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How To Pick The Perfect Avocado

Consider Color, Shape and Firmness

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Article by Shanna Hutcheson

Photography by Shanna Hutcheson

Avocados may be trendy right now, but they are also packed with nutrition. 

These nutrient-dense fruits contain nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including potassium, fiber, B-vitamins and heart-healthy fats, for a combination that promotes satiety—keeping you feeling full and satisfied after a meal. 

Did I mention they are also delicious? 

Yet avocado toast from a local brunch spot can be pretty pricey. Here's how to pick out the perfect avocado from the store so you can whip up all kinds of tasty, avocado-filled meals and snacks at home and save some money.

How to Tell if an Avocado is Ripe 

Good news: this is actually super easy once you know what you’re looking for. When you are picking out an avocado, you want it to be firm, but still be able to press your thumb into it and make a slight indentation. This is your indicator that it is ripe and ready to be eaten.  

Firmness

If it is hard as a rock, it is not ripe yet. If it is super squishy, it is likely overripe and brown inside. Look for that good, happy medium. (Unless you're not ready to use it yet.)

Color

The color of the avocado on the outside can be a quick indicator as well. If it’s bright green, you can usually expect it to be very hard. The darker it gets, the softer it gets.

For ready-to-eat avocados, look for a purple-ish/black color. If it’s really dark brown or black, it’s probably too far gone. You will want to check both color and firmness to ensure you are getting the ripeness you desire that day. Color can sometimes be deceiving.

Shape

Avocados that are more round typically tend to have a large, round pit. Avocados that are oval-shaped typically have skinner, more oblong pits. With oval-shaped avocados, you'll typically get more avocado flesh inside, and more bang for your buck.

How To Store Avocados

Avocados that are still firm can be stored at room temperature (avoid direct sunlight). Once they are ripe, either use them, or stick them in the fridge. Refrigerating them can help them stay at the perfect ripeness for a couple of extra days. 

Follow Shanna Hutcheson @wellnessforthewin 

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