Are you looking for a way to ripen an avocado quickly? You cannot even imagine how many times I could not find a ripe avocado in the supermarket. If you have faced the same problem and need a guacamole-ready avocado asap, in that case, this post is for you. I will show several methods used if you want to ripen a hard avocado fast and efficiently.
Avocado is a large berry that grows in Mediterranean and tropical climates. Its wide distribution began relatively recently. Maybe it is the reason why many sellers are still not accustomed to the peculiarities of fruit transportation and storage. You can have at the same time overripe and unripe avocados on the shelves.
How to tell if an avocado is ripe
To get the best avocado, you need to know some main signs of ripeness for this unusual berry. Although many advise you to choose dark green fruit, it is impossible to judge the maturity of the fruit by the color of its peel. There are several varieties of this berry. Yes, the most common one has dark green colored skin, but there are varieties of light green, brown and dark brown.
Key signs of ripeness to look for:
- When gently pressed, a ripened avocado yields. Note that the dent should quickly disappear and the shape restore.
- The pulp under the small stem at the top should not have any dark spots or indentations and be green or yellow.
- If you gently press the pulp where the stem has been, a droplet of oil can appear.
- When shaken, you can hear a slight tapping of the seed.
Let’s see what the signs of a good avocado are when you cut it:
- You can cut an avocado without any effort.
- The pulp has an even light green color without any spots and dots.
- You can easily separate the seed from the pulp of the avocado.
However, always remember that better bring home an unripped avocado than the overripe one. An overripe avocado can taste bitter, be covered with black dots on the inside, have an unpleasant mushy texture, and quickly go bad.
Fast way to ripen avocado
A ripe avocado is a unique source of great micronutrients. To help the avocado ripen, you need to show little patience and use only appropriate methods. After purchasing an unripe avocado, you can bring it to ripeness at home or make it soft enough for further cooking. These two following methods are great for softening avocados.
Before you start, you should always keep in mind that the artificial softening of avocado can lead to a change in taste. After heat treatment, avocados may lose their distinct flavor and become bland. However, they still can be used for guacamole, salads, and smoothies.
How to Ripen Avocados in a Microwave
If you are looking for the quickest way to ripen a hard avocado to make a homemade sauce, pasta, or cocktail, then you can use a microwave to soften an avocado. Remember that this technique affects the taste of the fruit:
- Pierce the fruit with a fork from all sides.
- Place it on the microwave-safe plate and cover it with a napkin.
- Put it into the microwave and turn it on for 30 seconds at the highest power.
- If necessary, microwave for another 30 seconds.
Let the fruit cool down before cutting it and further using in the recipe. If there is absolutely no time to wait, there is an even faster way:
- Cut an unripe avocado in half.
- Remove the seed and use a spoon to scoop out the pulp into a microwave-safe bowl.
- Then wrap the bowl with cling film and microwave for 30 seconds.
You can use the avocado pulp ripened in the microwave for traditional homemade guacamole recipes, sauces, smoothies, and cocktails.
How to Ripen Avocados in the Oven
While using the following method, you should strictly follow the time limit for ripening avocado in the oven. Since as a result, you can have a baked avocado instead. Try not to overcook avocados in the oven, you won’t like the result:
- Preheat the oven to 360°F/180°C.
- Wrap the avocado in a foil; avoid leaving any gaps.
- Keep it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.
However, this method has a huge flaw. Although the avocado becomes soft in the oven, it loses its bright green color and acquires a specific aroma and aftertaste.
Best way to ripen an avocado at home
You can ripen avocados at home using other ways that won’t change the taste and allow the fruit to ripen naturally. The process itself will take several days and requires fulfillment of certain conditions. An avocado can fully ripen when its seed is fully ripe. Until this happens, the pulp performs a protective function in relation to the seed, being tough and dense. Here is the way how to get an avocado ripe with other fruits.
The ripening itself is the result of some definite running biochemical processes. The main feature of this mechanism is the so-called respiration of fruits, aka breathing. Stone fruits can breathe more intensively if you apply additional stimulation factors. Any ripe fruit releases ethylene, which will help the avocado ripen faster.
- Take a ripe banana, apple, or even tomato and wrap the fruit tightly, along with an unripe avocado, in the paper or a paper bag.
- Wrap the fruits with cling film so that air does not penetrate inside. If you have a ziplock bag, then you use it to store avocados with fruit.
- Keep the bag with avocado inside the kitchen cupboards where the sunlight cannot reach it.
With the following method, you will need 5 to 7 days for the avocado to ripen. Yes, it is not 30 seconds in the microwave. However, as a result, you get a fruit full of nutrients that tastes delicious and has a perfect soft texture.
How to ripen a cut avocado
Sometimes you are sure that the avocado is ripe enough to use for your recipe. But when you cut it in half, you were in for a big disappointment. Do not get upset, as there several methods that you can use to ripen already cut avocados. The first thing to remember, do not take out the seed out of the cut half. It can help with the ripening process:
- Generously smear avocado halves with lemon juice. Put them into an airtight container with a cut side up and close with a lid. Store in the refrigerator. Lemon juice can slow down the oxidation process and activate the softening of tissues and the breakdown of organic acids. All this leads to the ripening of the fruit.
- Instead of lemon juice, you can also use olive oil. The oil softens the pulp and envelops the pores, preventing air from entering. Generously smear the halves with olive oil and put them into the container. Store in the fridge.
- Onion is our third option. Cut onion can activate the process of tissue softening in the avocado pulp. Do not worry about the smell; it does not penetrate the pores of the avocado and does not change its taste characteristics. Place sliced or chopped onion at the bottom of the airtight container and put the avocado halves on top of it. Close the container and put it in the refrigerator.
Do not use plastic bags for this method. They can lead to condensation; the fruit will begin to rot and lose all its beneficial properties.
The most obvious disadvantage of this method for ripening an avocado is the inability to determine ripeness by appearance. To understand whether the fruit has reached the desired ripeness, take it out of the container and simply taste it.
Unfortunately, you have to try them all to determine which method is best for you, as they have different results and time frames. Choose the one that suits you best, and share your thoughts with us!