Known for their creamy texture, avocados are grown in warm climates and help prevent several types of diseases. Several studies have been conducted on its benefits until it was found that avocados contain nearly 20 essential vitamins and nutrients. In addition to that, it is the only fruit that features the highest amount of mono-saturated fat. You might be familiar with avocados as they are used to make the perfect guacamole but the key lies in purchasing them at perfect ripeness.
Once you have purchased perfectly ripened avocados, the next step is storing and cutting them to be consumed. If you are not sure of what to do with them and exactly how let us help you out. In this article, we are going to share everything from selecting to storing avocados so that you could prepare them with ease.
While searching for the perfect avocados in terms of ripeness, look for the ones that happen to be slightly soft but not too squishy. It is suggested that avocados with a slight neck should be preferred as it is a sign that such avocados took a comparatively longer time to ripen on trees. As a result, it should taste better as well. It needs to be mentioned that the more ripened avocado is, the better it shall taste. Even if you happen to purchase slightly young avocados at the local store, you will have to store them for around 3-4 days for them to fully ripe.
However, less mature avocados are firmer and usually feature bruises. Wrap it in a plastic paper bag and store it for a couple of days, depending on where you live. Furthermore, if you wish to speed up the ripening process, store the avocados with apple or banana as they emit ethylene gas, which promotes and spurs the ripening process. Once they are ripened, you could then store them for weeks.
Working with Avocados
Now that the avocados are ripened, it is time to get down working with them. Avocados are fairly simple in that respect. Grab a knife and proceed to cut the fruit in half. While you are cutting it, you should feel the pit, which you could use as a guide to working your way around. Once, you are done cutting, just twist and separate. Amongst the two partitions, only one would contain the pit.
To extract the pit, you could either butt it using your knife or simply squeeze it a bit so that it pops right out. The remaining flesh could be then removed using a spoon and the skin could be peeled off as well. Now, it is ready for you to be cut in pieces to be used as a dressing for salads or desserts. Although people tend to make guacamoles of avocados but there isn’t any limitation. Regardless of how you use it, avocados are going to taste creamy and delicious.
The only thing you should be worried about while preparing avocados is browning. If the avocados become too browned, you will not be able to consume them. Browning takes place when the skin of the avocados is exposed to oxygen due to a chemical reaction that takes place with the enzymes of the fruit. However, there is no need to worry. It could be prevented by following a simple set of instructions.
If you wish to make guacamole using avocados, note that the exposed flesh consists of squirt lemon, citrus, or lime juice. Therefore, you need to use the boiling method. Immediately after cutting the avocado, place it in a boiling pan with water inside for exactly 10 seconds, nothing less, nothing more. Once boiled, transfer them to cool down in an ice bath. Although it is a perfect way to kill the enzymes even then, the avocados are not in the perfect cooking condition. You cannot consume them unless they turn slightly brown. Therefore, you will have to wait a while.
Ways To Eat Avocado
The easiest way to enjoy avocados is to sprinkle them with a pinch of salt and pepper. You can try other seasonings like lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, cayenne pepper, paprika, etc. The quickest way to season an avocado is to cut it into chunks and sprinkle it with a little balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
In Scrambled Eggs
If you want to give a twist to a usual morning dish, add avocado to the scrambled eggs. Simply add diced avocado to the eggs as they cook in a skillet. Be sure to do this when the eggs are halfway through cooking before the avocado starts burning. Now continue cooking until the avocado is warmed through.
If you prefer a fresher avocado, add it after the eggs are off the heat. Complete the avocado dish with toppings of grated cheese and garnish it with salt and pepper for taste.
If you are looking for more nutritious morning meals, then try incorporating avocados in the breakfast. It will be one of the reasons why we shouldn’t skip breakfast? One way is to fill half an avocado with an egg and bake at 425℉ (220℃) for 15 to 20 minutes until the egg white is completely set.
Also, you can top the avocado with crumbled and cooked bacon and season with fresh spices and herbs such as salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and parsley. Additionally, you can replace the eggs with fruits, vegetables, chicken, and tuna.
It is possible to replace regular spreads such as margarine and butter with avocados. Using mashed avocado as a spread on the sandwiches and toast makes a vitamin and mineral-rich diet.
Guacamole might be one of the most famous Mexican dishes. You can use avocados to make this dish with just seasonings, herbs, and avocados. Also, you can combine it with other great ingredients such as quinoa, broccoli, pineapple, and corn.
As A Substitute For Mayonnaise
In mayonnaise dishes, avocados can be an ideal substitute as a binding ingredient. For example, you can use avocado to make the egg, chicken, or tuna salads.
As A Substitute For Sour Cream
Usually, avocados can be used for dishes that normally have sour cream. For example, you can make baked potatoes with toppings of grated cheese and mashed avocados.
Another option of making dairy-free sour cream substitute by mixing:
- 2 avocados.
- Juice of 2 lemons.
- 2 tablespoons of water.
- 2 tablespoons of avocado or olive oil.
- A pinch of salt and pepper.
In a guide to avocados, you will learn that there are extra calories from fiber and fat in avocados that can help you to stay full for longer periods. At later meals, it can reduce calorie intake. Salads might be lighter in calories, but adding avocados can make a heartier meal.
Another great way of enjoying avocados is in soups. Avocados can be used as the main ingredient to make avocado soup. Also, you can add chunks of avocados to other types of soups that can be enjoyed hot or chilled.
In The Sushi Rolls
Sushi is a staple of Japanese cuisine. Usually, it is made with shellfish or fish, seaweed, or rice. However, avocados are also widely used in sushi rolls. They can be used to fill or cover sushi rolls because of their cream mouthfeel.
Grilled avocados make a great dish, especially for grilled meats such as barbecues. Simply cut an avocado in half and remove the pit. Drizzle lemon juice over the halves and brush them with olive oil. Now place the cut side down on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Finally, season them with the seasoning of your choice or just salt and pepper.
Avocado pickles are delicious and they can be used in the dish you normally use avocados such as sandwiches and salads. Stack a smarter sandwich as follows:
- White Vinegar – 1 Cup (240ml)
- Water – 1 Cup (240ml)
- Salt – 1 tbsp
- Mix the ingredients in a saucepan and bring them to a boil.
- Pour the mixture into a jar and three diced green avocados.
- Cover the lid and let the mixture and avocados marinate for a few days before eating them.
The pickling solution can be flavored with different ingredients such as chili peppers, peppercorns, mustard seeds, fresh herbs, and garlic.
Smoothies can be a perfect substitute for a snack or meal. You can combine the avocado with different types of vegetables, especially leafy vegetables such as kale and fruits like berries, pineapple, or bananas. Also, a protein-rich drink can be made by adding milk, Greek Yogurt, and protein powder with avocados.
For a quick shake, blend the following:
- Avocado – 1 Ripe, Halved and Pitted
- Banana – 1/2
- Milk – 1 Cup (240ml)
- Vanilla Greek Yogurt – 1/2 Cup (125g)
- Spinach – 1/2 Cup (15g)
- Ice Cream to Taste
Health Benefits of Avocados
Apart from selecting and preparing avocados, one should be aware of its health benefits as well. It is already a well-known fact that avocados are power-packed fruits. Therefore, let us take a deeper look inside some of its benefits.
Avocados contain more potassium
Diets usually revolve around carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and calories. However, one compound that we mostly neglect and is required by our body is potassium. Potassium is found in bananas but avocados happen to contain twice the amount. Furthermore, potassium helps the electrical reactions taking place inside your body, which involves the nerves and cells as well. Several studies have proven the fact that potassium helps reduce the blood pressure and at the same time prevents kidney failure and strokes.
Avocados are loaded with mono-saturated fats
Avocados are known to be high-fat fruits. However, this does not mean that you will be gaining extra-weight. In fact, the amount of fat found in avocados is solely due to calories. As a result, avocados are known to be one of the fattiest food items in the world. However, it is not any regular fat. The majority fat found in avocados is oleic acid, which is basically a mono-saturated fat featuring olive oil as a major component. Oleic acid features properties that help keep the inflammations at bay and reduces the risk of cancer.
Avocados are fiber-packed
Fibers are required by your digestive system to help it with bowel movements. In addition to that, people who suffer from constipation problems tend to consume fiber diets as well. Not only that, but fibers also help with weight loss, sudden blood sugar spikes, and keep you feeling full for a long time. Avocados contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. While soluble fibers are dissolved with water, insoluble fibers on the other hand are sent to the large intestine, which helps the gut bacteria indigestion.
Avocados prevent depression
Avocados consist of folate in a high amount that helps reduce the risk of depression. Reason being, that folates prevent the production of homocysteine, which slows down or prevents the transfer of healthy nutrients to the brain. Furthermore, it could also halt the production of enzymes that are related to sleep, mood, and appetite.
Avocado – Prepare and Enjoy Nutritious Avocado Snacks
As it turns out, avocados are easy to work with. Not only are they delicious but extremely nutritious as well. This makes them a perfect food item for everyday consumption and desserts. Furthermore, now that you are aware of selecting and preparing avocados the right way, nothing could stop you from taking advantage of it. Remember, that avocados need to be perfectly ripened before consumption. If you wish to taste deliciousness each time, make sure that provide sufficient time for it to ripe.
In many recipes, you can add avocados as a nutritional boost. Just 1 ounce or 8 grams of avocado can give you healthy fats, protein, and fiber. Apart from the nutritious facts of avocados, you can use them in several delicious recipes. For nutritious breakfast and lunch or dinner, you can stuff eggs in avocados. If you are making mayonnaise and sour cream, you can use avocado as a substitute. Also, they can be used in salads, sushi rolls, soups, and smoothies.