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What’s more frustrating than coming back from a healthy grocery haul, only to have one-too-many avocados never make it to your toast because they refused to ripen? Here’s everything you need to know about the superfood, including how to get it to soften so it ends up on your plate rather than tossed!

All about avocados

The go-to for toast, avocados are also everywhere, from guac to vegan desserts. The nutrient-dense power pear-shaped berry (yup, it’s technically a fruit) is jam-packed with potassium, fiber, folate, B Vitamins, as well as other vitamins and minerals.

Avocados are low in sugar and sodium. The nutritional powerhouses are high in fat (but it’s the “good” monounsaturated variety of fat). Avocados can help lower bad cholesterol, are heart healthy, and can help you feel fuller, longer, thanks to their fill of fiber. They also contain more potassium than a banana. And, as they require no refrigeration they can be easily taken as a portable, healthy option for an on-the-go boost of protein, healthy fat, and fiber.

2 steps to speed-soften avocados

Store them at room temperature. According to Nicolette Pace, Celebrity Nutritionist & Chef, avocados are best kept at room temperature. Bear in mind they can take 4 to 5 days to ripen.

Pace says to put your avocado(s) in a closed paper bag to speed up the ripening process. You can also add an apple, banana, and/or a tomato within the bag.

Avocados emit ethylene gas, which helps them ripen. When an avocado is covered with wrap or inside a paper bag, the ethylene is concentrated and accelerates the process.

Ready to eat or refrigerate

When the avocado skin becomes dark and yields to gentle pressure, it’s either ready to eat or refrigerate. The ideal internal avocado texture should be silky-smooth, fresh green in interior color, and slightly nutty and buttery in taste.

Remember to wash avocados prior to slicing them. This will ensure bacteria and dirt doesn’t get transferred from the knife onto the avocado. Once cut, squeeze lemon juice on unused portions to store for future use.

Follow these tricks of the trade to make your next batch of guac or avocado toast your best yet!