It goes without saying that the world has fallen in love with the deliciousness of avocados. This fruit is not only great for your tastebuds, but it’s extremely good for you, as well. If you haven’t tried this infamous fruit before, then you’re definitely missing out on some pretty incredible benefits. If you’re thinking about trying avocado for the first time, but you’ve always been a bit hesitant, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to learn about some of the benefits of avocado, how to store it, and some irresistible ways to eat it!
What’s All the Hype About?
It seems like in the past few years avocados have become a bit of a fad. While that’s normally a silly thing to get wrapped up in, there are several reasons why you should jump onto the avocado bandwagon as soon as possible.
Rich in Nutrients
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, there are plenty of benefits in just one serving of avocado, which is approximately ⅕ of an avocado. Avocados are rich in vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, and magnesium. There’s also a generous amount of lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids included in avocados.
In just one ounce of avocado, you can find 25 milligrams of a natural plant sterol known as beta-sitosterol. There is evidence that suggests that regular consumption of beta-sitosterol can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, which obviously directly affects the health of your heart.
Helpful for Vision
Because avocados contain lutein and another phytochemical known as zeaxanthin, avocados can help provide antioxidant protection to help minimize damage to the eyes, especially damage caused by ultraviolet light. Also, thanks to monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados, which support the absorption of other beneficial fat-soluble antioxidants, eating this fruit regularly can help reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
Now that you understand just a few of the magical benefits of this fruit, let’s talk about how to pick out the perfect avocado and what to do with it once you get it home from the grocery store.
How to Choose the Perfect Avocado
If you’ve never bought an avocado before, then you most likely don’t know what you should be looking for. Even people who have been eating avocado for years may not know how to truly pick out the best avocado in the bunch. Follow these simple steps and you should have no problem finding a delicious avocado!
Color is Important
When you go to the grocery store you’ll notice that avocados come in a variety of different shades of green. The ones that are ripe will look almost black with hints of green throughout them. If you’re planning on using the avocado as soon as you get home, then you should go with the dark ones. If you plan on using it over the course of a few days, then you should go with an avocado that is a bit lighter.
Feel the Avocado
If the avocado looks ripe, you still want to feel it to make sure. Hold the avocado in the palm of your hand and squeeze it gently. An avocado that is ripe should give way to firm, but gentle pressure, but it should never be too soft or mushy. Follow these simple tips on buying a ripe avocado:
- If an avocado feels firm or hard, then it isn’t ripe yet. Make sure to only purchase this avocado if you plan to use it several days after purchasing.
- An avocado is overripe if it feels soft, so avoid these ones altogether.
- If you’re buying several avocados, buy ones that have a variety of ripeness.
Check the Skin
While you’re looking at the color of the avocado, you should also investigate the texture of the skin. The skin of the avocado should be slightly pebbled, but there shouldn’t be any large indentations. This is a sign that the fruit on the inside has been bruised.
Look at the Stem
To make sure that the inside of the avocado is ripe and creamy, you’ll want to peel back the small stem at the top. The avocado is good to buy if the area underneath the stem is green. If it’s brown, then the avocado is too ripe and should be left alone.
Now that you have a better understanding of how to buy the perfect avocado, let’s take some time to talk about what you should do with the avocado when you get it home.
Storing and Ripening Avocados from Home
There really isn’t too much that goes into storing avocados, but there are important factors to take into consideration.
Keep Unripened Avocados in a Paper Bag
If you decide to purchase an avocado that isn’t ripe yet, then you would want to leave it on your counter for four to five days. If you would like it to ripen more quickly, then you can put it into a paper bag with an apple or a banana. These fruits release ethylene gas, which helps to ripen the avocado in just two to three days. Make sure that you keep the bag out of direct sunlight at all times, and test the avocados for their ripeness before you eat them.
Storing Avocados in the Refrigerator
You don’t necessarily have to store avocados in the refrigerator, but there are times when it’s a good idea to do so.
- If the avocados you brought home are already ripe, then you can store them in the refrigerator for two to three days to make them last longer.
- If you decide to ripen the avocados in a paper bag, but you don’t want to eat them right away, then you can store them in a refrigerator.
You see, there really isn’t too much that goes into buying or storing avocados. Now that you understand that it’s not really a big deal, let’s get to a delicious recipe for you to try!
California Veggie Sandwich
For the Pickles:
- 2 cups apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- 4 cups of combined shredded carrots, sliced cucumbers, sliced red onion
- For the Dressing and Assembly:
¼ cup buttermilk
- ¼ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 ripe avocados, halved
- 6 ounces fresh goat cheese
- 6 cups mixed lettuce leaves
- 8 slices of toasted bread
- ½ English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 cups sprouts
1. Put the vinegar, brown sugar, salt, and 2 cups of water into a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- Put the vegetables into jars. Make sure they’re packed down.
- Pour the brine you brought to a boil over the veggies.
- Cover the jars and chill until they’ve cooled down.
1. Using a whisk. stir the buttermilk, yogurt, lemon juice, and 3 tbsp oil in a large bowl. Stir together until the mixture is smooth. Make sure to season it with salt and pepper.
- Scoop the avocados into a medium-sized bowl. Add in 1 tbsp oil and lightly mash the ingredients together. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Using the goat cheese and the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, mash them together in a separate bowl. You’ll want to do this until softened and spreadable. Season to your liking once you’re done.
- Add some lettuce to the dressing and toss it around in the bowl to coat it properly. Season to your liking and spread the avocado mixture over your favorite type of bread. Arrange the lettuce on top and cover it with sprouts, cucumber, drained pickles, or whatever other veggie you like. Finally, spread the goat cheese on the opposite side and close the sandwich.
There you have it! A brand new knowledge of avocados and a great recipe to jumpstart your journey in the delicious realm of avocados! Now, get to the grocery store and try out your new skills, you won’t be disappointed!