How to Choose, Store, Prepare and Serve Avocados
There are lots of words out there to describe avocados: healthy, velvety, delicious and others. But “deceptive” isn’t a characteristic one would normally associate with these tasty fruits. Avocados, however, can be quite deceptive when determining if they’re ready to eat. That is why we have compiled some tips on how to choose your avocados, prepare them and serve them.
Choosing the Perfect Avocado
Unless you really know your avocados and the different varieties, don’t rely on the color of the avocado to tell whether or not it’s ripe. Some avocados change color as they ripen and go from green to dark green—or almost black. The color of ripeness really depends on the variety.
Feel the avocado. Squeeze it gently. It should be quite firm yet not hard. If it is very soft, then it is over-ripe, and if it has dark blemishes, these are bruises. If the fruit is bruised, don’t buy it.
You Can Also Ripen Avocados at Home
To make sure you always have some on hand, consider purchasing avocados before they are ripe. Place them in a paper bag or in your fruit bowl at room temperature. You will notice that the skin will darken as the fruit ripens.
Do not refrigerate un-ripened avocados. However, once they are ripe, you can keep them in the fridge for up to a week. Preferably, keep them whole. Only slice them when you are going to eat them as they go brown after peeling when they come into contact with the air due to oxidation.
Preparing Your Avocado for Serving
Don’t peel the avocado until you have cut it. Instead, cut it lengthwise all the way round. The avocado seed is large, so the best way to separate the two halves is to twist them in opposite directions and then gently pry them apart. You can remove the large seed with your fingers. If you are only going to eat half the avocado, keep the seed intact, wrap the half with the seed firmly and refrigerate.
If you are planning to serve the entire avocado, then remove the seed with a spoon. Now, you can gently peel the skin off the avocado before cutting it into sections.
To prevent the avocado from going brown, WHfoods.com advises you to sprinkle it with lemon juice. Alternatively, you can place it in boiling water before cutting and peeling for 1 minute. This seems to “cook” the avocado and keep it green for longer.
Simple Serving Tips
Avocados are best served raw to preserve all their wholesome nutrients. Here are some serving suggestions:
- One of the most delicious ways to serve an avocado is by adding some salt and pepper, and drizzling with lemon juice.
- Add avocado slices or cubes to salads.
- Mash, season and serve as guacamole.
- Mash and prepare as a dessert. Mixed with cocoa and sweetener this makes a delicious chocolate mousse, ice cream, shake or fruit smoothie.
Avocados may be one of the most popular and tasty organic treats out there, but there are plenty of dishes to try in your local restaurants. Organicrestaurants.com can help you find an organic eatery near you. Visit the Organic Restaurant Search page to get started.