Avocados 101

Avocados 101

We would like to introduce our guest bloggers, the experts on everything avocado from Avocados From Mexico. They are here to share tips and tricks on everything you need to know about our favorite fruit, avocados.

Avocados 101: Everything you need to know about handling everyone’s favorite fruit!

Fruit? Yep, we said fruit! Avocados are a fruit because they contain a pit or seed. And it’s a fruit unlike any other. Here, you’ll find everything you’ve ever wanted to know about selecting, handling, and storing (oh, and EATING) the beloved fruit that moonlights as a vegetable… the avocado, all courtesy of the avocado experts at Avocados From Mexico.

How To Pick The Perfect Avocado

This question can be answered with another question: When do you want to use your avocado? If you want to eat your avocado right away, then look for one that’s ripe. A ripe avocado will have very dark, greenish-black bumpy skin and you’ll feel a slight give when you gently press it. If you want to eat your avocado in a day or so, then select an avocado that’s hard to the touch with smooth lighter, brighter green skin. That way your avocado won’t be overly ripe when you’re ready to use it.

Check out more on selecting the perfect Avocados From Mexico here.

How To Ripen An Avocado

Have unripe avocados that you want to use in your favorite guac recipe tomorrow? Grab a banana! Yes, a banana… and a brown paper bag. Place your avocado in a brown paper bag with the banana. Ready for the science? Ripe bananas contain a natural plant hormone called ethylene, which triggers ripening in mature fruit. The paper bag traps the ethylene gas that’s produced by the fruit and speeds up the ripening process. Check your avocado in the morning – it may only take an overnight stay in the banana bag hotel to ripen! And remember, this same science applies if you DON’T want your avocados to ripen fast… keep them away from your bananas.

Find a couple more ripening tricks here, including what to do if you’ve already cut the avocado, only to find it’s NOT ripe – ah!

How To Store An Uncut Avocado

Believe it or not, ripe avocados like to get chilly. Once your avocados reach your ideal stage of ripeness, you can store them in the refrigerator for 2-3 days to slow down further ripening and keep them just right. If your avocado isn’t quite ripe, leave it out on your countertop. Over the next 4-5 days, your avocado will ripen and be ready for you to enjoy. Be sure to check for ripeness daily!

Find some more about that here.

Now the million-dollar question… how to store ripe, CUT avocados?

Have half an avocado that you want to enjoy later? No problem! Remove the pit, sprinkle the green flesh with lemon or lime juice, or even olive oil, and then put plastic wrap around it so it clings to the avocado, sealing it from air. This prevents your avocado from turning brown and going bad (or, as science calls it, oxidation). Oxygen exposure is your enemy here!

There are a few more ways you can tackle this here.

How To Cut An Avocado

Don’t be intimidated. It’s simple! Start with washing your hands, then rinse the uncut avocado. Using a sharp paring knife, cut the avocado in half length ways, top to bottom. Then, pry the two halves apart with your hands or give the two halves a little twist to help them separate more easily. To remove the pit, place your avocado on a flat surface (which is safer than holding it by hand for this next move!) and thwack the pit with your knife so the pit sticks to the knife blade. Then, carefully lift it out of the fruit.

Pro hack: Target the white spot on the bottom of the pit. Stick the point of your knife right under that and gently lift. The pit will pop right out!

No knife? No problem! You can even cut into a ripe avocado using a butter spreader or narrow metal spatula!

From there, you can slice, dice, or scoop! To slice, hold one avocado half in your hand and use your paring knife to gently slice the flesh from top to bottom, but don’t cut through the skin. Then use a spoon to gently scoop out the slices. To dice, slice the flesh from top to bottom and then again from side to side. Be careful to not cut through the skin! Then again, use your spoon to gently scoop out the dices. If you just want to scoop, grab your spoon and scoop out the flesh by gently putting your spoon between the flesh and the skin.

Pro tip: If you want to dice and do it quickly, grab a grid-style cooling rack if you have one. Press it down on avocados that have been scooped out to quickly dice them.

Ways To Use Your Avocado

Oh, the possibilities one avocado can bring! Guac, dips, salads, sandwiches, burgers, smoothies, and obviously, avocado toast… YUM! Find some inspiration here.

And because NO ONE wants BROWN guacamole, be sure to check out how to keep your guacamole from browning.