while i don’t consider myself an expert, i LOVE avocados. i have been eating a lot more of them lately too as i’ve tried to incorporate healthy and satisfying fats into my diet. there is nothing more annoying than picking out avocados at the store to find when you get home that they are rotten. boo. so, here are my tips for knowing not only when an avocado is ripe, but also whether or not it is rotten:
i think most of us know, a green avocado is not ripe. a mushy shriveled black avocado is over-ripe. i usually buy my avocados when they look like the second picture – a tiny bit green, but mostly dark brown. that way if i don’t use them that day, or the next day, they will be just perfect and look like #3 by the time i want to eat them.
it was once explained to me that an avocado should “give”, but not mush, much like different parts of your face. if your avocado feels like your forehead, it is too firm and not ripe. (you can still buy avocados that aren’t ripe- they will ripen! avocados naturally ripen OFF the tree, so that’s fine – just don’t get impatient!) if an avocado feels like your cheek, it is too ripe and chances are it is bruised. when you push gently on an avocado, you want it to feel like the end of your nose– soft, but not too soft.
3. how to make sure your avocado isn’t rotten:
i have followed tips 1 and 2 as long as i can remember, but this last one was a revelation thanks to my local produce man. such a lifesaver! i hate when an avocado looks and feels like it’s just right and then you cut into it to find it all bruised and nasty inside. here is my secret tip to avoid that.
see that little stem there? if you pop it off gently with your thumb, you will see one of two things – a nice green spot (= healthy, unbruised yummy avocado) or a black, moldy spot (=nasty, bruised, yucky avocado). isn’t that fantastic!?!? no don’t go all willy nilly in the grocery store popping off all the tops of the avocados. those stems help to keep the avocado from going bad, so if you find a nice green one, snatch it up and take it home- don’t leave it there to get yucky faster than it would have with it’s top still in tact. i don’t feel bad about leaving the yucky ones there- they are already a lost cause!
hope these tips help to pick out the perfectly ripe avocado!