Avocados are available year-round and are a tasty addition to salads, or made into guacamole or avocado toast. 

There are several steos you can take to get avocados ready to eat at the perfect time. 

How to know if an avocado is ripe 

Not ripe – firm 

If the avocado doesn’t yield to gentle pressure, it is considered still “firm” and will ripen in four to five days. 

Firm, unripe fresh avocados will have a bright green skin colour. 

Almost ripe – breaking 

Fresh avocados are referred to as “breaking” or almost ripe and can vary in colour, so it is best to go by firmness as well as colour. 

Breaking avocados feel less firm, but still don’t yield to gentle pressure. 

If cut, the seed or stone will be difficult to remove and the inside flesh will be firm and difficult to mash. Breaking avocados take a day or two at room temperature to ripen. 

Ripe – ready to eat 

If the avocado yields to firm pressure, it is ripe and ready to eat. 

Ripe avocados have a darker skin colour and feel soft but not mushy to touch. Ripe fruit is perfect to eat that day, but if you don’t want to eat it that day, store it in the fridge and eat it in a day or two, to prevent the fruit from becoming overripe or spoiled. 

Overripe – past ripe 

Overripe avocados feel mushy to touch, and they may have deep indentations and a darker yellow or brownish-coloured flesh on the inside. 

Spoiled avocados will also have a rancid smell which some describe as smelling like a pumpkin or squash, Love One Today explained. 

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How to ripen an avocado 

If you want to speed up the ripening process of an avocado, there are a few ways to do this. 

Ideally, you want to place the avocado near other fruits and vegetables that give off ethylene gas. 

Fruits such as bananas, apples and kiwis emit vast quantities of ethylene gas, so place the avocado in a bowl with them and within a few days to a week, the avocado should be ripe. 

If you want an avocado to ripen quicker than that, Avocados From Mexico suggest concentrating the ethylene gas by placing an avocado in a paper bag with a banana or an apple and within one to three days the avocado should be ripe to eat. 

How to store avocados 

How avocados are stored depends on whether they are ripe or not. 

If the avocado is already ripe, store it in the fridge for two to three days. If the avocado is not yet ripe, leave it out in a fruit bowl and ripening will occur in four to five days. 

How to save half an avocado 

The overwhelming advice is to keep half of an avocado with the stone in. Do not remove the stone, instead, squeeze lemon or lime juice on the flesh, or use olive oil to coat or spray the flesh. 

Then cover the half of an avocado you want to preserve tightly in plastic wrap or cling film and put it in the fridge. 

If it is properly stored, it will last for three to four days, according to Still Tasty. So from buying to consuming, an avocado can be kept green for 10 days. 

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