Avocados are gaining popularity because of their rich nutritional value plus it’s mild and unique taste. It’s a versatile food that works with all kinds of dishes. Avocados are not only nutritious and delicious, they seem to be the hipster icon of the year. I have seen so many avocado tattoos on calf muscles and biceps that I’ve lost count. So if you love that green berry (yes, avocados are berries) so much that you would eat it for every meal and get a tattoo of it, stay tuned. The potential to add them to everything from smoothies for a rich and creamy texture, to desserts in order to substitute unhealthy fats, is endless! Avocados are super nutrient-rich, and the fact that they taste delicious makes it easy to get all your vitamins and healthy fats with every bite.
How to shop for avocados:
I love a good life hack, and luckily there are plenty for picking avocados. It’s difficult to base your decision on color alone (though you should observe any discoloration and bruising,) so it’s better to squeeze the berry gently and see if it’s firm but gives just a little. Don’t use your fingertips though, because you could wind up bruising it! If the avocado yields to firm, gentle pressure, then it’s ripe and ready. But if it just feels kind of tough, it’s going to need a couple more days 1
My favorite life hack for avocado selection is this one: peel back the stem! If you scratch off the tiny little stem on the top of the avocado, you’ll be able to know if your choice will be delicious or just brown and slimy inside. If the stem comes off easy and what’s underneath appears green, then it’s ripe! If you find brown underneath, then it’s overripe and won’t be good. And if the stem doesn’t come off and all, then the avocado is under ripe and won’t be ready for some time.
If you’re buying avocados for an event, such as a party that absolutely needs guacamole, purchase unripe avocados 4-5 days in advance. That should give you a nice window and help to ensure you won’t wind up with over-ripe berries at your party.
Taking off the steam is the easiest way to tell whether it’s good to eat or not!
It’s not ripped yet!
How to store avocados:
Once you’re a pro at choosing avocados, you still have to be able to store them. If you’re like me, you don’t always use the entire berry in one sitting; sometime’s I’ll put half into my smoothie, and sometimes I spread a quarter on toast. I typically put my leftover avocado in Tupperware before sticking it in the fridge, but there are better ways to store the green goodness and ensure it won’t be gross by the next morning 2.
No matter what form it’s in, cut, sliced, mashed, or even guacamole, put the remainders in a bowl and sprinkle some lemon, lime or even fresh orange juice on top. The acid slows down the oxidation process (that’s what leads to the brown slime) and prolongs the life of the avocado. But if you do start to see some browning, just scoop those parts out and toss them.
If your avocado is simply sliced in half, you can just run some water over the cut surface and put it in the fridge. It’ll most likely develop a little brown film, but it’ll peel back easily and can be tossed.
If your avocado is perfectly ripe but you don’t have the time to use it, don’t throw it away! Puree your avocado with a food processor or blender and store it in the freezer. When you are ready to try out that new dip or spread recipe, you can take it out and use it.
How to ripen an avocado:
I think we’ve all been there: in the produce section of our supermarket standing in front of the lousy selection of avocados and being forced to find the best of the worst. Obviously you want to choose one that is under-ripe and not over-ripe, but it still means you are going to have to wait to be able to eat it. Maybe as long as four days! Or does it?
It turns out, there are some simple and effective methods to ripening an avocado quickly.
- Place the under-ripe avocado in a paper bag. Make sure the bag is in good shape and there aren’t any rips or tears. The bag is going to seal in the ethylene gas and ultimately ripen the berry.
- Add a banana in the bag with the avocado. You can use an apple or a tomato if you don’t have any bananas lying around, but the banana is your first choice. These fruits emit more ethylene gas than others, and the more they produce, the faster they’ll ripen.
- Close the bag by rolling it down and keep it at room temperature and away from sunlight.
- Check in often. The avocado will ripen as quickly as one day, so be sure to check it out. As it ripens, it will get some hints of deep purple and black. Once it’s ripe, store it as discussed, but only fora few days.
How to ripen a cut avocado:
If you forgot to check for the ripeness of the avocado and went straight to slicing it open, you may be disappointed to realize it’s not read to eat. Luckily you can take a couple steps and ripen the halves in no time.
- Sprinkle the avocado…