Avocados — Ready or Not?

3 Tips To Picking Great Avocados

By: DeShay Williams 

I have to admit I’ve had a hard time knowing which avocados to bring home and which to leave at the market. Since avocados are usually sliced open just before serving, making bad picks lead me to scrap the dish altogether. But worry no more! There's a simple, foolproof way to tell whether you will discover a creamy, luscious green interior or a brown slimy mess the next time you cut open an avocado.

The following tips come from Erica, a Seattle-based food and gardening blogger. Her website Northwest Edible Life is a popular has helpful information on growing, cooking, and preserving food. According to Erica, the key to picking a fabulous avocado is checking under the stem. Simply peel back the small stem or cap at the top of the avocado. This part of the avocado holds a preview for what's going on under the skin. Ok avocados…Ready or Not?

Not Ready for Prime Time

If the stem doesn't come off, the fruit is not yet ripe enough to eat. Place the unripe, uncut avocado into a brown paper bag. The bag is used to trap the ethylene gas, which ripens the avocado.  Store the bag, closed, at room temperature. ...Check regularly.

Green Means Go

If the cap comes away easily and you find green underneath, you've got a great avocado that's ripe and ready to eat. That's the kind of fruit you want to take home with you. If you don't plan to eat a ripe avocado right away, stick it in the refrigerator and it will stop the ripening process.

Brown…Put it Down.

If you pull back the stem and find brown underneath, the avocado is overripe, and you're likely to find brown spots inside the fruit. Avoid avocados that are overly soft and mushy, since this would mean that the fruit is too ripe. Other things to avoid when choosing avocados include dark blemishes, brown spots, dents and bruises.

Using these three tips, I’ve been pretty successful in picking avocados. Put your avocado picking skill to work and try this amazing summer recipe--- Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Avocado Salad.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 strips bacon
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2 handfuls cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Half a cucumber
  • 2 avocados, chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon, juiced

PREPARATION

  1. Cook bacon until crispy. Drain on a paper towel, then set aside.
  2. Place chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, avocados, and bacon in a large bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, and lemon juice to form the dressing.
  4. Toss the salad with the dressing and enjoy!

You can access similar great recipes in our 21-Day Definitions Nutrition Challenge. Next session begins Fall 2016.