Avocados are egg-shaped fruits, with a greenish to purplish-colored skin. It's popular for its rich, smooth, creamy flesh that is high in nutrition, especially monounsaturated fats. Unlike other fruits, avocados do not ripen on the tree, but ripen only after they have been harvested. There are several varieties of avocados, and the Hass variety is one type. Avocados are commonly stored in grocery stores, however, because the shelf life of perfectly ripe avocados is limited, most stores sell unripe avocados. But, what does one do if one wants to prepare a guacamole soon? The only option is to speed up the ripening process.
How to Ripen Avocados Quickly?
Here are some simple ways to speed up the ripening process of avocados. While some have worked for most people, others may have found difficulties with some of the methods. Nevertheless, here are some common methods used to ripen avocados quickly.
Window Sill Method
Placing the avocados on a window sill, under direct sunlight helps speed up the ripening process of avocados. Sunlight helps them to ripen quickly. However, what about rainy or cloudy days? Well, then we will have to look out for other alternatives.
This is the quickest avocado ripening method, however, a lot of flavor is lost in this process. Better-suited for guacamole, soups, etc. which have other flavorful ingredients added to them. To microwave the avocados, first wash them thoroughly and then prick them with a fork. Microwaving an unpricked avocado, can cause the avocado to explode in the microwave. So don't forget to prick the avocado. Place the pricked avocados in a paper towel-lined microwave tray and microwave them for 10 to 30 seconds (medium power). If the avocados are still hard, microwave at an interval of 10 seconds, till they become soft.
Paper Bag Method
Place the unripe avocados in a paper bag and seal the bag by folding the edges. Store the bag at room temperature and wait for a few days before the avocados ripen. However, some folks have faced problems with this method. They say the avocados went from unripe to rotten, without actually ripening. One can also try wrapping the avocados in newspaper and place them on the kitchen counter to ripen.
Adding Ripe Fruits
One can speed up the ripening process by placing the unripe avocado in a paper bag, along with ripe bananas or apples. Some ripe fruits, such as ripe bananas and apples emit ethylene gas, which speeds up the ripening process of the avocado in the bag. Moreover, the warmth in the paper bag increases the amount of ethylene gas, released by the banana or apple. Your avocado should ripen within the next day or two.
The Flour Method
Another avocado ripening method is by dunking washed and dried, unripe avocados in a paper bag or container, filled with all-purpose flour. The avocados should be completely immersed in the flour. The amount of time required will differ depending on the 'rawness' or 'ripeness' of the avocados.
How to know if the Avocado is ripe?
Well, we've taken the necessary measures to enhance the ripening process, however, how do we know for sure if the avocados have ripened? Signs of ripening differs from one variety to another. However, depending on the color of skin, to tell you about the ripeness can be quite a downer. Softening of the avocado takes place independent of the skin color. Sometimes, cutting open a green avocado can yield browned avocado, which can be very disappointing.
The squeezing method is the most common method of checking the ripeness of avocados. However, it is not highly recommended, because pressing and squeezing of unripe avocados can cause bruises. These bruises later show up in the form of blackened areas. If you do want to squeeze them to get an idea, hold the avocado in your palm and give a gentle squeeze, without using your fingertips. If the avocado is not yielding to the gentle squeeze, it's unripe and requires few more days to ripen. If it yields, it is ripe and ready to eat. However, if it's soft, it is overripe.
Stalk : Green or brown?
Flick the stalk of the avocado. If it comes out easily and reveals a green base, it is ripe and ready. However, if the base is brown, it is overripe. You can also assess the ripeness by gently pressing the stalk area with your thumb. Since the part near the stalk begins to ripen first, it's a good indicator. If it yields easily, the avocado is ripe. Meanwhile, if the sides of the avocado yield, while you are pressing the stalk region, the avocado is most certainly overripe.
Having said all this, you may even experience times when no matter what you do, the avocados happen to elude you. You may still end up with hard or browned avocados. Practice and lots of luck is what is required to get perfect, buttery-soft avocados. Don't get discouraged by the hard, stony ones or the ones that have become overly ripe. Be patient with your avocados and you are sure to master the art of ripening them quickly and also identifying them when they are ripe! All the best!