Avocado 101: How To Choose, Store And Use The Best Fruit

April 14, 2012 12:41 PM EDT
Avocado Crab Salad
Avocado Crab Salad (Photo: Flickr)

About Avocados

The fruit called better grown in forest, has smooth and subtly taste, and creamy texture. The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, as substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content.

Avocado is mainly cultivated in tropical climates, primarily in Mexico, California, Hawaii, and Florida. California is the number one producer of avocados in the United States. And Mexico is the world's leading producer of avocados.

Avocado provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. It plays a role as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant preventing cancer and heart disease as well as essential for the normal functioning of the body.

Follow Us

In fact, avocado contains plenty of fat. But as it is monounsaturated fat, it actually helps reduce cholesterol.

How to choose and store avocado

The best way to tell if an avocado is ready for use is to gently squeeze the fruit in the palm of your hand. If it is ripe and ready to eat, it will be firm yet will yield to gentle pressure. Only with the color of avocado, you cannot tell which one is ripe. Avocado will turn dark green or black as it ripens, but other varieties retain their light-green skin even when ripe.

The flesh of avocado is prone to enzymatic browning; it turns brown quickly after exposure to air. Adding lime or lemon juice on it can prevent it from enzymatic browning. To ripen an avocado, place it in a brown paper bag and store at room temperature 65-75° until ready to eat (usually two to five days). And it is good for soft ripe one to be refrigerated until it is used in dishes, but not for more than two or three days.

Avocado Usage

Avocados are used not only in salads and the ever popular guacamole, but also in breads, desserts, main dishes, and in non-culinary creams for facials and body massages.

The Taiwanese eat avocados with milk and sugar. Indonesians mix them with milk, coffee, and rum for a cold libation. Filipinos puree them with sugar and milk to make a dessert drink.

North America Indians eat avocados as salad vegetables, merely halved and garnished with seasonings, lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar, mayonnaise or other dressings. Often the halves are stuffed with shrimp, crab or other seafood. Avocado flesh may be sliced or diced and combined with tomatoes, cocumbers or other vegetables and served as a salad.

Guacamole originated from Mexico, a mixed with lemon or lime juice, onion juice, minced garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper has become very popular as a dip for chips.

In Brazil, the avocado is regarded as a fruit rather than as a vegetable. So it is used in a sherbet, ice cream, or milk shakes. Some people in Hawaii also prefer the avocado sweetened with sugar and they combine it with fruits such as pineapple, orange, grapefruit, or banana.

Avocado Recipes

Avocado Toast
Basic Guacamole
Salmon and Avocado Bagel Sandwich
Avocado Smoothie
Traditional Mexican Breakfast Dish: Huevos Rancheros


More News

Most Popular

< >

INSIDE Food & Recipe