Anyone who has attempted to make guacamole with an unripe avocado will tell you it is no easy feat.
But rather than attempting in vain to mash rock-solid fruit, there are a few simple hacks to help you soften up the super-food in as little as 20 minutes.
Experts from the sports nutrition firm My Protein have tested out the best and quickest ways to ripen your avocado - and you won't need to spend a penny.
1. RIPEN IN 3-4 DAYS: BROWN PAPER BAG
To ripen your fruit within days, simply pop them into a brown paper bag, use a food clip to close the bag and leave it on the kitchen top until the weekend.
Avocados naturally slowly release ethylene gas, which is the chemical that makes them ripen.
By keeping them in a container that concentrates the gas but still allows the avocado to ‘breathe’, like a paper bag, your avo will be perfectly ripe within a matter of days.
2. RIPEN 1-2 DAYS: BROWN PAPER BAG WITH FRUIT
Only got a day or two to go until a Mexican-themed dinner party? To make your avocados ripen even faster, this time, put them into a brown paper bag along with a couple of apples or ripe bananas and close up the bag with a food clip.
These fruits also release ethylene gas which, when concentrated in the paper bag, will cause your avocados to ripen even faster than if they were on their own.
Store them on the kitchen top and count down the days until you get to smash into a deliciously ripe avocado.
3. RIPEN IN 20 MINUTES: BAKE THEM
To get perfectly ripe avocados in 20 minutes, first, turn your oven up to 95°C/200°F. While you wait for the oven to heat up, tightly wrap your avocados in tin foil without leaving any gaps.
Pop them onto a baking tray and into the oven for 10 minutes. Check the progress of the avocado and leave it in there until it feels ripe (being careful not to burn yourself).
Depending on its ripeness when you put it in the oven, it might be even sooner than 10 minutes.
Once the avocados feel soft, remove them from the oven and put them into the fridge to cool down for about 10 minutes. Et Voilà! Perfectly ripe avocados.
4. BUY THEM RIPE
The most obvious thing to do would be to simply buy ripe avocados. But how to choose the best one?
1. Check the colour. With most varieties, you’ll want to look for an almost black-coloured skin with only a hint of green. A few avocado varieties will remain green like the Fuerte, Reed and Bacon, so there are a couple of other things you should look at, too.
2. Hold the avocado in your palm and very gently squeeze it. It should be a little soft but still firm. Be careful not to squeeze it too hard, as it can cause bruising and ruin it.
3. Once you’ve gone through the steps above, remove the stem and take a look at what’s underneath – if it’s green, it’s good, and if it’s brown, it’s overripe.