Simple Hack to Tell if an Avocado is Ripe or Bad

source: Flickr

I can’t live without avocados. Honestly, I use them in almost every meal. Breakfast? Avocado toast. Lunch? A rather large portion of salad with avocado cut into cubes. Dinner? It could be as basic as having bread with avocado and olive oil on it, and I am a happy woman. My children, on the other hand, are a different case. This does not mean that I don’t try; they just will not eat it. It’s like they are intolerant of the mere thought of eating something green and paste-like. As a joke, I sometimes say that my life goal is to raise children who will like avocados. Sure, it is such a healthy fruit with vitamins and good fat content. But how to pick the right avocado at the grocery store? That’s a whole new can of worms; a whole new problem to solve.

This is something I have done more times than I can even begin to remember – picked overripe or even rotten avocados. It annoyed me! So, I decided to find out how one can always select the right avocado. These are some of the tricks and tips that I have learned over the years.

source: Flickr

Ways of Telling the Ripe Avocado from the Unripe One

The first thing that you should learn about avocados is that they do not ripen while still on the tree. They continue to mature even after they are picked from the tree. So, when you find yourself in a grocery store looking at a basket of avocados, you have to become somewhat of an avocado expert.

The Squeeze Test

Do not press the avocado with all your strength; you do not want to mash it and be left with avocado paste. To check for ripeness, an avocado should slightly give in to pressure applied on it. It should give a little when you press it but not to the extent of being squishy. If it is very hard to the touch, then it is not ripe yet. If it feels soft and has a lot of give, then it is overripe.

source: Flickr

The Color Test

Check the color of the skin of the avocado while at the store. Hass avocados, which are the most common type, turn from dark green to almost black when ripe. An avocado which is ripe to perfection will be a dark green to purple color.

The Stem Test

Here’s a viral method that works wonders: to check the ripeness of the avocado, cut off a small cap from the top. If it can be removed easily and it reveals green flesh underneath, then you have a ripe avocado. In case it has brown color on the skin, especially on the bottom, the avocado is overripe (It will soon go bad). If it is white, then it’s probably rotten inside.

source: Pexels

Can I Eat the Avocado That Has Not Reached Its Desired Softness?

Now, here’s the thing. It does not mean that one will be adversely affected by eating an unripe avocado, but it definitely will not taste good. Green avocados are not as soft, not as creamy, and have a somewhat bitter taste compared to ripe ones. To quickly soften the fruit in case you want to use it in a short while, it is recommended to place the avocado in a brown paper bag with a banana or an apple. These fruits give off ethylene gas, which hastens the ripening process of fruits. Open it daily, and it should be ripe in two days.

Can I Consume Avocado That Has Turned Brown?

You have just divided your avocado, and it turns out to be brown. Can I consume it? The change of color to brown in avocados is due to oxidation, where the flesh gets in contact with air. Although it may not be very appealing to the eyes, it is still safe to consume. But in case of an overripe avocado, which is soft, has a sour smell, or even a bad taste, it is better to discard it. Those are signs it has gone bad.

source: Flickr

Instructions on How to Cut an Avocado

It looks easy, but there is a right way to cut an avocado. First, it is necessary to rinse the avocado to get rid of the bacteria and dirt on the skin. With a sharp knife, one has to make a cut through the avocado in a longitudinal manner through its middle part up to the seed. Turn the two halves in opposite directions to split them apart. To extract the seed, first, cut the seed slightly, then turn it and pull it out. Last but not least, you have to scoop out the flesh or cut it while it is still in the skin and then scoop it out.

source: Pexels

I just want to share a short story of when I had a mini avocado accident. I was having a few friends over for brunch and, obviously, I wanted to prepare my special avocado toast. The previous day I bought a number of avocados assuming that they were all ripe and good to go. Brunch time came, I sliced the first one, and it was very, very hard, like a rock. The second one? Overripe and brown. I was already perspiring slightly. My husband stared at me as if I had gone crazy and began to check the other avocados maniacally. Finally, I managed to get a couple that were perfectly ripe, though it was a close shave. That’s when I realized that I really needed to up my avocado-picking game.

source: Pexels

Well, I basically know all there is to know about avocados. My children still don’t want to eat them, but my husband and I can enjoy perfectly ripe avocados often. Perhaps, one day, my children will come around. For now, I will keep giving them reasons why they should eat avocados and pray for a change of heart.

To get the best avocado, you should invest time and effort. Try these tips, and the next thing you know, you will be selecting perfect avocados every time.