There's nothing worse than slicing open an avocado and finding a mushy, brown consistency! You'll never encounter that frustration again with this quick tip.See more: Avocado Recipes
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How to Choose the Perfect Avocado
photo courtesy of iStock/NadiaC
Avocados: you either love them or you hate them. But let’s face it – at this point, most of us have hopped on the avocado bandwagon. Whether it’s extra guac on our burritos, avocado toast or even avocado lemon ice cream (yes, it’s a thing!), it’s official: we’re crazy about ‘cados.
Avocado Lime Deviled Eggs
No matter the season, they inevitably end up on our grocery lists. But here’s the thing about avocados: they’re finicky little devils. How many times have you bought an avocado, brought it home, only to realize that it’s overripe or underripe? Just as common is buying a perfectly ripe avocado, then making the mistake of waiting a few days to eat it (and cutting away the brown spots inside in a sad attempt to salvage it).
Save yourself from such disappointments once and for all by learning how to choose the perfect avocado.
All the Things Avocados Can Do
If you’re vegan and/or a Millennial, you’re probably familiar with the avocado’s secret-weapon power to lend dairy-free richness and plush texture to all sorts of foods, both sweet and savory, but if you haven’t yet explored these intriguing…avo-nues, you’re in for a revelation.
You can use avocados as a mayo substitute, an emulsifier in salad dressing, and a creamy ingredient in almost everything else: smoothies, truffles, vegan fudge, pudding, mousse, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce, and all manner of baked goods (try fudgy avocado brownies with a buttercream-style avocado chocolate frosting). They can enrich deviled eggs, or be deviled themselves. They can even serve as edible bowls, and be blended into boozy cocktails.
While we’re far from the first generation of American home cooks to use the beloved superfood with creative applications, it’s fairly safe to say that most of the new crop of recipes are more tempting than the verdant horrors of the 1950s, like this salmon-avocado mold monstrosity:
See also: “California style” chipped beef—but know that it wasn’t all dire. As proof, check out this simple yet prophetic, circa-1949 avocado toast from a vintage cookbook/avocado propaganda pamphlet:
See? Everything old is new again. So if you’ve been content to stick to guacamole, diced avocado in your chili, and sliced in your salad up until now, why not try branching out a bit? (Scroll down to the recipe section for even more ideas.)
There’s more to the fruit than its fabulous flesh, too. Avocado oil is a great cooking medium since it’s nutritious and has a high smoke point. And avocado leaves, although they can be a bit hard to find, lend a unique flavor to many Mexican dishes.
How To Pick An Avocado
The easiest way to pick an avocado is to give a few of them a squeeze when you’re at the supermarket. The darker ones that give a little when you squeeze them are usually your best option.
The hard, green avocados aren’t ready for consumption yet and you won’t be able to cut into them. The mushy, darker ones will be over-ripe and brown inside.
You want the ones that yield to some pressure but still hold their shape.
But instead of trying to find the perfect avocado, I usually buy a range of them so that I’ll always have a fresh avocado on hand for the next week or so.
The hard, green ones will need a few days to ripen. Let them rest on the counter at room temperature.
Ripe avocados that won’t be used that day can go in the fridge. This halts the ripening process and extends their life for a few days. This is a great trick to keep in mind!
Of course, I think it’s best to keep lime and onion on hand because then you’ll always have the option of making some awesome Guacamole , but I might be biased! You can find our Basic Guacamole recipe here .
We also have a list of other Mexican recipes you can make with avocados in our Avocado Tips and Recipes article.
Don’t forget that the best place to store an avocado is in your stomach!
There’s no ideal way to store half an avocado. Wrapping it in plastic and putting it in the fridge is probably the best option. You’ll still get some oxidization on the top of it, but you can usually scrape it off and it will be green underneath.
Okay, let me know if you have any questions about these beauties. Once you get in the habit of buying a range of avocados you’ll always have some ripe ones on hand. Good luck!
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How to pick the perfect avocado from the grocer
As much as Australians love avocado – we each eat an average of 3.5kg of avo per year, according to recent reports – it seems that many of us have not yet mastered the art of picking the perfect avocado.
WATCH: How to make silky smooth avocado mousse
Avocado is a fruit that suits any type of dietary requirement, its filled with essential vitamins and nutrients, and is perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner. Unfortunately, avocado is also a food that tends to become ripe, almost overnight, then rot before you know it. Worse still is buying a lovely, round avocado – expecting plentiful green flesh – only to discover the plum shape was due to nothing but a huge pit.
Fortunately, we have discovered a handy little hack for identifying the best avocado at your local grocer, based on its shape.
Avoid the big, round avocados
We don’t buy avocados for the hard seed inside, and it seems that bigger and rounder an avocado is, the more likely they are to having a large seed inside – and less of the delicious green flesh.
Pick the oval shape
Longer, pear-shaped avocados tend to have smaller seeds inside, and more flesh.
How to know if your avocado is ripe
The best way to identify a freshly ripe avocado is by giving it a good look-over and a gentle squeeze. The skin should be a dark green to almost black-purple colour, and after a very gentle squeeze the avocado should be firm but yield to the pressure of your fingertips. If the fruit feels mushy to touch then it’s probably too ripe.
California Avocado Nutrition
Learning how to cut and peel a California Avocado not only allows you to make the most of this delicious fruit, but it can also help you get the nutritional benefits of the dark-green fruit closest to the peel, where the greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids is. Learn more about California Avocado nutrition, including using avocados as a fat replacement in baking and as a first food for babies.
Here’s How To Pick The Perfect Avocado Every Time
Whether it’s for a guacamole, your breakfast toast or for a milkshake, use these tricks to get the perfect avocado every time.
Perfectly riped avocadoes will feel firm but slightly soft. If you give it a little press, the avocado should feel soft on the inside but not mushy.
According to Erica of Northwest Edible Life, you can tell if an avocado is ripe from the colour under its stem.
Remove the small stem cap at the top of the avocado. If it’s green below, it means the avocado is perfectly ripe and ready to eat. If it’s dark brown, it means it’s overripe.
If the avocadoes you’ve purchased feel a little too light, perhaps it’s because it’s not ripe yet.
If your avocado is overriped, it tends to blemish more easily when handled.
While choosing based on colour is not the best indicator, it helps you save a lot of time when you’re in a rush. Avocadoes that are perfectly ripe will be dark grey-black.
Avocado 101: How To Pick, Store And Handle The Perfect Fruit
• When choosing your avocados, look for delicious Hass avocados. They are known for their creamy texture, have a distinctive bumpy skin and are available year-round.
• To determine the ripeness of a Hass avocado, gently squeeze the fruit-a ripe fruit will yield to gentle pressure. Hass avocados will also turn dark green to black as they ripen.
• If you are buying avocados for future use, purchase firm fruit.
• Avoid fruit with external blemishes.
To ripen a Hass avocado, place the fruit in a paper bag with an apple for two to three days at room temperature (apples accelerate the process by giving off ethylene gas, a ripening agent).
Ripe avocados can be stored in a refrigerator or freezer for later use.
• Mash the avocado, adding 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice per 1/2 mashed avocado to prevent discoloration.
• Lay plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture before covering.
• You can refrigerate the mixture for up to two days or store in the freezer for up to two months.
• Like all fruit, wash the avocado before cutting.
• Cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed.
• Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate.
• Slip a spoon between the seed and the fruit and work the seed out.
• Slip a spoon between the skin and the fruit and scoop away from the peel.
Once you've selected and prepared your Hass avocados, try them in this quick, easy recipe.
1 round flat sourdough bread loaf
2 large Hass avocados, peeled and seeded, divided
3 (6 by 11/2-inch) strips roasted red pepper
1 pound thinly sliced smoked turkey
3 thin red onion slices, separated into rings
3 pepper jack cheese slices
Cut a circle out of the top of the bread tear out the inside of the bread in the bottom section to make a shell. Mash one avocado and mix with salsa spread over the bottom of the bread. Layer pepper strips, onions, cheese and half the turkey inside the bread. Slice the remaining avocado and place on top of the cheese. Top with lettuce and remaining turkey. Replace the bread top and press down firmly to compress ingredients. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into wedges just before serving.
How to Cut an Avocado
Once you've got your avocado ripened to perfection, it's time to cut! How you should cut your avocado depends on how you plan to use it.
Cut in Half & Scoop for Mashed or Puréed Avocado
Use a paring knife to slice through the avocado down to the pit, then twist to separate the halves. Use a spoon to remove the pit, then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh.
This method works best if you plan to mash, blend or purée your avocado. Try it while prepping avocado asparagus wantons, mashed avocado toast or, of course, guacamole. Alternatively, you can simply grill the halved avocado face down (with the skin on) for an easy but decadent side dish.
Slice N' Scoop for Sliced or Cubed Avocado
Cutting your avocado into simple slices or cubes takes just a second. Half and pit the avocado as described above. Hold a half in your hand and use a paring knife to gently slice the flesh lengthwise (cut again widthwise if you want cubes), without piercing the skin. Use a spoon to separate the cubes from the flesh, and you're ready to go.
Use those perfect avocados slices to top turkey bacon cheeseburgers, to make tart-and-creamy avocado and red grapefruit salad or in chipotle ranch chicken wraps. And those avocado cubes? Use them to make yummy tomato and avocado salad, or bread and bake them for kid-friendly avocado bites.
Saturday Supermarket Smarts: How to Pick the Perfect Avocado
The best guacamole is made with creamy fleshed Hass avocados at the peak of ripeness.
1. Look for a forest-green fruit. Darker skin means riper flesh.
2. Cradle it in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze. Guac-ready fruit will give slightly.
3. Flick off the stem. If it pops off easily and what&aposs underneath is bright green (brown means it&aposs overripe), you&aposre good to go!
Once your avocados are ready to be used.
Spread &aposem on toast with eggs for the perfect protein-packed breakfast.