub on the top), you can get answers on how your avocado is coming along inside. Note – if the stem doesn’t come off easily, then it’s definitely not ripe

With these two above, the one on the left should be perfect. It shows a little green/yellow in it. The one on the right is going to have some brown because it’s brown.

Let’s see how they looked once I cut into them:

The bottom avocado is perfect and the one that had the green under the steam. The one above is actually surprisingly good for having been as brown as it is – but you can see that this is turning as it has all the brown veins. And it will not taste as fresh or good.

Lastly, there’s the tried squeeze it and feel how soft it is! Note – do not squeeze too hard! Sometimes just the act of squeezing an avocado to test it can bruise it and cause browning.

Related posts:
Avocado & Feta Dip
The Ultimate Green Smoothie

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