Is It Safe To Eat An Unripe Avocado?

While Central and South Americans have been privy to avocado's buttery taste for centuries, the tropical fruit didn't become popular stateside until the 1980's and had another surge of prominence around 10 years ago. What seemed like a passing millennial trend soon became a solidified brunch staple. For some avocado aficionados, having a few unripe avocados means they must begrudgingly choose another ingredient with which to make toast — or do they?

With other beloved tropical fruits like lychee or passion fruit, eating them unripe can be dangerous, resulting in fever, seizures, or cyanide poisoning from young passion fruits, specifically. Thankfully, avocados don't share the same fate. While they won't taste as good, there's no problem with eating an unripe avocado. If you're unable to tell from its bright, green look and firm skin that an avocado is unripe, the bitter or bland taste will certainly be an indication.

Despite its underwhelming flavor and flesh that's as hard as the outer skin, unripe avocados aren't dangerous, so you can still go ahead and eat them. If you can't wait for it to ripen or have already opened it up accidentally, there are a number of things to do with an unripe avocado.

What to do with an unripe avocado

Although avocados are typically known for having a creamy mouth feel, firmer fruits are perfect for making California avocado chips. Sliced into wedges and coated in a mix of beer and flour, these beer-battered appetizers turn tasteless avocados into delicious, crispy fries. Serve them with tangy coleslaw and spicy aioli.

If you're still craving avocado toast, you can remove the seed and crack an egg into the empty space. Sprinkle everything from salt and pepper to crumbled bacon and cheese into the egg and bake for about 15 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Not only does the avocado flesh soften, but the savory eggs baked into the sweet fruit are better than any avocado toast.

Even if you don't want to bake an egg with it, baking the fruit in general is a great hack to speed-ripen an avocado. By wrapping it in aluminum foil and leaving it in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Fahrenheit for around 10 to 20 minutes, you can soften it enough to make guacamole or savory avocado mousse. However, you'll still need to add plenty of salt and lemon or lime juice to mask the bitter taste. Of course, you can always use the old banana trick to quickly ripen an avocado in a paper bag and enjoy its nutty, buttery flavor.