Clever hack gets avocados to the perfect ripeness quickly

Buying and using an avocado before it goes off is an extreme sport.

No matter how much prodding, poking and checking you do in the supermarket, getting a perfectly ripe avocado on the first try is damn-near impossible. And, of course, if you wait five minutes too long, the avocado will go brown.

There seems to be an impossibly small window of opportunity to secure that soft, creamy goodness – and avocados aren’t exactly cheap, so you really want to get it right.

Thankfully, the food waste experts at ODDBOX have teamed up with guest chef Georgia Levy to explain how to store, prep, and cook your avocados – including a simple trick to get that elusive perfect ripeness… using a banana.

How to get a perfectly ripe avocado
Like most fruit, avocados ripen quickest at room temperature.

Speed this up by keeping them in a paper bag to concentrate the ethylene gas they emit.

Further accelerate the ripening process by adding another fruit – like bananas – to the bag – they will all happily ripen each other.

Once ripe, the flesh will yield to a gentle squeeze.

Put them in the fridge to hold them at this point for a week.

Once cut, rub with lemon, wrap in clingfilm and refrigerate for 1-2 days.

How to prep your avocado
Best to do this on a chopping board, ‘avocado hand’ is real and painful.

Use a sharp knife to cut through the middle until you find the stone, then run your knife around it. Twist to release.

To free the stone, place the avocado back on the board (hands out the way), land your knife on the stone, then give it a sharp jerk.

Use a large spoon to scoop out the flesh in one piece.

Why not save the stone, pierce with toothpicks and suspend over a jar of water to have a go at growing your own avocado plant?