This buttery fruit provides a healthy dose of good fats and has a decadent, mild taste. Many of us enjoy avocado in guacamole, but there are many other ways to get this fruit onto our plates. Try adding them to scrambled eggs when they are nearly finished cooking or mash and spread avocados on toast. You can even use avocado as a healthy sandwich spread, in place of mayonnaise.
The two most common varieties of avocado are Hass (they have a rough, bumpy texture) and Fuerte (they have a thin, smooth skin).
How to Pick and Store Avocados:
To pick the perfect avocado, select one that seems heavy for its size and free from blemishes and not overly soft.
For a ripe fruit, it should be tender when gently pressed and will be a dark purple (nearly black) colour. Ripe avocados can be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. Just remove them from the fridge half an hour before you need them in order to get the most flavour and buttery texture.
If you don’t plan to use the avocado for a few days, choose one that is not ripe yet (green in colour) and allow it to ripen on the counter or on a windowsill.
How to Prepare an Avocado:
Cut your avocado lengthwise around the pit and gently twist both halves in opposite directions to separate them (like you are opening a jar that’s a stuck). Take the side that has the pit and smack the heel of a knife into the pit. Twist the knife and lift out the pit. Or, scoop out the pit with a spoon.
As soon as the avocado is cut, it will start to darken, but the taste won’t be affected. Adding lemon or lime juice will keep it from turning brown and actually brighten the colour of the flesh.
- If you are making dip, slightly over ripened avocados are the best to use. They’ll give you that buttery soft texture and flavour – and they’re the easiest to mash.
- If you want extra smooth guacamole, make it in a mini food processor or blender.
- One large avocado will give you about one cup mashed.
- If you are cooking with avocado, keep in mind they will turn slightly bitter when cooked, so add them at the end of the cooking process.
- Did you know you can store ripe avocados in the freezer? They’ll be too soft when they thaw to add to a salad, but they’ll still make a great dip.
- Store avocados at room temperature to ripen – a sunny window works best. If you want to accelerate the ripening process, place an avocado in a paper bag with a ripe banana.
- When choosing avocados for the week, pick them at different stages of ripeness.
What Goes Well With Avocado?
They love lime, lemon, cilantro, salt, pepper, chili peppers, and onions (sounds like a guacamole recipe to me!). They also go well with lettuce, grapefruit, salsa, sour cream, and tomatoes.