Avocado Ripeness & Storage Tips
Room temperature ripening
Avocados do not ripen on the tree. They begin the ripening process after they are picked. Store avocados at room temperature until they’re fully ripe. You can tell if an avocado is ripe by giving it a gentle squeeze. If it yields to that light pressure, it’s ready to use. It generally takes anywhere from 5 to 10 days for a hard avocado to fully ripen.
Speeding up the ripening process
You can speed up the ripening process by putting your avocados in a brown paper bag. Placing an apple and/or a banana in the bag will help hasten the process. This will usually cut down the ripening time by 1 to 3 days. Ethylene gas that is naturally released by ripening fruit is what speeds up the process. The brown paper bag keeps the ethylene gas in contact with the fruit.
Slowing down the ripening process
You may want to slow down the ripening process of a few pieces of fruit so that your avocados don't all ripen at the same time. Keeping them cold, in the refrigerator, will slow down the ripening process. Even fully ripe avocados can be held for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Whole avocados do not do well when frozen. However, fully ripe avocados that have been mashed can be frozen in a plastic freezer bag. Be sure to add about a half teaspoon of lemon or lime juice per avocado. The lemon or lime juice prevents the avocado from turning brown.
Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and Lutein, in foods which are eaten with the fruit.
Avocados and Cardiovascular Disease
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but a healthy diet and exercise plan may help reduce your risk of developing this life-threatening disease.
The American Heart Association (AHA) Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet that has at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, contains up to 30% of calories from fats (primarily unsaturated) and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats and sodium while being rich in potassium. Avocados can help you meet the AHA dietary guidelines because they have both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and contain potassium.
Basic Guacamole Recipe
This is a quick and simple guacamole recipe. For best results, make this guacamole with fresh, organic California avocados!
6 Ripe Avocados
2 Lime or lemon juice (about a teaspoon per avo)
1 Finely chopped tomato
1 Finely chopped onion
1 Finely chopped jalapeno (or hot sauce to taste)
Finely chopped cilantro (optional)
Salt to taste
Mix it all up!