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What would our lives be without amazing creamy and delicious avocados to swoon over? It is pretty clear that we are beyond grateful to have them and to be able to enjoy them on the daily. It is without a flinch that we can passionately claim that avocados make everything better. Everything. So, naturally, we have decided to dig into this green world of avocados (also called aguacate in Mexico and paltas in Chile) and bring you an extensive Guide to Avocados.
It seems like yesterday when avocados were not very easy to come by and even if you did, they were seriously expensive. Thankfully, now you can find them everywhere, and if you look closely, you can find some pretty amazing deals. We’ve even seen them for 50 cents each! Having grown up eating avocado toast left and center, I was not surprised to see the boom of this simple and sometimes addictive concoction and see it become a MUST in every restaurant.
Did you know that Mexico is the biggest consumer (and producer) of avocados in the world? Although I haven’t yet experienced it, they say you haven’t tried an avocado until you’ve eaten one in Mexico.
What Are Avocados?
They are the fruit grown by the avocado tree. Technically a berry, this fruit has a single large seed and a creamy buttery texture. They grow in tropical and Mediterranean climates and are partly self-pollinated. Originally from Central America, the different varieties have evolved over time and grow all over the world.
What Types of Avocado Are There?
If you thought that there was just one avocado, you’re very wrong. There are many different varieties with completely different textures, flavors, and looks. Want to expand your avocado knowledge? Let’s take a look at some of those varieties:
- Hass: This must be the most common and creamiest of them all. It’s oval-shaped and when ripe, has a dark black purple color and has bumpy and rather thick skin.
- Fuerte: Or strong in Spanish, has a longer and more pear-like shape and dark green thinner skin. It has the potential to have a great texture if eaten when perfectly ripe.
- Bacon: With an oval shape and speckled skin, these avocados are less oily than their counterparts but still incredibly delicious.
- Pinkerton: This oily and creamy variety is easy to grow and very easy to peel.
- Gwen: With a more nutty flavor and golden flesh, this avocado has earned its place in the avo hall of fame.
- Zutano: Its thin and yellow skin might be deceiving but this tasty avocado is definitely worth a try.
- Little Cado: Want to grow one on your patio? This is the variety that will allow you to grow it in a large container on your porch. So cool!
Is Avocado Really That Healthy?
Also referred to as “nature’s butter,” these gorgeous fruits are really that healthy. It’s not often that amazing flavor, creamy texture, and incredible nutritional benefits align in one food, so we are pretty determined to make the best of this gift of nature. They contain an array of vitamins like K, C, B5, B6, E and it’s also very high in Potassium (even more than bananas!), and, the very coveted, monounsaturated fatty acids.
Unlike other sources of fat like oils, this amazing fruit also contains fiber and antioxidants, so eating them regularly is like a triple or quadruple win.
Where to Buy Avocados?
You can always find them in your local grocery store, but if you’d like to find them a bit fresher you will find them at your local farmers market or farmstand. Try to experiment with the different varieties and see which ones you like the most. Some might work best for some preparations than others. Also, try to remember, since Hass is the most sought-after type of avocado, the other varieties tend to be cheaper.
How to Choose The Best Avocado?
This seems to be the million-dollar question. Are there any amazing tips that might help you choose the best possible avocado? The answer is yes. There are some small things you can take into consideration before committing to the avocados you choose at the store:
- For some varieties like Hass, the color of the skin matters. The lighter green it is, the less ready to eat it will be.
- The way it feels to the touch is also very important. You want it to be slightly soft, not too hard or mushy.
- Take a look at where the stem used to be, or remove the lump at the top and look at the color of the flesh inside. If the color is too light, then it is probably not ready.
It depends on what you’re after. We advise buying a few that are ready or very close to being ready to eat and a few more which still need some time to ripen, that way you’ll always have perfect avocados at home.
How to Ripen an Avocado?
Keeping in mind that avocados don’t ripen in the tree but once already harvested, there are several things you can do to rush the process:
- Place them in a paper bag for a few days
- Place them in your fruit bowl over the counter next to some apples or bananas. These fruits produce ethylene gas which can help ripen the avocado faster
Tips to Prevent Your Avocado from Oxidizing or Turning Brown
Often we encounter the issue of not being able to finish an entire avocado in one sitting and then having to discard the rest because they tend to go brown so quickly. There are few things that we can do to delay that process so that we don’t have to waste that precious avocado leftover:
- Rub the rest of the avocado flesh with lemon juice
- Leave the pit inside the bowl or the half you’d like to store
- Store it in an airtight container
- Store it with an onion
- Brush it with oil
All of these tips seem to prevent the oxidation process from happening too fast, so it might delay it a bit but not prevent it. If you know for sure you won’t be eating the leftovers the next day, then it might be a good idea to freeze the avocado chunks for some creamy future smoothies.
Best ways to Store Avocados
If you haven’t sliced it open yet and it is looking ripe, we advise storing them inside your refrigerator until ready to use.
Once open, we recommend placing it in an airtight container.
We hope you give this green beauty a try and experiment with all it has to offer! Avocados are an important part of a healthy plant-based diet, so enjoy!