Avocados are unique in the fact that they do not become ripe on the tree that they are grow on. Instead they only become ripe once they have been harvested. It is for this reason that one may find them to still be unripe when they are bought in a supermarket or at the market. The good news is that one can easily ripen the Avocado at home using a selection of simple methods.
The fact that an Avocado may not yet be ripe is no bad thing, and may even be desired by some individuals, as some prefer to control the process of ripening themselves. This means that the Avocado can be stored effectively and only ripened before it is to be used. Some stores do focus their attention on serving ripe Avocados and will highlight it on the product. One can tell when an Avocado is ripe by the color and texture of it. When the skin turns from a green to a green with a dark brown effect, it is ripe and ready to eat. One can also tell by softly squeezing the Avocado. If it gives in slightly then this also means that it is ripe. When looking for Avocados in the shops it is best to go for those that are some what darkish in color and without any exterior damage to the skin, such as scratches or marks. It is also a good idea to give the Avocado a quick shake. If it rattles in any way, this means that the skin has come away form the pit and has become over ripe.
When to ripen an Avocado that has just been bought If an Avocado has been purchased and it needs to be ripened, place it into a brown paper bag. This act is done so as to capture and contain the Ethylene gases that the Avocado will give off. Any type of bag can be used, so long as keeps the gases in as is not too tight around the Avocado. It needs to be able to breath the gas and stay healthy simultaneously. It can help to include another fruit in the bag, such as an apple, orange or banana.
This is not essential but will hep with the ripening process. One can also put another couple of Avocados into the bag if no fruits can be found. The reason why it is a good idea to add these fruits in with the Avocado is that they also emit ethylene gas, which will speed up the ripening process. Once this has been done, keep the bag secured and in a location that can be kept at room temperature. It is also a good idea to keep this bag away from direct sunlight. If all these conditions are met and there is no other fruit within the bag, this process will take no longer than several days ( between 2 and 5). It is a good idea to keep a check on the Avocados, especially if other fruit have been added to the bag, as this will greatly increase the ripening speed. The Avocado will change from a bright green color, to a darkish brown, followed by a purple like color. This is when the Avocado is ready to eat and can be placed in the fridge.
How to ripen an Avocado that has already been cut open It is also possible to ripen an Avocado that has already been cut open. To do this take the Avocado and sprinkle a small amount of lemon juice on the skin (lime juice will also do). This will keep the Avocado from going off and should be used moderately on the Avocado. Then place it in clear plastic, such as cling film and place the Avocado in the fridge. Keep it refrigerated and keep checking on it. When the Avocado becomes soft and the skin can be seen to be slightly squashy, it is at the stage that it can be eaten. It is a good idea to keep a close eye on the Avocado and to not forget about it when it is at this stage, as it may go off rather quickly if it is forgotten about.