Have a bunch of unripe avocados at home and want to know if you can safely eat them ? We understand that waiting around for avocados to ripen can be very annoying, especially if you’re an avid avocado fan.
There’s something about them just sitting on the counter, waiting, and waiting, whispering ‘eat me’, and then they gently laugh when you touch them and they’re still too hard.
Avocados are sneaky little things. Unripe today, overripe tomorrow. Now let’s see if we can eat then unripe.
Can you eat unripe avocados ?
Yes, you can absolutely eat avocados before they are ripe! The flavor and texture will not be as good as ripe avocados, but you do not have to worry about damaging your body.
Other unripe fruits and veggies such as lychee, Chinese lantern berries, and ackees can cause serious bodily issues, from stomach aches to seizures!
That being said, if you decide to use an unripe avocado, your knife and your taste buds may regret it. Read on to find out exactly why!
Why you might not want to eat unripe avocado
Most fruits and vegetables are meant to be consumed ripe. That’s why they’re called that in the first place, ripe, meaning matured and ready for use. So, although it is totally safe, it isn’t shocking to find that eating an unripe avocado may not be the most pleasant experience.
But, why exactly is that?
Unripe avocados are difficult to cut
Avocados are difficult to cut when they are ripe! They are round fruits with a huge pit in the middle! But, when they are unripe, good luck trying to slice them open at all!
Unripe avocados are extremely hard in texture, both inside and out. So, you will certainly feel that rock hard consistency simply by pressing your finger slightly into the avocado at the store.
If you attempt to cut an unripe avocado, this tough, firm texture could actually get you injured. So, make sure you are very careful when using a knife with one of them; it can easily slip and make you cut yourself.
Unripe avocados just don’t taste good
When avocados are ripe, they are beautifully soft and buttery. They taste of sweet and savory goodness, earthy and grassy, yet mild and calming. Plus, they are usually quite cooling for the mouth if you’ve just burned your tongue!
But, when an avocado is unripe, its flavor is pretty… well, gross! There is virtually none of that nice, sweet taste. It’s bitter, yet bland, smooth, yet hard as a rock. Again, it is pretty unpleasant to eat.
But, what if you’ve already cut open your avocado just to discover that it’s not as ripe as you’d like it to be? Well, we’ll tell you what to do with ’em!
How to use unripe avocado
Once you open an unripe avocado, it will never ripen. Trust us; we’ve tried it! Closing a cut, unripe avocado, even in plastic wrap or tin foil, does not ripen it; it simply preserves the unripe fruit for a few more days when kept in the fridge.
So, rather than waste your unripe avocado, we’ve compiled some ways you can use it without getting that bland, unpleasant flavor stuck in your mouth!
Hide it in a smoothie
We know, we know. Smoothies are supposed to be sweet, filled with berries and yogurt and maybe even just a hint of honey! But, if you combine your unripe avocado with some powerful flavors, you won’t even notice it’s in there!
Sweet ripe banana works great with avocado! It’s such a strong, unique flavor that it’ll overpower that bitter taste anyday! You can even feel free to add some healthy dark cocoa powder to the mix, ensuring a sweet smoothie with a kick of chocolate!
Mix it with ripe avocado
If you were planning on using your avocado for guacamole, don’t fret! You still can! Just grab a few ripe avocados, mash them all up together (you may need a blender if the unripe ones are extra firm), and season to taste!
You can tell if an avocado is ripe by lightly pressing into the skin. It should feel soft, but still firm enough so that your finger doesn’t puncture the skin.
We suggest adding some hot sauce to your guacamole if you can handle the heat! Not only will it help mask that unripe avocado even more; it’ll bring your guac to a whole new level of flavor!
Read also: Can You Freeze Guacamole ?
Fry it up
Though not the healthiest option, most can agree that frying your food just makes it so much better. So, just carefully slice up your unripe avocado, dip the slices into some scrambled egg wash, and gingerly place them into hot oil over your stovetop!
This concoction will bubble on contact, so take a few steps back after you drop the slices into the pan.
After a few minutes, flip your avocado slices and cook until both sides are a beautiful golden brown. Feel free to add any seasonings you want, grab some dipping sauce, or enjoy these beauties on their own!
The frying will have made your avocado so soft and flavorful that you won’t even notice they’re unripe!
Make it into soup
Similar to other options, you could mix your unripe avocado with vegetables to cover their bitter taste. Grab some carrots, potatoes, onions, and celery and chop them up with the avocado. Then toss them all into boiling water, cook until soft, and throw them into your blender.
After your veggies (the avocado is an honorary vegetable in this case) are all blended together, season to taste, heat with some chicken or vegetable stock, and serve! You’ll have yourself a flavorful, healthy dish for the whole family to enjoy! And no one will realize there’s unripe avocado mixed in!
How to speed up avocado ripening
If none of the above ideas sound interesting to you, or you just haven’t opened your unripe avocado yet, you may be wondering if you can quicken its ripening process. Well, wonder no more! You can!
Similar to bananas, avocados ripen due to the formation of a gas called ethylene. When avocados are picked unripe, they can still ripen while sealed within their gator-like skin. But, sometimes, that could take days! And oftentimes, when you wait for them to ripen on their own, you forget about them, they get overripe, and they just go bad!
So, here’s how to avoid that and have ripe avocados in no time! Just throw them into a brown paper bag with some bananas, apples, or even kiwis – all of which release ethylene gas, as well – and close the bag tightly! After one day, your avocados should be perfectly soft, deliciously ripe, and ready to enjoy!
If you’ve got any other food curiosities be sure to check the related articles below, we’re always adding more food facts to make your life that much easier.