Avocado imports globally hit £3.83bn in 2016, with imports growing by 21 percent between 2012 and 2016. In 2017, a plastic surgeon in London coined the term “avocado hand” to describe the increasingly common injury of someone who had cut themselves slicing avocados. But avocados are best when eaten at the perfect ripeness, so how can you ripen an avocado in just 10 minutes?
How to know if a fresh avocado is ripe
Fresh avocados do not ripen on a tree, but instead, they ripen or soften after they have been harvested.
A ripe avocado should yield to firm gentle pressure in the palm of your hand.
Ripe, ready to eat avocados may have a darker colour, but the colour can vary so it is best to go by feel as well as colour.
Avocados will feel lightly soft but it will not feel “mushy” to the touch and ripe fruit is perfect for that day.
You should store these ripe avocados in the refrigerator if you plan to eat it in a day or two to prevent the fruit from becoming overripe or spoiled.
How to ripen an avocado in the oven
Putting unripe avocados in the oven helps to trap ethylene gas, which is emitted naturally as fruit ripes, and speed up the ripening process.
To use the oven to ripen an avocado you should, heat the oven to 93C (200F).
Wrap the avocado in aluminium foil and place the avocado in a shallow dish.
Place the avocado in the oven for 10-minute intervals until the avocado softens.
Then place the avocado in the fridge to cool it down as warm avocado tends to be an unpleasant taste for most.
How to ripen an avocado in the microwave
You can ripen an avocado in the microwave, by cutting the fruit in half and removing the pit.
Then wrap each half in plastic wrap and place the microwave on high for two minutes.
After the microwave has finished cooking you should run the wrapped microwaves under cold water to stop the cooking.
How to ripe an avocado gradually
You can ripen an avocado gradually over a period of a few days by placing it on the counter, in a bowl or a paper bag with an apple or banana.
Bananas, kiwi, apples and avocados all produce ethene gas which when set next to a hard fruit, softens it.
This natural gas breaks down the internal cell walls and converts starches to sugar, ripening the fruit naturally.
How to keep an avocado ripe for as long as possible
Once an avocado is ripe it is best to eat it right away.
But if you cannot eat the ripe avocado, you should store it in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process.
Uncut avocados can last one to three days in the fridge.
Popular avocado recipes
- Avocado toast with smoked salmon
- Smashed avocado on toast
- Avocado sandwich with hummus and falafel
- Lime-grilled salmon tacos with avocado cream
- Avocado, kiwi and lime ice lollies.