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How to choose the perfect avocado

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Photo: StockSnap/Krzysztof Puszczyński

At Well+Good, we’re always looking for genius hacks to make healthy living a cinch. From the kitchen to your beauty bag, we’re bringing you easy fixes to the most common quandaries every week so that you have a few extra minutes to enjoy your smoothie or savasana. 

The avocado is the gateway drug of healthy eating—it’s delicious, plays well with others, and is a brilliant travel partner. Plus, props to the OG superfood for being a convincing reminder that fat can be your ally.

But there’s nothing more annoying than trying to make an Instagrammable piece of avo toast with a rock-hard, bright green avocado. (Or worse: an overripe one that turned to mush in your tote before you even got home from the supermarket.)

To keep your avocado game on point, we tapped Mexican culinary expert Pati Janich to get her expertise on the surefire way to pick the best option.

Here are her tried-and-true indicators for picking an avocado that is ready to be enjoyed:

1. Touch: An avocado should be soft to the touch, but not mushy.

2. Smell: A ripe avocado will have a stronger smell than one that’s rock solid—but too strong of an odor, and it’s a sure sign that the fruit’s gone bad.

3. Color: Consistency is key. The avocado you want will be almost entirely black.

Another expert tip to ensure you end up with avocado-rose worthy produce every time? Don’t buy in bulk—you don’t want all your avocados to be ripe on the same day when you’re trying to make them last all week.

Now that you’ve picked the perfect avocado, here’s some recipe inspiration. Obsessed with the it-fruit? You can incorporate them into your wardrobe, too!