This post might be old news to some, but I get so many questions about keeping avocados fresh that I thought I would dedicate a whole post to it. I have also included some tips on how to pick the perfect avocado.
I actually get a lot of questions about avocados in general. I can't imagine what gave people the impression that I would know anything about avocados, it is not like I talk about them constantly or eat one a day or anything! P.S. I love avocados!
Before I talk about how to keep avocados fresh, let's talk about choosing and buying an avocado. How do you know which one to get? Let's face it, it is just as an important decision as choosing a car, or some other life changing decision. After all, there are not many things in life worse than cutting into an avocado, after having been thinking about it all day (no? just me then?) and finding that it is brown the whole way through and just generally no good. Or cutting in to it and needing a saw because it is so unripe.
The greener the avocado, the less ripe it is. If it is really green, then it will take about 4-5 days to ripen at home, which is fine if you don't intend to use it for a few days. But, if you want to buy it and use it on the same day, then you want to choose one that is more of a darker purple colour. You can't always trust the colour though, so you will have to give it a gentle squeeze (with your hand, not your fingertips as that can cause bruising). A ripe avocado will give in to a little gentle pressure, but if it is really soft then it is over ripe and most likely brown inside. A quick tip - if you do buy one that is brown inside, don't instantly throw it. Scoop it out of the skin and slice the top off, usually the underneath is perfect.
Another way to check if it is ripe is to knock off the little stalk bit at the end, so you can see a little inside the avocado and that will give you an indication of the colour inside.
If all you could find were unripe avocados, then you are going to need to ripen them at home. They will ripen in about 4 days by keeping them at room temperature, but if you are impatient like me then you will want to speed up the process. To do this, you can place them in a brown bag with a banana and this will ripen them quicker - it really does work because both of those fruits release a gas that helps them ripen. If you want to slow down the ripening process, then you can put them in the fridge.
Not all of you eat a whole avocado at once, so you want to know how to store it without it going brown. Some ways to stop this from happening are:
- Keep the stone in the half that you are not using and store in the fridge.
- Squeeze lemon or lime juice over the avocado and put in an air-tight container in the fridge.
- Keep it in ice cold water (this methods is preferred by chefs).
- Pureed avocado or guacamole freezes really well, however whole avocados don't.
I know there are some of you out there who have still not tried an avocado before. Either because you are worried about what it tastes like or because you simply don't know what to do with them. Well, they have a butter/creamy taste to them that is kind of unique. Not unique in a weird way, but just that you can't really compare them to anything else. Don't be put off by the green flavour.
Don't know what to do with them? When I am lacking creativity, I just like to cut one open, sprinkle a little sea salt on it and eat it with a spoon. Some people might not feel that "adventurous" yet, so I think the best place to start is to make guacamole. Simply mash up an avocado with some red chilli, coriander (cilantro), lime juice and some sea salt and black pepper and either put on a sandwich in replace of mayo or add to any Mexican dish. Also, why not try our Creamy Avocado Pasta?
More avocado recipes
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