It’s no secret, avocados are delicious but they are notoriously difficult to shop for and it always seems like the freshest ones are gone whenever you want to go to the store (I have friends that actually time shopping trips around when fresh avocados will be delivered). So today’s blog post is all about avocados. We’re going to cover
- Avocado Facts You Should Know
- How to Shop For Avocados
- How to Tell if an Avocado is Ripe
- How to Keep an Avocado Fresh for Longer
- How to Cut an Avocado
- How to See if an Avocado is Bad
And more. So let’s get started!
Most avocados are grown in Mexico because of the year-round growing season for Hass avocados there. However, you can get domestic avocados from California from April through July (late spring until summer/early fall) and from Florida from May through November (summer until mid-winter).
A Hass avocado is probably the first variety to come to mind. They’re from Mexico and are available year-round. Their soft, buttery, texture makes them excellent for almost everything, especially guacamole and Avocado Toast
Yes, there are many varieties and each will taste different depending on the fat and oil content of the variety and when the avocado was picked. Look what’s available around you, but my favorite besides the Hass is the Gwen variety from Guatemala. They can come in many shapes and grow to weigh up to 2 lbs!
Yes, avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids which can help lower cholesterol levels. One avocado contains 30% of the daily value of vitamin C, 10% of the daily value for vitamin K and 12% of the daily value for folate.
They also contain plenty of fiber to help with digestion, more potassium than a banana, and plenty of antioxidants which many studies have shown to have a wide variety of benefits including; a better immune system, fighting inflammation and a reduced risk of age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Here are three things to look for:
- The skin should be dark green and bumpy (if there’s no bumpiness the avocado was picked too early).
- Gently squeeze the outside of the avocado. Ripe avocado should give in slightly to gentle pressure, it’s ripe; if the avocado is too hard and resists pressure, try another one.
- Check the stem on top of the avocado by pulling the stem. If the avocado is ripe, it will come off easily and you can tell how well-ripe the avocado is by looking at the spot where the stem used to be. If it looks like it’s ready to eat at the stem, then the rest of it should be ready too!
Unfortunately, avocados have a very short window, usually just 2-3 days, when they’re at their best. Here’s how you can tell if an avocado is bad:
- If there are any bruises or brown spots on the skin and/or flesh of the fruit, it’s probably not your best option (although some discoloration isn’t a huge issue, similar to how a banana sometimes has brown spots).
- If the avocado is too soft with barely any substance to it, it’s probably gone bad. Avoid avocados that will squish between your fingers!
- If the stem on top of the avocado separates easily from the fruit and/or feels slimy then you’ve missed the window.
Your local store may be different, but most stores receive fresh deliveries of fruits and vegetables on Tuesday mornings and stock the shelves shortly thereafter so if you can’t shop at exactly the right time but you always want fresh avocados, then you need this system for buying them.
Buying avocados before they ripen, when they’re still hard all around and don’t give to light pressure, means that their ripe window will open when they are in your house ready to be eaten. It also gives you a much wider selection to choose from because not as many people want to buy an unripe avocado. This limits their selection to just the ripe ones, but you can open your world to new choices by just letting the avocados ripen on your counter instead!
Storing avocados on the counter and let them ripen naturally. Unless you need them quickly. The ripening process for whole avocados can take 1-3 days depending on the state they were in when you bought them and room temperature. Once they are ripe move them to the fridge, ideally a fruit & vegetable drawer. Cooling them down from room temperature in the refrigerator will lengthen the window when the fruit is at its peak freshness which gives you the most time to decide how you want to eat it!
Put the avocado in a brown paper bag with a banana. The banana will release ethylene gas, which is the trigger for mature fruits to ripen. Ta-Da!
This should be obvious, but use the avocados in the fridge first, since they were ripe first. Then move a ripe avocado from your counter to the fridge.
Buy more avocados when your counter stock is running low. This system should help you avoid wasting avocados and the awful feeling of throwing one away when you wanted to add some fresh slices to your sandwich. You should have plenty of ready to eat avocados available; start the system with 3 if it’s for one person and more if it’s a larger household.
If you don’t have a 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer a butter knife will work fine, a Chef’s knife is overkill for avocado and you don’t want to cut yourself.
Slice it in half lengthwise on a cutting board and then remove the seed using a fork or spoon. You can also lightly press the edge of the knife into the seed and twist the seed free. The twisting motion will release some of the fibers holding the seed in and cause it to pop right out.
Score the flesh of the fruit how you want it to look. If you’re going for sandwich slices, use thin strips along the length of the fruit. Alternatively, if you just want a mash base for toast or guacamole add horizontal scoring too to make the cubes easy to pop out and squash.
Getting the avocado flesh out of the skin is best done with a spoon with a similar curvature to the fruit itself, but you can use lots of tools for this so don’t get too worried about it.
Storing half of an avocado is a tricky endeavor. The idea is to limit the surface area that can oxidize. Oxidation is the process that makes the fruit brown, mushy, and generally not the instagrammable avocado goodness you’re looking for.
Here are some things to try to suit your needs:
Trying to keep avocado halves ripe is an all too common problem, store the side with the seed in and don’t remove it until you are ready to eat it. Use a food wrap around the flesh to prevent air from ruining the fruit.
Cover it in plastic wrap in a bowl and add a bit of water to press the saran wrap down ensuring no air gets in to limit oxidation.
Add these to an airtight container with a few red onion slices. The sulfur in the onions will cause them to oxidize before the avocados which means the avocados will be protected from the air and stay fresh longer!
I hope this answered all of your avocado questions. Like and share if you enjoyed it and if you have any more just let me know in the comments below!