Avocados are a lovable but tricky fruit.
A deceptively ripe avocado can ruin a perfectly good lunch of avocado toast. But waiting for avocados to ripen when all of the other guacamole ingredients are ready to roll can be a painstaking experience, too.
Luckily, avocados in all their light-green, fleshy glory can be just minutes away, thanks to the five Bs of achieving the perfect avocado:
1. Buy them ripe.
When a hankering for a good avocado hits, truly 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. But 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 green-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 ripening process. As a bonus, you'll have super-ripe bananas you can use to make a delightfully decadent banana bread.
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 still very firm. For totally unripe avocados that are green, allow them hang out in a paper bag for a couple of days first, if possible. But here's how to bake 'em: Wrap the avocados tightly in foil. Bake at 200 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, until the fruit is 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 perfectly delicious state a bit longer.
Need some avo-inspiration? Try these recipes!