Nov 24, 2016

7 Avocado Hacks to Improve Your Cooking Life

For the avocado-lovers and plant-based culinary artists, these avocado hacks are must-knows. If you have yet to discover the awesomeness of this savory, delectable fruit, this is your chance to get on board. Avocados are a gift from nature, full of health benefits and humongous flavor. But these fickle fruits are the cause of some confusion, especially in terms of digging into and storage. The following seven hacks will improve your cooking and reap as many benefits as avocados have to offer.

1. How to ripen avocados (wait)

Bought a rock-solid avocado that is nowhere near being ripe but you need it soon? Grab a banana or an apple, preferably one that is ripe, stick that fruit in a brown bag with your avocado, and seal it tight. Bananas release a lot of gas that hastens the ripening process. Check back in a day or two. A ripe avocado awaits!

2. How to ripen at super speed (no wait)

When you seriously are craving some avocado but only have one that would take ages, even with a banana by its side, there is another way to speed the process. Hit the hyper drive button by slicing open the unripe avocado, squeezing some fresh lemon juice on the meat, and let it bake in the oven at around 300 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Read also – 10 Yummy Foods That Help Relieve Anxiety

3. Check for ripeness

Do not merely stand at the pile of avocados in the grocery store and squeeze them for hours. Just because they are a little mushy does not mean they are ripe already. In fact, the best way to test whether or not the avocado is ripe is to remove the nub at the top.

You are looking for bright green in the divot. Yellow means the avocado is on its way but needs some time. When it is brown, it is no longer any good or overly ripe. If sight alone is not enough to convince you it is ripe, take that nub and immediately upon removal run it over your palm. If it feels slightly damp, that means the avocado is tender, not hard and unsavory.

4. How to cut avocado

There are multiple ways, but experts have reached a consensus on these two versions:

  • Lengthwise – Slice from top to bottom all the way around the avocado. Twist slightly to separate. You can remove the pit by scoring it then giving it a shimmy to lift it free. That requires some force.
  • Widthwise – Cut around the circumference. Twist to remove top from bottom. Squeeze whichever side has the pit to remove it.

5. Cube it

Regardless of the avocado being cut lengthwise or widthwise, you can create cubes using the shell as a cutting board – so to speak. Grab a butter knife and draw a crosshatched pattern through the avocado however you would like. Scoop out the cubes with a spoon into a bowl.

6. Use it

Avocado is seriously the hero that saves the day in a number of dishes, especially when you are trying to eat more wholesomely. In fact, it can even become a replacement for some ingredients that you might have to do without. Check out the examples:

  • Oh no! You have ran out of milk for your smoothie. Drop an avocado in and experience a whole new taste sensation. When blended with a little liquid, banana, and a drop or two of honey, avocado turns into a not-so-decadent delight.
  • Why is this cake green? Well, that is because avocado was used to replace the eggs, cream, and other fattening ingredients. What you get is a fluffy, gooey baked dessert that is not stuffed with unhealthy fats and sugar. Or, whip that avocado into some mousse or ice cream.
  • All the salad dressing gone? Avocado has oils that, when blended, can form the base of salad dressing. So forego the Thousand Island, okay?

Read also – 8 Nutritional All-Stars for Women

7. How to store it

First rule of thumb, if you have leftover avocado never, ever discard the pit. The pit will keep it fresher longer. Second, if you have some onion handy, place a chuck of it with the avocado and its pit in an air-tight container. The onion has enzymes that prevent the avocado from turning brown.

If you do not have an onion, brush some lemon juice or apple cider vinegar against the avocado’s unprotected green then place Saran wrap (or cling wrap) over that part to seal it from air. However you choose to store it, always be sure to place any remains (or any avocado that you don’t want getting overly ripe) in the refrigerator to slow the process down.

Now that you know how to pick, use, and store avocados, don’t forget to add them to your shopping list! Avocado pasta anyone?

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