We’re hooked on this buttery green fruit that’s the perfect addition to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even baked goods. Every avocado offers vitamins and minerals—like potassium, folate, and vitamin K, to name a few—plus monounsaturated fats that’ll help you feel full. We’ve got all the details on what to look for, how to ripen avocados fast, plus recipes and tips straight from the Thrive Market team.
The Most Common Types of Avocados
An avocado tree can grow as tall as 30 feet, and flourishes in regions with mineral-rich soil, lots of sunshine, and a mild climate. But if you’re planting a tree in the backyard, you’ll have to be patient because it won’t start producing fruit for three to five years. While you wait, stock up on the most common varieties from the store or your farmers’ market.
- Named after Rudolph Hass, a Southern California horticulturist who began cultivating this variety in 1926
- Large fruit known for dark skin that turns purplish when ripe
- One of the most popular avocado types in the U.S.
- Known for having small seeds and yielding more fruit per tree than other varieties
- Harvested in early winter through spring
- Slightly pebbled, medium-thick, green skin
- Pear-shaped with smooth, green skin
- Harvested from late fall to early spring
- Skin remains green when ripe
How to Ripen Avocados
Impatient for your avocado to ripen? Not to worry! The first thing to remember is avocados don’t actually ripen on the tree, but after they’ve been harvested. To speed up the process, place an avocado in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana. Either stick it in the refrigerator or a spot with lots of direct sunlight, and it’ll be ready in two to three days. This trick works thanks to ethylene, a plant hormone that occurs naturally in fruits like apples and bananas, and triggers the ripening process by trapping gases in the bag.
6 Avocado Recipes
Hosting friends for game day? Score big points with a vegan dip! All-star ingredients like avocado, jalapeño, and garlic powder make it extra delicious.
Change up burger night with seafood patties. We like using chunks of non-GMO salmon spiced with cumin, paprika, and cayenne. For a creamy condiment, spread on avocado salsa with green onion and lime, plus a smear of avocado oil mayo. Skip the bun to make it Paleo or gluten-free!
It’s hard to scroll through Instagram without seeing avocado toast. We like ours creamy with a little crunch. Try elevating the basic recipe with Asian flavors like coconut aminos, sesame seeds, and toasted nori.
If you’re reaching for chips or candy when afternoon cravings hit, skip a quick-fix and opt for filling hummus. This version is made with garbanzo beans and avocado oil, then puréed with silky tahini for a satisfying snack.
Cake pops are fun to make and fun to eat, and our dairy-free frosting is sure to be a new favorite. We use avocado instead of butter for a silky finish.
Swap steamed veggies and plain salads for a side dish with some real pizzazz. Each spud is filled with wilted greens and topped with avocado before being drizzled with a creamy dressing.
Avocados for Hair and Skin
Nothing beats noshing on a bowl of guacamole, but there are even more ways to use this buttery fruit … like as a skin treatment! Since avocado oil is extracted from the pulp of the fruit (instead of having to chemically extract the liquid from the seed), it’s become a popular addition to kitchens and bathrooms alike. Here are three ways to add a little green to your beauty routine.
- Avocado and olive oil hair mask: Mash half an avocado with half a cup of olive oil and mix until emulsified. Apply to dry hair, working it in thoroughly. Let sit for 20 to 30 minutes before washing and conditioning.
- Leave-in conditioner: Avocado oil for hair? Turns out, it makes a nourishing leave-in conditioner. Just apply a nickel-sized amount while hair is still damp and distribute evenly before styling.
- Face mask: To enjoy this moisturizing mask, cut a ripe avocado into cubes. Add a small amount of avocado oil and mash into a paste. Apply onto clean skin and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Wash it away with your favorite cleanser.
11 Avocado Ideas from Thrivers
The team at HQ is pretty spoiled thanks to an overflowing bowl of avocados that’s stocked in the kitchen at all times. Here are some of our favorite ways to snack!
“Avocados are the vegan superfood above all! They are amazing on salads, sandwiches or in noodle bowls...But honestly, my family loves just eating them with Himalayan pink salt and a spoon! We <3 Avos!"—Jeremiah M., SVP Merch & Product Development
“Everyday I have a protein shake with Greek-style yogurt and a whole avocado. Typically, I use a cup of almond milk, but water works as well. Avocado makes the consistency of the shake incredibly creamy and adds a nice earthy flavor, and I’ve found chocolate protein powder always seems to pair best. I'll add a touch of stevia every now and then for a little sweetness, but other natural sweeteners like honey are great, too.”
—Dillon R., Member Services Trainer
“I add avocado to my breakfast burrito with black pepper cracked on top. The best way to start the day!”
—Davis B., Marketing Analyst
“My go-to: mashed avocado on toast with a drizzle of olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes!! The BEST.”
—Julia L., Project Manager
“I enjoy an open avocado with olive oil drizzled on top. Sometimes sprinkling sea salt, pepper, and chili flakes is good too!”
—Casey B., Member Services
“I love making an avocado smoothie for a little extra creaminess. My go-to recipe is ½ an avocado mixed with a couple teaspoons of matcha powder, ½ a frozen banana, a handful of spinach, and vanilla almond milk (sometimes I throw in a little protein powder too). It's delicious and super filling!”
—Jillian G., Sr. Copywriter
“Cut an avocado in half and remove pit. Fill the hole with olive oil, sea salt and a pinch of cayenne. Spoon it right out of the skin.”
—Brian T., Director of Culture
“As a native Californian, I absolutely love avocados! One fun weekend breakfast we like is baked egg in an avocado. Super easy—halve an avocado, remove the pit and scoop out a little more flesh to make room for one egg per half. Add some salt and pepper (and maybe a little cooked bacon if you’re feeling extra indulgent) and bake at 425° for 15-ish minutes!”
—Jenna E., Director, Thrive Market Brand
“I love to blend an avocado with 1 cup frozen raspberries and a little monk fruit. It comes out like a mousse—so good!”
—Michelle H., Member Services Manager
“I put it on top of a rice cake as a quick and easy snack—bonus tip if you sprinkle some himalayan pink salt and nutritional yeast on top! Also, LOVE topping it on white rice and then pouring on some tamari. Tastes just like an avocado roll!”
—Jamie L., Graphic Designer
“When choosing the perfect avocado at the store, I always take a peek under the stem. If it's green underneath that means it's ripe and ready-to-eat (no brown spots!).”
—Brittany B., Sr. Copywriter