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/ Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

Avocados are a lovable but tricky fruit.

A deceptively ripe avocado can ruin a perfectly good lunch of avocado toast (unless you're Chip Gaines, of course). Waiting for avocados to ripen when all the other guacamole ingredients are ready to roll, can be a painstaking experience too. And what happens when you have the ring and you're all ready to propose but your avocado-box isn't ready yet!?

Luckily, avocados in all their light green, fleshy glory can be as little as minutes away thanks to the five "Bs" of the perfect avocado.

1. Buy it ripe.

When a hankering for a good avocado hits, the best thing to do is buy it ripe and ready. A giant pile of green to brown bulbs at the market can be overwhelming. Not to worry, it's easy to find the right kind of ripe. First, check the color (most avocado varieties are best at their darkest, nearly black shade). Then, hold the avocado in the palm of your hand and squeeze gently to check if it's soft but slightly firm (throw those mush balls back). Finally, pluck its stem off to make sure it's green, not brown underneath.

2. Brown bag them.

When an avocado is too much of an evergreen rock to ripen naturally on the counter in three or four days, place it in a breathable container like a brown paper bag. The avocado will bathe in its own natural ethylene gas, the chemical that causes it to ripen.

3. Boost ripening time ... with bananas.

Guess what else has ethylene gas? Apples, kiwis and bananas! PureWow advised avo-enthusiasts to double up on fruit in the brown paper bag to expedite the three to four day process.

4. Bake them.

Justin Chapple, the test kitchen pro behind Food & Wine's Mad Genius Tips, showed TODAY Food the best way to ripen an avocado in minutes ... in the oven! This works for avocados that are dark but firm. For unripe avocados that are green, allow them hang out in a paper bag for a couple of days first. Here's how to do it: Wrap the avocados tightly in foil. Bake at 200 F for 10-15 minutes, until softened slightly but not warmed.

5. Brrr! A cold avocado is a happy avocado.

When an avocado is ripe, but the party isn't until tomorrow, follow the wise advice of The California Avocado Commission. Don't let those perfect, creamy 'cados go bad sitting out in the sun. Instead, pop them in the fridge so they maintain their delicious state a bit longer.