how to choose the perfect avocado

photo courtesy of iStock/NadiaC

Avocados: you either love them or you hate them. But let’s face it, most of us are big fans. Whether it’s extra guac on our burritos, avocado toast or even avocado lemon ice cream (yes, it’s a thing!), it’s official: we’re crazy about ‘cados.

Avocado Lime Deviled Eggs

No matter the season, they inevitably end up on our grocery lists. But here’s the thing about avocados: they’re finicky little devils. How many times have you bought an avocado, brought it home, only to realize that it’s overripe or underripe? Just as common is buying a perfectly ripe avocado, then making the mistake of waiting a few days to eat it (and cutting away the brown spots inside in a sad attempt to salvage it).

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Save yourself from such disappointments by once and for all learning how to choose the perfect avocado.

Plan Ahead

The key to avocado bliss is simple, really: plan ahead. When you’re in the produce section trying to choose the perfect one (don’t worry, we’ll tell you what to look for later!), it’s so important that you think about WHEN you’re going to eat the avocado. Is it for breakfast tomorrow morning or for guac tonight? Or is it for dinner in a few days or for lunch the following weekend? Select accordingly. If it’s for consumption in the near or immediate future, you’ll want to pick one that’s perfectly ripe. If it’s for a few days or a week down the road, find one that’s underripe. The great thing about avocados is that they continue to ripen even after they’ve been picked, so you’re not locked in to a certain state of ripeness.

Cold Cucumber Avocado Soup

Know What to Look For

We’ve created a nifty infographic for you to reference to help you make your selection. Check it out:

how to choose the perfect avocado

Store Strategically

Finally, once you’ve chosen the perfect avocados, store them accordingly! If you’ve picked one that is at the *perfect* ripeness, put that baby in the fridge! This will keep it from getting too ripe too quickly and should preserve its state for a couple of days at least. If you’ve picked an avocado that’s underripe and you need to ripen it, leave it out on the counter at room temperature until you see the skin start to darken. Squeeze it to check how it’s progressing – remember, you’re shooting for a Goldilocks situation: not too soft, not too hard. Juuuuust right.

Finally, enjoy! You’ve worked hard to pick the perfect avocado. Mash it, slice it, do what you like with it, and your taste buds will thank you.

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