Saturday morning breakfasts are easily the best of the week, right?
You’ve got the time to really treat yourself to something special, whether that’s baked eggs with beans, coconut pancakes with maple blueberries or a heaping plate of poached egg and avocado bruschetta.
But sometimes nipping out to the corner shop to pick up last minute supplies means your selected avocado reminds you more of a small, fist-sized rock than a soft, creamy, omega-3-packed piece of fruit.
Don’t worry. We can fix it.
When you have 10 minutes
Grab the fruit that has betrayed you and wrap it in tinfoil; set it on a baking tray and pop it in the oven at 90˚C for about 10 minutes or until the avocado is soft.
(If it’s really, really hard, it could take up to an hour, but 10 minutes normally does the trick.)
Transfer it from the oven to the fridge to cool while the ethylene gas – which causes fruit to ripen – does its thing.
Because you’ve heated the avocado, the gas is released much quicker and, thanks to the tin foil, is trapped, forcing it to ripen faster.
When you have 24 hours
If you don’t want to slightly “cook” the avocado and you have a day or two up your sleeve, get yourself a brown paper bag and put the avo and a banana or tomato in to keep it company; both of these fruits are total show-offs when it comes to producing ethylene gas, and that should spur your avocado on.
How to pick the perfect avo to begin with
When it comes to checking for ripeness at the supermarket, a simple trick is to pull back the stem at the top of the fruit.
If it comes away easily and is green underneath, it’s ripe; if it takes effort to pull away it's under-ripe; if it falls away to reveal a brown colour, put the avocado down and walk away. Just walk; that poor avo is already brown and it’s too late to save it.
Now, anyone for guacamole?
By Deirdre Fogarty
If you liked this article, we have plenty more tips, recipes and Test Kitchen know-how in the links below.