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Avocado 101

Posted by in Kitchen Talk

Tasty Kitchen Blog: Kitchen Talk (Avocado 101)

Ah, the irresistible avocado. If the avocado’s sole purpose in life was to bring guacamole into this world, that would be enough for me. But no. At some point in time, someone discovered that avocados taste great in sushi rolls, too. And ice cream. On toast. In smoothies. Baked goods. Sandwiches. Salads.

I think it just may be the most magical of fruits.

But despite the popularity of the avocado, some folks are still a bit mystified by this amazing fruit. So today’s Kitchen Talk topic is:

What are some of your favorite tips for avocados?

They can be tips on buying or choosing avocados, or how to ripen them more quickly, or how to keep them from browning … anything you have to share about avocados!

I grew up with an avocado tree in our backyard and I learned early on that avocados never ripen on the tree; they only start to ripen once they are picked. So I don’t mind buying hard avocados at the store because I know that means they were freshly picked. I just keep them in a brown bag in a cool, dark place and let them ripen for a few days. Once they are ripe, I store them in the refrigerator.

My brother-in-law makes a killer guac and he always sinks the pits into the guacamole when storing it. He says the pits along with the lime juice in the guacamole help prevent the avocado from browning before the guests arrive.

Now we want to hear from you! Come share your tips or even recipe ideas below. Or maybe you just want to profess your undying love for avocados. That’s okay, too.



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Patricia @ ButterYum on 5.8.2014

I just wanted to report that I tried Lori H’s water trick to keep my guacamole from turning brown and it worked perfectly. I stored my guac for 2 days in the fridge and it had absolutely no discoloration of any kind. Excellent tip – glad she shared it.

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elizabethcooks on 5.4.2014

I always add to my egg salad, so creamy and yummy.

Sue on 5.3.2014

Sliced avocado on artisan toasted bread, with a touch of salt, pepper & olive oil. The perfect breakfast or snack!

Jack A. on 5.2.2014

I would like to talk about vegan recipes!

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Beverly Schabram on 5.2.2014

I would like to know how to make the perfect prime rib roast. With prices in the $40-$70 range,I hate to tackle one and ruin it. Thanks.

nancy Onofrey on 5.2.2014

Cuts of meat.

Jiwon Kwon on 5.2.2014

sproutong the avocado seed was a good experience for my family.

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Carrie on 5.2.2014

I would like to talk about frozen meals so I don’t have to cook EVERY night!

Jessica Rowell on 5.2.2014

I would like to see more about how to prepare foods we don’t see all the time or may buy canned or frozen. Like fresh asparagus or artichokes.

Irene on 5.2.2014

If I buy a not so ripe avocado, I just leave it in the fruit bowl on the table and it is ripe in a day or so. Also, if an avocado starts getting brown and you don’t want to eat it, you can alway mash it up and use as a mask!

Sue In FLA on 5.2.2014

My favorite thing to make with avocado is a bacon, tomato and avocado sandwich. I use a really good rustic bread with mayo and crunchy lettuce. It is delicious!

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Shawna C on 5.2.2014

I almost forgot: if an avocado is ripe, you can almost completely mash it right in the skin by squashing it gently from all sides/directions. Then take off the little stem nub and you can squish most of the mashed flesh out of the little hole left, leaving only a bit to scoop out with a spoon once you split the skin open. Seriously!

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Patricia @ ButterYum on 5.2.2014

I like Haas avocados and I look for ripes ones that are heavy for their size and have an evenly dark colored skin with no soft, mushy spots. My favorite way to eat avocados is with a spoon, straight out of the shell. In that case, I don’t have to worry about storing it, but on the rare occasion I have leftovers to store, I press plastic wrap directly on the surface. I’m excited to give Lori H’s water trick a try.

Susan on 5.1.2014

There is a great avocado recipe out there for avocado hummus. Make at home with white beans, avocado, olive oil, salt. Doesn’t turn brown for a few days in the fridg. By then it’s gone. Delicious with those flat pretzels! YUMMY.

SusanT on 5.1.2014

I have an avocado tree. There’s only so much guacamole a person can eat. I have made avocado pudding and loved it, but my husband doesn’t. I’d love to hear about other creative ways to use avocado, if anyone is willing to share.

puppydogs on 5.1.2014

Someone posted somewhere – sorry I don’t remember who or when about purchasing avocados. If there is a nubbin of the stem left on the avocado take it off. If it is green under neath then it is fresh. If it is black then you should avoid it.

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dixiequeen on 5.1.2014

My favorite way to dice avocado: cut it in half, remove pit, slice with a knife while the meat is still in the shell, make several slices one way and then the other, then scoop out with a spoon. Makes mashing, etc. much easier because it is diced up then. Plus you don’t have to peel it this way.

You can plant an avocado pit and it can sprout. Google on the method or here is a good directive:

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Shawna C on 5.1.2014

Oh and that’s also why a lot of acid such as lime juice prevents browning – the acid stops/slows down the chemical process of oxidation.

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Shawna C on 5.1.2014

I feel like maybe other people already know this, but to store guacamole (or any mashed avocado) a layer of plastic wrap should be pressed down on the whole surface to keep it green. This works for the same reason the layer of water mentioned by someone else does: avocado goes brown because of oxidation and if air can’t get at it, it won’t turn brown on you.

Grace on 5.1.2014

Avocados are the ultimate baby/toddler food. No bowl needed! Just use a spoon and feed away. Mix with banana for “bananacado”

Amy on 5.1.2014

I’ve made a dark chocolate pudding with avocado before – really great sweet and healthy treat.

Lori H on 5.1.2014

I store leftover guacamole in a cup or small bowl with a layer of water on top of the guac. Drain the water before serving. I know it sounds gross but it definitely works – I’ve eaten 3-day-old guac & it looked & tasted as fresh as it did the day I made it. I found this tip on a blog, but don’t remember which one.

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Helen Brass on 5.1.2014

I agree with your comment about buying avocados when they are hard and letting them ripen at home. But if you need a soft avocado quickly, pick one off the shelf, hold it in your hand and gently squeeze the top of the avocado and the base together. A ripe avocado should have a little give. An underripe one won’t give at all and an overripe one will give quite a bit. Overripe avocados are best avoided!

TiffH on 4.30.2014

One thing I’ve learned…. If you’re only going to use half the avacado, store the half with the pit still in it. It helps it stay fresher longer. Maybe everyone already knows this but it’s something I learned along the way without being told.

Lea on 4.30.2014

Avocados are not only delicious but healthy too. Some people avoid avocados because they are high calorie / high fat. However, half of an avocado contains about 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat and is a good source of fiber and potassium. I could go on and on about the health benefits of avocados but the real reason we all love them is because they are just so yummy. Of course, guacamole is the first thing that comes to mind when you have several avocados on your counter just begging to be eaten. One of my all time favorite uses of avocados are in veggie wraps. I take a whole wheat lavash and spread on a generous spoonful of olive hummus, then slice up half an avocado, add some spinach leaves, tomato slices and yellow pepper rings. Roll it up, cut it in half and get ready to bite into the most delicious veggie wrap ever. And did I mention, it’s super healthy too!

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C. L. ( Cheryl ) "Cheffie Cooks" Wiser on 4.30.2014

Greetings to All!

Avocados are plentiful here in Florida. I can usually tell by touching one how ripe it may be. I do use lemon juice (freshly squeezed lemon) to aide in reducing browning and freshness. I am fortunate to have a fresh produce outdoor market nearby (open 7 days a week) as well as Fresh Seafood Market and Meat/Butcher Market. I m a weekly shopper and love the freshness I am able to obtain.
I use avocados frequently in a variety of recipes; they are primarily used for guac. true enough and especially on the West Coast of the U.S. Due to my climate (sub-tropical) nothing has to sit long to ripen. I love avocados! I do like coming up with new ideas to use them in recipes. So, if you have not yet tried one you must!!! Cheryl