If you adore guacamole dips and enjoy starting your mornings with fresh avocado toast, you know how tasty and healthy this fruit can be. But to create any avocado dish, the first step is to get hold of good and perfectly ripe avocados. While it’s a tricky task for one to understand how to choose an avocado at a grocery store or a farmer’s market, it’s not impossible.
Also called alligator pears, these fruits with a large pit and leathery dark green skin have captured the hearts of many and are now a staple in their breakfast menus. Be it snacks, smoothies or desserts — trust the versatile avocado to make them all taste better. The fruit also has plenty of health benefits. According to Healthline, avocados are “a source of key nutrients, including healthy fats and fibre. They also contain anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds and may help reduce heart disease risk.”
However, it’s always challenging to choose a great avocado for your recipes. And given avocados are some of the most expensive fruits, learning how to avoid picking an unripe fruit can be considered the best shopping skill one can acquire. The key is to be able to identify the best level of ripeness of the fruit. If that is maintained, one can always expect to come home with the best avocados.
Want to know the right way to choose a ready-to-eat avocado the next time you go grocery shopping? Well, we have you covered.
Everything to know about picking the perfect avocado
What qualities to look for in a good avocado?
Variety – The first quality is choosing the right variety. Hass avocados are widely regarded as the best and the tastiest ones.
Colour – Even though one cannot always trust the ripe avocado to have the preferred dark green to nearly black skin shade, it’s always advisable to consider its colour. Avocados that ripen in 3-4 days would mostly have lighter green skin.
Taste – Any ready-to-eat avocado will be buttery and rich in taste.
Texture – Ripe avocados mostly have a bumpy texture, while unripe ones are soft-skinned.
Firmness – Firmness is a very important quality to look for in avocados. While the overripe avocado has a mushy texture, a perfectly ripe avocado will have a firmer-feeling skin.
How to pick the best avocado?
The following points are to be kept in mind while picking the best avocados:
- While comparing a group of avocados, look for the dark-skinned ones. These are most likely to be riper than others. However, avocado colour does not always suggest ripeness. So, be on the lookout for other indicators as well.
- Large indentations in the outer skin of avocados are a sign that the fruit is bruised.
- Place the avocado in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. If the avocado yields, then it is ready to be eaten. However, to avoid damaging the avocado in the process, it is important to note that the pressure should not come from the fingertips.
How to know the difference between a fresh and a ripe avocado?
There’s no fixed way to know the difference between unripe avocados and ready-to-eat avocados. Fresh avocados change from a light green tone to a dark-green colour and finally to a purplish black when ripe. However, ripeness is determined by consistency rather than by colour.
How to ripen avocados at home?
People often end up buying unripe avocados. In such circumstances, one can carry out the ripening process at home. While ripening them, it is important to keep in mind the following points:
- Spread the unripe avocados in direct sunlight. This will ripen them naturally.
- Take a bowl of rice and completely submerge your unripe avocados. Make sure they are covered from all sides. Uncooked rice has the ability to trap ethylene gas, which in return can fuel the ripening process of avocados.
- Place the unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with ethylene gas-producing fruits like apples, bananas and kiwis.
Never microwave or put an unripe avocado in the oven to ripen it. This method will lead to the avocado losing its rich flavour and creamy texture.
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India
(Main image: Art Rachen/Unsplash; Featured image: Marine Sintes/Unsplash)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Question: How to tell when an avocado is ripe?
Answer: A ripe avocado will yield when you apply light pressure with your palm.
Question: Are perfect avocados soft or hard?
Answer: While there’s no perfect texture for an avocado, the fruit should definitely be soft and creamy to eat. If not, that’s not a ready-to-eat avocado.
Question: Can you put avocados in the refrigerator?
Answer: Depends on your choice. For ripening avocados naturally, do not keep them in the refrigerator. But if they have already been cut open, then it is advisable to store them in the refrigerator.
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