Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Avocados!!!

Avocados by Jan-peter Westermann
Our family loves avocados. They are full of vitamins and minerals and are a good source of monounsaturated fats. Avocados support brain and nerve health while they contribute to healthy vision as well. They also contain beta-sitosterol, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Avocados are a perfect baby food because they do not have to be cooked before mashing. They taste wonderfully creamy and compliment many other foods. We love them diced over fried rice or sliced into a salad. Or, on top of pita pizzas.

But, isn't it the pits to cut open an avocado only to find it black and bruised?!? Here's how I select an avocado so that my chances of finding it perfect are highest.
  • First, I don't buy avocados when they are completely ripe. If I do, they are almost always bruised.
  • I prefer to buy avocados when they are turning black and have little green on their skin, yet they are still firm to the touch. At this stage, they will ripen in only a day or two. And, if no child smashes them while putting them away, they usually are perfectly smooth inside.
  • Cut open an avocado when it is slightly soft to the touch, but not mushy.
  • If green (unripe) avocados are on sale, I set them next to bananas, so they will ripen nicely. They will ripen slower without the bananas and they don't seem to taste as divine. I have also heard that keeping them in a brown paper bag helps with ripening, but I haven't tried this method.
  • I don't buy the larger Florida avocados with the "Lite Avocado" label. They taste watery to me.
  • If your avocados get to the perfect ripening stage before you are planning to use them, you can store them in the refrigerator for two or three days to keep them ready.

While we eat avocados with all sorts of food, they are best known as the main ingredient in guacamole. We love good guacamole! We serve it with chips but it can also be served with vegetables for dipping as well.

AE's Best Guacamole:

  1. In a large bowl, mash two or three perfectly ripe avocados.
  2. Add the juice of half of a lemon. If you're using three big avocados, you might want to use the whole lemon. (I have used lime, and in a pinch, I have used orange. Each give a different flavor.)
  3. Add one minced garlic clove, salt and pepper to taste. We like ours peppery.
  4. Stir together until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add in one finely chopped tomato or 1/2 a finely chopped red bell pepper.
  6. If possible, add in freshly chopped cilantro.
  7. Store the pits in the guacamole until you are ready to serve it in order to keep it fresh and green.
  8. Enjoy!

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Photo Credit: Allposters.com

14 comments:

Christian Frugal Mama said...

Mmm... I do love them, but they're expensive in these here parts (Ohio) :) I love chunky guac. with the avocados just diced up and mixed with salsa or tomatoes and seasonings. Now I want some...

{ L } said...

I love avocados and now I want to eat some! A fun snack is avocado slices with honey drizzled over them...mmm. I have never heard of placing them by bananas to ripen. I will have to try that for sure!

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the tips. I was always buying the very ripe ones. Now I know I can buy the less ripe ones and let them hang out a bit. =)

Super Healthy Kids said...

When I eat avocados today I can't beleive it took me 35 years to try them! I literally drool when I see one now. I spread them on bread, chop for salads, and just scoop with out with a spoon and eat.

Kristin said...

I made my daughter what I call "nanner-cados" Mashed bananas and avocados with a few drops of lemon juice to keep from browning. She loves them.

Kirsty said...

I love a great avo and I love guac too. Thanks for these awesome tips and recipe, I will put them to good use :)

Raising Olives said...

Avocados have been all of our babies first food. Like you said, perfect.

The recipe looks wonderful, we love Guacamole. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

Have any tips for purchasing inexpensive avocados? I like eating one for lunch, but for our family of 11-12 that can be pricey.

Thanks,

Kimberly

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Kimberly,

I do not have a Sams or Costco membership, but my aunt can buy a bag of five there for a very good price. I have to wait for them to be on sale for $1 each at Kroger... but that is still a bit pricey for a family of 11!

Thanks for your comment! AE

Laura said...

I have a friend that make a super-delish sorbet out of avocados that surprised even avocado-lovin' me! Sometimes she freezes it into fun shapes for the kiddos too.

Larissa Smith said...

The bag trick works! I always buy firm avocados and put them in a paper bag with an apple. They are perfectly ripe and unbruised in about two days.

Mom2fur said...

I love avocadoes! I never thought about putting green ones next to bananas to ripen them--what a great idea!

Mrs. Querido said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog :) I look forward to perusing yours!

We LOVE avocados. My husband is from Oaxaca and they have avocado trees at his parents' house! So delicious straight off the tree!

Never heard of the banana avocado ripening trick. Very cool...I need to try that one!

Erin @ Closing Time said...

I love avocados too. Thanks for the ripening tips!

Elizabeth Dark Wiley said...

hey amy,
I'm having a good time looking around your blog! So, putting the pits in with the guac will help it stay green longer? That
s fantastic! Why is that?