We’ve all seen that meme of the avo taking its time to ripen at home and then when you blink for a second, it’s overripe and you’ve waited too long. I’m sure we all know the feeling of rather (im)patiently waiting for our avs to ripen!
Are we there yet?
It’s an endless frustration cycle, where the consumer is often forced to choose between buying a bag of unripe avs to ripen at home or to spend more money and buy “ripe and ready” avs that you can instantly eat without the wait. Oh, and those “ripe and ready” avs? They are usually imported and comes at a high premium for the convenience. Ripening your own avs at home is super easy, and not as daunting as it sounds!
How to ripen your avs at home
Unlike many other fruits, but luckily for us avs lovers, avs do not ripen on the tree. They ripen or “soften” after harvest and sometimes we need to help them along, because we’re just that impatient for our green gold!
You can easily ripen your own local avs at home, without paying a premium for “ready to eat” avs. Let’s find out how!
The fruit bowl
There’s definitely truth in putting unripe avs in a fruitbowl with other fruits, as this does speed up the ripening process. I often put my unripe avs with citrus, apples and bananas to ripen, but also because it looks pretty on the kitchen counter! We’ll chat about the science behind this in a minute.
The brown paper bag
Elevate your avs-skills by trying this trick next time if you want to be sure of deliciously soft avs. Put your avs in a brown paper bag, along with an apple or banana. Close the bag properly and leave it in a dark place. You should be rewarded with perfectly soft avs in two to three days.
It’s very important to ripen your avs at room temperature. Anything too hot or too cold will affect the quality of the fruit’s flesh, leaving it with an altered taste or colour. Once your avs are ripe, you can keep them in the fridge to slow down the ripening process, meaning you can make sure you always have a constant supply and flow of avs goodness! Uncut, ripe avs can last up to three days in the fridge.
So, how does that work? The plant hormone ethylene, which occurs naturally in fruits like apples and bananas, triggers the ripening process. The trapped ethylene gasses build up in the brown paper bag, and help to ripen the avs quicker by breaking down the internal cell walls and converting starches to sugar.
The reason for using a brown paper bag instead of a plastic bag, is because the brown paper bag is breathable, meaning there is still natural ventilation. A plastic bag will cause a build-up of condensation, which means rotten fruit.
In a pinch?
Unexpected guests and you need to make a bowl of guacamole, but only have unripe avs? When you’re in a pinch, you can bake avs in the oven, which will slightly soften the fruit, if just enough to mash it up into a dip. It might not taste as rich or nutty as a ripe fruit would, but definitely good enough to enjoy with other snacks. Preheat the oven to 200C, wrap the avo in foil, put it on a baking sheet and bake until soft, about 10 minutes, depending on how unripe it was. Allow the avo to cool completely, and cool further in the fridge before using.
Hello, is it me you’re looking for?
At this point, your fruitbowl is full of avs and it’s been a couple of days. How do you know if your avs are ripe and ready? Here’s a few pointers:
- Check the colour of the skin – generally, a ripe avocado will have a dark skin with some green speckles.
- Give it a gentle feel – avs ripen from the round bottom towards the stem. You are looking for a bit of give, yet mostly firm still. Mushy is a big no-no!
- If the little nub of the avocado is still firmly attached, it’s not ripe yet. If it falls off easily and you can see green underneath, dig in!
Join the #HarmonyWay movement!
For more information on the #HarmonyWay movement, ZZ2 Afrikado and Harmony Avs, please visit: http://www.harmony-avs.co.za/
Also, remember to check back next week for some amazing avs recipes from The Little Kitchen!
This content piece has been created in proud collaboration with ZZ2 and Harmony Avs