Secrets of Avocados

Shhhhh…let’s be very quiet and see if we can hear what this avocado is saying in its little green voice…“don’t squeeze me!”

Now I hear y’all saying, “but I HAVE TO SQUEEZE them! How else will I know which one to buy and if it is ripe and what if I want guacamole for a huge party tomorrow?!?”

avocado scream: don't squeeze me

Let me tell you how to treat avocados and we can all be so much happier. Seriously, if we can start an anti-avocado squeezing movement, everyone can have such pretty, happy avocados and no sad, little beat-up avocados will have to end their days in the trash.

Following are tips for having gorgeous Hass-type avocados at the ready, anytime you want one.

1. Look for color

Did you ever notice that the color of an avocado changes over time? It starts out as a bright grassy green and gradually darkens to almost black. So when you see a big pyramid of Hass avocados at the grocery store, look closely—the color of those skins are telling you a story. There’s no need to squeeze 20 of them to see which one is close to being ripe…the greener ones are definitely not ripe, and the blacker ones are closer to being ripe.

2. Feel, but don’t squeeze.

Unripe avocados, the brighter green ones, have a different feel from ripe avocados. Gently cup a still-green in your hand and feel the quality of the skin. It’s bumpier and feels more plump and thick. Then gently hold a nice black avocado in your hand. The skin will feel somewhat different: thinner and more separate from the flesh underneath it.

3. Buy green (non-ripe) avocados and wait it out.

We usually have gorgeous avocados at the ready around our house. When we cut them open, they are bruise-free and typically have unblemished flesh through and through. What’s the secret? I buy a number of avocados each week and set them out on the kitchen table or counter. Then I watch and wait. My husband and son know never to touch the avocados till we cut them open, if you get my drift. I hardly touch them myself.  Patience is important.

You may still need to very lightly squeeze your avocados a bit while you learn the ropes of discerning an avocado’s ripeness by color alone, but be observant of their qualities and you’ll find you need to touch them less and less to know. Make your test squeezes more of a touch than a real squeeze, because every time you squeeze an avocado, a fairy dies. Just kidding—but you do create bruises on your avocado for every squeeze, which is the real problem here. Now you know why bruised avocados tend to have little fingertip-shaped bruises sprinkled randomly around them.

4. Put perfectly ripe avocados in the fridge to hold them for additional days.

So, now you have some nice avocados that are ripe, but maybe you are not ready to eat all four of them. Put them in the fridge once they are at the nice sliceable stage, and they’ll stay like that for a few days, gradually ripening to guacamole level avocados over a week’s time. Don’t expect them to last much longer than that in the fridge; ideally you’ll eat them within 3-5 days

6. Bonus: Look for shape

Want an avocado that has lots of yummy flesh and not so much inedible seed? Look for avocados that have a longer, teardrop shape. Typically, the more squat the avocado’s shape is, the larger the seed will be.

Tricks for speeding avocado ripening

There’s a lot about this online, but here are a few tips I like. You can put them in a warmer place within your kitchen, or put them in a paper bag with a ripe banana or other ripe fruit, if you are really in a hurry. (A hurry being a couple days…if you need guacamole today, save your nerves and just buy fresh, handmade, store-bought guacamole, which many groceries make on site these days.)

If you accidentally don’t let an avocado get ripe enough and cut it open only to find it’s a little too firm for your taste, slice it thin, or try quick pickling underripe avocado.

So there you have it. Give our post a shout if you try these methods and send us any questions, or let me know what you think, in the comments below. I’d also be glad to hear more ideas. Spread the no-squeeze gospel and save the avocados!

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