This healthy fruit has increased in popularity in recent years. Avocados have great flavor and nutritional value. Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. Here are some tips for using avocados.
- When shopping, look for dark-skinned avocados. Choose heavy, undamaged fruit with no soft spots. For mashing, pick avocados that give under gentle pressure; for chopping or slicing, select ones that are a little firmer.
- Ripen avocados in a closed paper bag on the counter until the bottom gives slightly. To speed up ripening, add an apple or banana to the bag for the release of ethylene gas. Once they are ripe, store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
- Using a chef’s knife, cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Twist the halves in different directions to separate them. Gently tap the pit with the sharp edge of the knife with enough force so the knife edge wedges into the pit but not so hard that you cut all the way through it. Using the edge of the knife, twist the pit out of the avocado and discard. Another option is to use a spoon and go around the pit and then pop it out.
- To mash avocado, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and mash with a fork. To dice, place avocado halt, cut-side up, on a work surface. Make three or four evenly spaced length cuts through the flesh down to the skin, without cutting through the skin. Make four crosswise cuts in the same fashion. Scoop out the diced avocado flesh with a spoon.
- They can be used in salads, in dips and topping sandwiches and burgers.