The Only Way You Should Store Avocados, According to Hass Avocado Expert

Whether you want them to ripen faster or more slowly.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

I just love a creamy, ripe avocado. It’s always a puzzle to store them so they’re perfect when I'm ready to eat them. According to Hass avocado experts, the best way to store them depends on how ripe they are and when you plan on enjoying them.

“Unripe, firm, or green fruit can take four to five days to ripen at room temperature,” says Gina Widjaja of the Hass Avocado Board. “If they’re already ripened at the time of purchase, you can put them in the fridge and take them out as necessary.” Storing them in the refrigerator can extend shelf life.

How To Tell an Avocado’s Ripeness

If you’re not already an avocado aficionado, how they look and how they feel can help you determine how ripe they are.

“If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure, it’s ripe and ready to eat. They have a darker color and feel slightly soft but not ‘mushy’ to the touch,” says Widjaja. “Unripe avocados are firm and will have a bright green color.“

If you store unripe avocados in the fridge, they’ll ripen much more slowly and last longer.

How To Preserve Half an Avocado

You know what can happen when you only eat half of a perfectly ripe and tasty avocado. It seems like just moments later, the remainder starts to turn brown. There are tricks to keeping it fresh.

“If you want to save your other half, to prevent the oxidation to occur, you can lightly coat the exposed flesh with lime or lemon juice and limit its exposure by covering it tightly with clear plastic wrap,” says Widjaja. Store this remaining avocado in the refrigerator.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

Should You Store Avocados In Water?

You may have read that storing avocados (whole or cut) in water can keep them fresher longer. Widjaja says this isn’t a great idea.

“This may allow residual human pathogens like listeria or salmonella on the fruit’s exterior to multiply when submerged in water,” she says. “This storage hack puts you at risk for foodborne illnesses, negating their goodness.”

How To Speed Up Ripening

If you want some avocado toast really soon but your avocado isn’t ripe, you can hurry up the ripening process.

Place your avocado with some fruits or vegetables that produce ethylene, a gas that can speed up ripening. Pair your avocado with an apple or banana in a brown bag or just put the avocado underneath bananas in the fruit bowl, Widjaja suggests.

How To Pick the Perfect Avocados

Avocado selection totally depends on when you want to eat them.

“If you’re buying avocados ahead of time for an event, then pick unripe, firm green avocados four to five days ahead,” Widjaja says. You may have heard that you should remove the stem cap of an avocado to check on ripeness. But Widjaja says that’s not a good idea.

She says, “It triggers premature oxidation that can negatively affect color, texture, and taste when you are ready to eat.”

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.