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How to Ripen Avocados

03 | 01 | 2011

Avocado Update

Last month in Karen’s Korner, we had some tips for ripening avocados. I got some great responses from people…certainly warmed my heart, so I need to give a little update.

First of all, Bill made some avocado soup…simply delicious. BUT we didn’t have enough ripe avocados. My mind immediately went to the microwave. It took awhile to ripen one, but the microwave was perfect for ripening the avocado since we were going to use it in cooking anyway. I personally think it would have been awful to ripen it this way for guacamole though. It had an unusual taste when I removed it…had to taste it in my quest for information.

Also, Francey wrote us with a suggestion that we tried...

“By the way, I came across a solution for extending the fresh life of cut avocados, but I haven't tried it yet, since I don't have a tree to pick the luscious avocados from. Since the healthy green/yellow would turn brown over night, I'd only prepare recipes where I knew I'd eat the whole avocado at once. Here's what I read:

Put the remainder of the ripe avocado in a jar. Add a slice of red onion. Cap jar. Refrigerate.

Since you have loads of avocados, I'd love to hear if it works. <smile> Bye. Francey

We put the avocado in with the onionsThe first step: we put the half avocado in with the red onions.





We sealed itWe didn't put in a jar, but we think this Tupperware-type container should work.





Overnight resultsThis was the overnight results...a little brown on top, but if you scrape off the top, the avocado underneath is perfect. I tasted was fine.





After 24 hoursThis was after over 24 hours. The avocado was a little onion-y, but that didn't bother me. It was still edible and creamy underneath.





Okay, the ONE thing I forgot to do was put another avocado in a separate container without the onion! Oh my! I ate the other half instead! :-D the next few days when another avocado has ripened, I will do this test again the right way and post the results here. I won't wait until the next newsletter!

Thanks for the idea, Francey...I'm going to keep doing this until I get it right!

How to Ripen Avocados Quickly

Ripen Avocados QuicklyFirst, to set the record straight, the plural of avocado is avocados, not avocadoes as I see this often.

We have a Hass avocado tree in our yard. It produces a ton of avocados now and, because of that, we recently ran our own experiment on how best to ripen them. We haven’t always been happy with the brown-bag results that seem to be the most popular, but you need a lot of avocados to test and we weren't willing to give up our store-bought ones on experiments! :-D

So here’s what we did. We picked all the fruit at the same time and used each one of these suggestions to see which did the best job. I think you’ll be surprised at the results. We certainly were:

  • Wrap in Paper Bag or Newspaper:
  • Add Ripe Fruits
  • Bury in Flour
  • Place in Windowsill
  • Use a Microwave

Our test results!

Wrap in Paper Bag and Newspaper:

Avocados ripen within three to four days if they are kept in brown paper bags at room temperature. In case, you cannot arrange for brown paper bags, use simple newspaper to completely wrap the avocados, which also helps in quick ripening of the avocado fruit.

RESULTS: This experiment seemed to take forever and a couple of the avocados just went from hard to rotten before they even got soft enough to eat. We don’t understand why this seems to be the most popular way to ripen avocados.

Add Ripe Fruits

For ripening avocados quickly, you can place them in a paper bag (preferably brown bag) and add a ripe banana, apple or tomato. The ethylene gas released from the ripe fruit will quicken the ripening process. Make sure you store them at room temperature.

RESULTS: We tried an apple and a banana. We don't think it worked as well as other ideas...they eventually ripened, but it seemed to take forever.

Bury in Flour

Another way to ripen avocados quickly is by burying the fruits in a sack of flour. If you do not have a sack of flour, you can use a bag filled with flour for ripening avocados quickly. This traditional method has been followed for a long time to ripen all kinds of fruits.

RESULTS: I will admit, we didn’t do this. Out of all the ideas, it seemed the most wasteful. If anyone tries this idea, I would love to hear the results.

Use a Microwave

In order to ripen avocados quickly, a microwave is the best device. Nevertheless, use this method as the last resort, as microwave ripened fruits do not taste similar to naturally ripened avocados. For this method, prick the fruits from all sides by using a fork. Lay paper towels over the microwave plate and place the already pricked avocados into the microwave.

Set the oven at medium heat and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the fruits and check for the softness. If they are still hard, place them in the oven again and cook for another 30 seconds. Repeat the process until the avocado fruits are ready for eating. Avocados ripened through a microwave are best for preparing avocado recipes but not for fresh eating.

RESULTS: They’re right; it works as a last resort, if you’re trying to make guacamole for a party right away. However, my personal choice would be to rush to the closest restaurant and buy guacamole rather than do this! 

And the winner is...

Place in Windowsill

For ripening the avocados within two-three days, you can place them on the windowsill in full sun. It is a better way to enjoy ripe, fleshy avocados, rather than waiting for a weeks at a stretch to have them. Check the avocados by pressing them slightly. If it changes color and turns soft, then they are ready to eat.

RESULTS: This was the first time we had ever heard this advice, and it’s great. Worked perfectly. That’s why when you come to our house now, you will always see avocados resting in our kitchen windowsill.

And, by the way…

Do not refrigerate an avocado before it is ripe. But once ripe, it can be kept in the fridge for up to one week unsliced. And once cut open, do not keep for more than a day in the fridge.

Nutrition Information and Facts

Lower your cholesterol level
and increase your immune
system with luscious avocado.

Nutritional Benefits

Next to the olive, the avocado is the second fruit with the highest monounsaturated fatty acids content at 20%. This amounts to almost twenty times that of any other fruit.

Weight-watchers often stay away from avocados specifically because of the fats content of the fruit. But that's a myth. The monounsaturated fats and the wholesome nutrition helps the basal metabolic rate, and reduce overeating.

A majority of the fats content is the health-promoting monounsaturated fats, followed by smaller amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fats.

The potassium content and calories of an avocado is three times that of a banana. Other essential minerals are iron and copper for the blood, phosphorus and magnesium.

The sodium content in avocados and its low sugar content and absence of starch make it an ideal fruit for diabetics and hypoglycemics.

It is also one of the richest source of fiber among all fruits and vegetables. Packed with vitamins A, several B-complex, especially B3 (folic acid), powerful anti-oxidants like vitamins C and E, calcium, iron, potassium, etc.

Avocado flesh that is exposed to air can quickly turn color because of the high iron content. Prevent this by sprinkling it with some lemon juice.

To make an avocado smoothie:

  • 1 cup of yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1 cubed avocado
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey
Avocado Nutrition Information

As you can see from above, the avocado is one of the higher calorie fruits that you could be eating. This is due to the larger amount of fat content it contains, however take note that this fat is of the healthy variety.

If you are able to practice portion control and make sure not to eat too much of the avocado as to increase your daily calorie intake too high, then you should definitely be able to include this in your meal plan.

Avocados also contain lutein which is an antioxidant that is great for the eyes. It helps to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.  In addition to this, they contain many other antioxidants that can fight against free radicals in your body that can cause cancer. These antioxidants are so powerful that they can even reverse the signs of aging.

According to studies done on the use of avocado in a diet another positive impact they have is to reduce cholesterol, as the monounsaturated fat in avocados helps to reduce triglyceride levels and increase HDL, which is the good cholesterol.

So as you can see, there are many benefits to including this fruit in your diet and they should not always be shunned.

Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, your body will be getting all of its necessary nutrients and you will be feeling full because of the avocados good amount of soluble and insoluble fiber.

Also, eating avocados with other fruits and vegetables will make it easier for the body to absorb the nutrients from those other foods as well. Most of the nutrients are fat soluble nutrients and, well, we’ve already established that avocados contain fat. So eating them together will make for one healthy body!

By the way, this is new information for me, so I thought it could be new for you too:


People who are sensitive to latex should avoid touching or eating avocados as it contains an enzyme called chitinase that can cause an allergic reaction.



 Karen McConnaughey: Operations Manager for FocusOnMexico.

Focus On Mexico offers 8-Day Educational Programs to Ajijic and Lake Chapala, Mexico (2nd Best Climate in the World). Join us on a Focus program and learn why thousands of Americans and Canadians chose to retire in Lake Chapala.

Our programs offer the perfect balance; a wonderful vacation and an insightful, educational experience. Our expert speakers cover all topics: Health Care, Real Estate, Legal System, Immigration, Bringing Pets, Cost of Living, US Taxes for Americans, Non-Residency for Canadians, Living on the Lakeside, Investing in Mexico, Mexican Economy and much more...

You’ll get everything you need to help you decide if Lake Chapala, Mexico is the place for you, plus have a lot of fun doing it. Retiring in Mexico couldn't be better.

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