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:
- In a large bowl, mash two or three perfectly ripe avocados.
- 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.)
- Add one minced garlic clove, salt and pepper to taste. We like ours peppery.
- Stir together until thoroughly mixed.
- Add in one finely chopped tomato or 1/2 a finely chopped red bell pepper.
- If possible, add in freshly chopped cilantro.
- Store the pits in the guacamole until you are ready to serve it in order to keep it fresh and green.
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