Your Guide to Picking a Ripe Avocado
Avocados are one of the most nutritious fruits available to us. They are packed with beneficial nutrients such as healthy fats (monounsaturated fats), fat-soluble vitamins K, A, and E, water-soluble vitamins B and C, important trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, iron, and copper, and are loaded with fiber. Avocados also have more protein and less sugar than other fruits, which help to burn fat and gain muscle. Avocados are also considered an anti-inflammatory food, as they contain phytonutrients, which help to reduce inflammation in the body. For this reason, we look to avocados as ‘superfoods.
Now that we’ve covered why you should include avocados in your daily diet regime, let’s talk a bit about how to pick the perfect one, as I often hear people ask “what does a ripe avocado look like?”
When you are perusing the grocery store for those perfect avocados, here are some tricks of the trade:
- Ripe avocados tend to be darker in color than their lesser-ripe friends. Hass avocados, for example, have a bumpy dark green skin when they are not ripe. When they begin ripening, that green skin transitions to a more purple color.
- You should always check under the stem. Peel back the small stem or ‘cap’ at the top of the avocado. If it comes off easily and you find green underneath, you’ve got a perfectly ripe avocado in your hands! On the other hand, if you pull back the stem off and find brown underneath, the avocado is overripe.
- Ripe avocados generally will feel firm to the touch. If you press one lightly on the surface and can sense a little bit of give. If it is too mushy, however, this is a sign that it may be too ripe. If the avocado feels very hard – like a rock – skip it, or you can learn how to ripen it below and keep it!
- Note that you can use ripe avocados in several different ways, like mashed into guacamole, on a sandwich, or in a salad.
- If you happen to purchase an avocado that isn’t quite ripe yet, there is hope! Store it is a brown paper bag with a banana to increase the ripening process. On the other hand, if it is getting too ripe, please it in the refrigerator to slow the ripening process.
Picking a ripe a ripe avocado isn’t too tricky – and it will get easier the more you do it, as you will be able to more quickly determine its readiness.
Avocados pair very nicely with our IONutrition meals! They add extra nutritional and health benefits in just ½ a serving. IONutirion will send you healthy (and organic!) meals which relieve you of the hassle of cooking. Take a look at some of the meal plans we offer here.