Using an Unripe Avocado : Recipes, Tips & Ideas

Updated on March 12, 2016

What to do with a cut open unripe avocado?

Just last week, I cut open an avocado before it was ready. I'm not known for my patience, and I had a craving that needed to be satisfied. Instead, I got the disappointment of a hard, bitter and definitely unripe fruit.

But, the story ends well. My mistake led me to research and experiment with different techniques, recipes and ideas for an unripe avocado that I can now share with you.

Not only is it possible to ripen a cut open avocado, you can eat it unripe using several different techniques to make it soft and tasty.

Scroll down to find out what to do with an unripe avocado - you'll be amazed!

More great avocado ideas

Most people love avocados, but their knowledge is limited to dips or a few slices of the fruit in a sandwich.

I'm a self-confessed avoholic, and I just love sharing cool avocado information with people. Here are a couple of pages I've written about the green fruit.

Best Avocado Slicers, Pitters & Savers 2013
Avocados are one of the tastiest foods ever, but pitting and slicing them can be a messy and slippery process. Not anymore with the modern range of avocado s...

20 Ways to Use Avocado Seeds
You won't believe the amazing ways that avocado seeds can be used. You can create jewellery, dye fabric and make shampoo using avocado pits, as well as many...

Unripe avocado poll

Have you ever thrown out an unripe avocado after cutting it?

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50 Shades of Avocados: 50 Simple, Healthy & Delicious Avocado Recipes For Awesome Meals
50 Shades of Avocados: 50 Simple, Healthy & Delicious Avocado Recipes For Awesome Meals

If the title doesn't tempt you, the easy and tasty recipes will. The authors are nutritionists and diet experts, so you know the recipes are good for you.

Recipes include avocado and olive pinwheels, and an avocado crepe cake that sounds divine.


How to ripen an avocado, fast!

If you haven't cut into it yet, there are some really easy and effective ways to ripen an avocado, fast. Here are some of the techniques that people suggest (I personally use the rice method).

  • Bury it in flour
  • Wrap it in newspaper
  • Store it near fruits such as bananas or apples that release ethylene ( a ripening gas)
  • Place it in a paper bag
  • Put it in a jar of rice
  • Heat it in a microwave

An avocado ripening experiment

Are unripe avocados toxic?

No need to worry - unripe avocados are perfectly safe for human consumption, although they taste pretty bitter raw. This is why it's best to either cook or marinate unripe avocados before eating them, to lessen the taste.

However, unripe and ripe avocados, as well as the pits, skins and leaves should never be given to pets. The fruit contains a molecule called "persin" than can make animals ill or even lead to death.

Avocado saver - a must for avoholics!

Avocados truly are one of my favourite foods, but they happen to be pricey and don't last long once cut open.

That's why I love the idea of this fabulous avocado saver. It keeps your avocado halves green and fresh for days by stopping the oxidisation process. No more wasted avocados, thrown out just because they'd turned brown.

The avocado saver is for you if:

- you only use half an avocado at a time

- you're an avoholic like me

- you hate brown, slimy avocado

Can you ripen an avocado once it's cut open?

You sure can. If you have the patience to wait a couple of days, your avocado can be salvaged.

Just make sure not to throw away the pit. Put the avocado back together, with the two halves fitting snugly around the pit.

Now, stick the halves back together so they can't come open. You can use plastic wrap, masking tape, rubber bands or a piece of twine. Whatever you have on hand will work.

The trick is to make sure the fruit is totally closed, so that no bugs, dust or moisture will get back in.

Now, place the avocado back on the counter or in the fruit bowl (NOT the fridge) and check every 12 hours or so for ripeness by gently poking the fruit.

photo credit: JIGGS IMAGES via photopin cc

Uses for an unripe avocado that's been cut open

It's too late to ripen it normally, you've already cut open the fruit. And you don't feel like sticking it back together and waiting a few more days.

Can you do anything with that hard avocado flesh? Sure you can!

  1. Slice it up, dip in a beaten egg and breadcrumbs. Now either fry the slices or bake them until crispy and golden.
  2. Cube the flesh, bake until soft then mash up. Combined with breadcrumbs, an egg and spices this make nice avocado patties.
  3. Grate the avocado and marinate in a mixture of equal parts sugar, lemon juice and fish sauce. Let rest for at least 20 minutes, then sprinkle the salad with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.
  4. Slice the avocado, wrap the slices in bacon or prosciutto and bake until crisp.
  5. Dice the avocado and place the cubes in a baking dish. Make a bechamel sauce, pour it over the avocado and sprinkle some grated cheese on top. Bake until golden and bubbly.
  6. Dip slices of the avocado in tempura batter and fry until crisp.
  7. Simmer the avocado with onions, garlic, carrots and herbs until the vegetables are soft. Blend the soup until totally smooth, add salt and pepper to taste and serve with a squeeze of lemon juice or sour cream.

Questions & Answers

    What do you do with an unripe avocado?

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      • profile image

        Oliver 7 months ago

        Curious to know what's the reason to keep the pit to help ripen the cut avocado? thanks

      • profile image

        KD 18 months ago

        We are hosting a company lunch with a Mexican cuisine. We purchased and split around 15 avacados before realizing their extreme under-ripeness. Thanks to this post, we were able to soften them up on the grill with foil, lime juice, and spices to make a much more edible guacamole dish than we thought possible. Thank you!

      • profile image

        RuralAl 18 months ago

        Fabulous! You can also blend it with mousse ingredients for a lovely pudding. I used 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 unripe avocado, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1 t vanilla extract and honey to taste.

      • Sandi Kroeger profile image

        Sandi Kroeger 2 years ago from Minnesota, USA

        I love avocados and eat them fairly often. I didn't know how to ripen them however. Thank you so much!

      • profile image

        Klara 2 years ago

        Thank you very much, you saved my avocado that I thought of throwing away...:-)

      • Lady Lorelei profile image

        Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

        You really are the top on the use of avocados and I now know so very much more about this fruit. Thank you.

      • profile image

        dudokdudok 4 years ago

        I love avocado. Great informative lens. Did not know avocado can be fried.

      • profile image

        webscribbler 5 years ago

        Thank you. I never knew how to select an avocado. Now I just might have to try my hand at making some fresh guacamole. ooooh yum!

      • profile image

        anonymous 5 years ago

        I throw them away, but I won't have to do that anymore thanks to this lens. Well done!