Did you know that avocados are native to Mexico? That’s right, known for their exceptional nutritional value and deliciously creamy texture, this little green gem is also in season in the country all year round. Thanks to its unique climate, it is the only place in the world where avocado trees bloom four times a year. Here’s how to make the best of avocados, from January to December.
How to pick
The choice of the perfect avocado depends on when you want to use it. If the avocado skin is very green, the avocado will be ripe in a week. If the avocado skin is dark, but firm to the touch, it is not quite ripe and will need about two more days. Finally, if the skin of the avocado is dark and yields to a slight pressure, then it is time to enjoy it.
How to ripen
Have an avocado that’s as hard as its pit? Here’’s the trick: put the avocado in a paper bag with a banana for three to five days and check its condition daily. If the avocado is slightly soft to the touch, it’s ready to be eaten.
How to prep
First, cut the avocado in half with a chef’s knife by cutting along the length of the fruit, from the narrow part of it, and open it in half. Gently whack the pit with a sharp knife, embedding the blade slightly in the seed and twisting to release it from the flesh. With a spoon, gently scoop the flesh from the skin. Then, you are the chef: slice, cube, or crush with a fork to eat as is or add to a favourite recipe.
How to cook with avocados
As an excellent source of “good fats,” avocados are easy to incorporate into savoury, sweet or spicy dishes, and they can be baked, fried, grilled or eaten raw. They can easily replace fatty culinary bases such as butter in desserts, like in moist brownies, or mayonnaise in sandwiches and wraps.
In the morning, the fruit can be a strong ally in a vitamin-packed smoothie.
For a quick and nutritious snack, try a halved avocado and your favourite seasoning to sustain you until the next meal. For salads and pastas, its creamy base rounds out healthy sauces and dips.
Finally, during barbecue season, try grilling with a little olive oil for three to five minutes.
How to keep them fresh
You can slow down the process of avocados going brown, called oxidation, with a few drops of lemon juice or avocado oil. Keep it in the refrigerator for three days, wrapped in cling film.
Find more avocado tips, tricks and recipes at avocadosfrommexico.ca/avo-101/tips-and-tricks