Learning how to tell if an avocado is ripe is key—no one likes tossing out overripe produce or waiting days on end for it to be ripe. While you’re at the store, look for avocados that are not bruised or ones that feels too soft, and have no gouges or broken skin. If you’re not using the avocado for three or four days (way to plan ahead!), choose firm avocados. If you need to use the avocados right away, choose a ripe avocado that yields to gentle pressure when cradled in your hand.
Firmness. Avocados are best to eat when they are slightly softened, but not completely mushy. You’ll want them to give a little bit when you apply firm but gentle pressure. Buy slightly harder, less ripe avocados if you are planning to use them a few days after purchasing.
Stem. A quick trick I like to use to confirm an avocado’s ripeness is to peel back the stem. If it is a beautiful green underneath and the stem peels easily, the avocado is ripe and ready to eat.
Store avocados at room temperature until they ripen, then refrigerate and use within three days. Refrigeration slows avocado ripening. One way to gently speed the ripening process is to put an unripe avocado in a sealed paper bag with an apple, banana, or kiwi for 2-4 days.
PROPER WASHING AND DRYING: According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, when preparing any fresh produce, begin with clean hands. Wash your hands for 20 seconds with warm water and soap before and after preparation. No, we don’t eat the skin, but according to the FDA, one in five avocado skins can carry harmful bacteria like listeria or salmonella, so please don’t skip this step!
When preparing avocados, be careful to prevent cross-contamination by keeping your avocado preparation area clean and separate from other foods such as meat, poultry or seafood. Be mindful of other foods and surfaces they may come in contact with.
Avocado can be used in everything from savory breakfast foods to sweet desserts, so knowing how to peel an avocado and use its flesh in so many recipes comes in handy!
How to cut or slice avocados in half
Cutting these green beauties incorrectly can result in cutting through to your skin and fingers, causing avocado hand! Here, we’ll show you how to cut an avocado, how to pit an avocado the best (and safest) way, and how to keep an avocado fresh after cutting. Toast, smoothies, and salads featuring avocados are all in your future!
How to remove the seed or pit of a fresh avocado
*Tip: Leave the seed in if you plan to store one half!
How to peel a fresh avocado
Ready for a slice of heaven? Avocado goodness comes in a few different shapes.
From there, you can slice or chop to your desire right on the cutting board. If making guacamole, no need to slice or cube. Place peeled avocado halves into a bowl and mash with a fork.
If you aren’t using your freshly cut avocado right away, you’ll want to make sure you store them properly to keep them fresh after cutting. There are a few ways to do this.
Lemon or any citrus juice slows oxidation so putting lemon juice on the avocado can be helpful. It just may change the taste a little bit. Storing your halved avocado face down on a plate will also help stop any oxidization.
Why do avocados turn brown?
Once sliced open, the interior of the avocado will turn brown due to oxidation (enzymes in the flesh react with oxygen). Although the brown pigment may not look very pretty, it’s still safe to eat!
Do you peel avocado before slicing?
This is a personal preference! I find it easiest to peel the skin off completely before slicing so that you can easily cut the flesh into clean slices right on the cutting board.
©2022 Regina Mitchell | based in las vegas + teaching virtually worldwide