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How to Select and Store Avocado

 

This buttery superfruit provides a healthy dose of good-for-you monounsaturated fats and has a decadent, mild taste and creamy texture. Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit. Many of us enjoy avocado in guacamole, but there are many other ways to get this fruit onto our plates. Substitute avocado as a healthy sandwich spread, in place of mayonnaise or butter. Try adding them to your scrambled eggs when they are nearly finished or simply mash it up and spread it on toast. Avocados can also be used as a substitute for oil in baked goods.

How to Select Avocados

To pick the perfect avocado, select one that is heavy for its size, which is free from blemishes. It should be soft but not mushy. Ripe fruit will yield to gentle pressure and will be a dark brown or nearly black colour. Avoid squeezing and applying pressure with your fingertips as too much pressure can cause bruising and will spoil the fruit. Hard, green avocados are not ready to eat and will take 3 -5 days to ripen at room temperature on the counter.

If you only plan to eat one per day, pick avocados with staggering ripeness so they are ripe and ready to eat on subsequent days. The best way to tell how ripe avocados are is to gently squeeze them, to test their firmness. Avoid avocados with overly soft patches. You can also remove the stem cap at the top of the avocado to see how ripe they are. If it does not remove easily, it’s not yet ripe. We only recommend doing this with avocados you’ve already bought so you don’t cause avocados at the store to spoil prematurely.

How to Store Avocados

If you don’t plan to use your avocado for a few days, select one that is not yet ripe (firm and green in colour), and allow it to ripen on the counter or on a windowsill. Check it periodically and enjoy when ready.

If you wish to speed up the ripening time, place it in a brown paper bag with a banana. Ethylene gas given off by the banana will speed up the ripening time by about half.

Ripe avocados should be kept in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them. For maximum eating enjoyment, bring them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes to rest before eating to enjoy the best flavour and texture.

How to Freeze Avocado

Avocados freeze well in pureed form. Wash your avocados, then cut and remove the skin and pit. Mash with a fork or puree in a blender or food processor with 1 Tbsp of lime or lemon juice per avocado to stop them from discolouring. Then transfer to an ice cube tray and place in freezer. Once frozen, transfer the avocado cubes to a freezer-safe airtight container or plastic bag to have on hand to add to smoothies, make guacamole, or spread onto a sandwich later. Use frozen puree within 4-5 months.

 

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