How to Ripen Avocados and More Tips

Jul 14, 2017
Celeste Longacre


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Avocado is one vegetable that is quite good for us—and easy to ripen with my trick.

According to Dr. David Perlmutter (author of Grain Brain), they are one of the three best brain foods. He believes that avocados, grass-fed beef and coconut oil are essential for healthy brain function. He recommends eating ½ an avocado for breakfast as it supplies 15 grams of unsaturated fat and 150 calories.

Avocados are also one of the cleanest vegetables. Their thick skin keeps pesticides and other poisons from infiltrating the meat so this item doesn’t always have to be organically grown. Some of the most vitamin-rich part of an avocado lies just underneath the skin.

When peeling avocadoes, cut them into four equal sections. The skin and seed will then come away effortlessly.

How to Ripen Avocados

Avocados will range from rock-hard to mushy. The perfect avocado is just soft enough but not mushy. It’s hard to explain but think of how your palm feels—a soft give but also firm.  

The cold air in a fridge delays ripening. And if you’re waiting for your avocado to ripen on the counter, it could be a while.

I discovered a trick years ago for ripening avocados. As soon as I buy them (green), I tuck them securely in a brown paper bag with an apple or two. After two (sometimes three) days, they are perfect. 

When the avocado is inside a bag, the fruit (including the avocado) releases ethylene, a gaseous plant hormone, that speeds up the ripening process. Frankly, the apple is just for extra gas. The avocado will ripen in the bag by itself, too.

To bring out their flavor, a bit of edible acid helps. Some folks like to use a bit of lemon or lime, but my favorite is apple cider vinegar. I dice them into bite-sized pieces, shower them with a splash of vinegar and a generous pinch of salt and stir. Delicious!


Of course, we would be remiss if we didn’t offer up a delicious guacamole recipe. Pass the chips!

About This Blog

Celeste Longacre has been growing virtually all of her family’s vegetables for the entire year for over 30 years. She cans, she freezes, she dries, she ferments & she root cellars. She also has chickens. Celeste has also enjoyed a longtime relationship with The Old Farmer’s Almanac as their astrologer and gardens by the Moon. Her new book, “Celeste’s Garden Delights,” is now available! Celeste Longacre does a lot of teaching out of her home and garden in the summer. Visit her web site at for details.

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peeling avocado

why peel ? just cut in half and scoop it out with a spoon

Ripening Avacado

Seems the avocadoes I get; no matter how green/hard go from that state to spotted and rotting in less time than you say to leave with apples. By the way, Avocadoes are not Vegetables, they are Fruit.

To enjoy that perfectly ripe

To enjoy that perfectly ripe avocado, one of my favorite dishes is something I call A.A. Salad. Just slice a sweet-tart apple (I'm partial to Fujis) with the avocado, add a little red wine vinegar and salt. Delicious, easy and so nutritious, too!

I learned my favorite avocado

I learned my favorite avocado tip after throwing out too many overripe fruits. Once the avocado is just the right level of ripening, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks and stay perfectly ripe, no dark spots, etc. I shop frequently at a grocery store that has had avocados as low as $.49 each and I can take advantage of the great price and buy a few more because I can store them in the fridge and know they'll still be perfect!

Tips From the Grove... Having

Tips From the Grove...

Having lived in the huge avocado growing area of San Diego, CA, spending time at many of the annual Fallbrook CA avocado festivals, and personally knowing many commercial growers...

I was told to just put the unripened avocados (no matter how hard and green) in a paper bag - brown, white, doesn't matter. No apple required. They will ripen beautifully on their own in just a few days.

When I buy avocados, I like to get several different "levels" of ripeness. Eat the darker softer ones NOW, and put the a couple more in the bag to ripen, They will get there in stages depending on how ripe each one is going into the bag.

Great tips, all! Thanks!

Great tips, all! Thanks!


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