fruit veggies: avocados


Fruit + veggies 101

By Leigh Felesky
First published in Chatelaine’s May 2003 issue.
© Rogers Publishing Ltd.

Rich and buttery, avocado fanatics will tell you this fruit is like a dream on everything from salsa to salad.

How to buy

• Since ripe avocados are hard to find, plan to get them a couple of days before you plan to use them.
• Ripe and ready-to-use avocados are soft, yielding to pressure. They should be deep purple, almost black. Make sure they are not mushy, at this point they start to taste rancid.
• Unripe avocados are green and take a few days to ripen.

How to store

• Ripe avocados keep in the refrigerator for up to one week (but eat them at room temperature).
• Avocados ripen best off the tree. To speed ripening, place them in a paper bag with holes in it with an apple or on a windowsill with direct sunlight.

How to prepare

• Many say that for guacamole, the Hass, grown in California and Mexico, is the only variety of avocado. Others claim that the less popular Florida avocado, which stays green even when ripe, is sweeter and moister and contains fewer calories. If you’re new to avocados, stick to the Hass.
• To peel, cut in half around the stone and pull apart. Put a fork in the seed and twist, it will remove easily.
• Scoop out the fleshy insides with a spoon. For salads, slice it up into thin slices and use as a garnish; it goes great with a vinaigrette dressing. For guacamole, smash and stir with a spoon until it’s smooth and creamy, then add some lemon and diced tomatoes. Once creamed, avocado can be mixed into salsa for a delicious dip.
• A cut avocado starts to turn brown immediately so be sure to use it all. Lemon juice will help maintain its colour for an hour or two.

Nutritional info

1 avocado: 306 calories, 4 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 2 mg iron, 19 mg calcium, 1,097 mg potassium, 2059 IU vitamin A, 14 mg vitamin C, 30 g fat


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  • How to buy
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  • How to prepare
  • Nutritional info
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