Tips & Tricks

The Art of Avocados

Avocados used to be one of those foods that I really only ate out at restaurants when someone ordered guacamole. And maybe right now it’s just a food craze but I feel like avocado is everywhere! Eggs, burgers, tacos, aioli, and even desserts! I have now embraced it in my home in a variety of different recipes. The avocado has a nice creamy light taste that blends very well with a lot of other flavors so is a very versatile food. Plus it’s one of those “healthy fats” too – so why not enjoy it?

I saw an article on The Kitchn earlier this week about how to tell if an avocado is ripe inside without cutting into it. I thought this article was genious and definitely a trick I will use moving forward. But it got me inspired to share some additional tips and tricks about the good ol’ avocado.

Ripe or Not Ripe?

Check under that belly-button looking stem! You can read the whole story (with photos) at The Kitchn link above but here’s the scoop. If the stem doesn’t come off – it’s not ripe. If it comes off and is brown underneath – it’s probably a little past its peak. If the stem comes off and it’s nice and green underneath – perfection! (like the one in my picture above that I was letting ripen on my counter!)

I usually try to look at the color and firmness of the avocado too. Bright green and hard to squeeze is a definite sign it needs a couple days on the counter to ripen up. If the skin is really dark and brown and mushes under your hand, it’s probably gonna have some brown spots inside. I look for a slightly dark  (but still a hint of dark green) exterior and the ability to squeeze it slightly in my hand (like squeezing an orange).

If your avocado is ripe and you’re not quite ready to use it – stick it in the fridge! This will help slow down the ripening process.

Saving Avocados

I never finish a whole avocado at once unless I’m making guac, so I’m always stuck with leftovers that I certainly don’t want to waste.  When I cut an avocado in half long-wise, I typically twist it around to then get the two halves. Whichever half has the pit in it, I stick in a plastic ziploc bag. I push all the air out and stick it in the fridge. My mom always recommends a little squeeze of lemon juice on it, but I’ll only do that is I know what I may be using it with next would also go well with lemon. While this certainly isn’t a fool proof method, I have found that I’m able to save avocado pretty well – at least to have on top of my burger on a Tuesday night and then again with brunch Sunday morning.

Scooping out the Avo

Like I mentioned before, I typically will cut an avocado in half long-wise and twist to get two halves. If I’m only using one half, I’ll take a large soup spoon and slip it in between the skin and the avocado to pop it out in one nice scoop. Seems to be the perfect size tool to use! Usually if the avocado is at a perfect ripeness, you can also scoop the pit out of the other half with a spoon pretty cleanly. But of course none of us are perfect and sometimes trying to get it out with spoon when it is maybe a bit past its prime, takes out half the avocado with it. The tried and true trick of knocking a chef’s knife into the pit and pulling it out that way definitely works as well.

I hope my avocado tips and tricks come in handy and invite you to try out avocados more in your own cooking!

Until next time!

— BrunchBabe

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