Avocados are packed with vitamins and minerals and have no distinct flavor, but when ripe they lend a buttery, creamy texture that can easily be sliced or mashed for a variety of uses. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas and are chock-full of phytochemicals, which may help fight off certain chronic diseases, according to some studies. Although they are classified as a fruit, they aren't necessarily sweet, which makes them ideal for many preparations, such as smoothies, salads, spreads, or guacamole.
To fully enjoy the best benefits of an avocado, you have to know how to properly cut them so that you don't injure yourself. Here are some tips that will turn you into an avocado-cutting aficionado.
Although there are different varieties of avocados, the main contenders in the United States are between Florida avocados, and Haas avocados, a common staple found in the state of California. However, Haas is more recommended due to its high-fat content, as opposed to Florida's variety, which doesn't quite hold up because of its more watery texture. Though Florida avocados have its merits in its low-calorie fat content, Haas wins the trophy in the culinary world and has more nutrients.
While it's a popular consensus that the skin of an avocado is inedible, research shows that you can actually eat it. That is just before it ripens because the more mature the peel, the lower the nutrients become. However, some varieties, like the Mexicola Cocktail avocado does contain peels that are so soft, you can eat it like a plum. But for the majority of avocados, cutting or peeling away the outer skin is the easiest way to consume what's inside and still get the nutrients that you need.
1. After you've washed your hands and the avocados that you are using, place the avocado lengthwise on a clean surface.
2. Take your favorite sharp cutting knife ( a paring knife works best), hold the avocado securely with one hand and slice carefully down its center lengthwise.
3. Place the avocado in the palm of your hand and twist the knife around, slicing to the other side. You should then be able to pry open the fruit.
4. *Avoid avocado hand, do not hold the avocado in your palm when proceeding with this step. Set it down on the cutting board and hold the sides steady. *To pit the seed, carefully whack the seed with the edge (not the tip) of the knife. You should then be able to twist it out of it's hollow. Then scrape the seed off the knife on the edge of the sink, trashcan, or a sturdy bowl.
If your avocado is extremely ripe, then it may be too soft at this point to peel by hand, which can also cause a big mess. However, if it is just firm enough, forming just a slight bruise when applying pressure with your fingertips, then now is the time to dig in. Another quick rule of thumb when discerning an avocado's freshness is to check the stem. If the stem is light in color and displays green when peeled back, your avocado is just ripe. If the stem is brown, your avocado will be brown underneath and may be under or too ripe to proceed.
Peeling is simply an act of removing the outer skin so that the underlying surface remains intact. Peeled avocados offer an essential benefit due to the dark green outer core that lies just underneath the skin. This dark green layer holds the highest concentration of carotenoids and other essential vitamins and minerals.
1. Take one ripe avocado and cut lengthwise around the entire fruit, cutting through the skin/rind all the way to the seed.
2. Next, turn the avocado 90 degrees and cut another slit around the circumference, penetrating all the way through the skin to the seed. You should have 4 segments that are completely cut, except for the seed.
3. Now, gently pulling apart, separate each segment. You should now have 4 segments. Then remove the seed and discard.
4. Take one segment and from one tip, gently peel away the tough outer skin and discard it. Repeat the same for the remaining 3 segments until you have 4 peeled avocado segments with only the green layer.
5. Now you are ready to prepare your avocado for anything you'd like. Mash, slice or cube, serve and enjoy!
Some recipes require cubed avocados, a method that involves slicing food into box shapes. Not only is cubing ideal for its small compact appeal but it also enhances the recipe itself. Cubed avocados are perfect for salads, tacos, and much more. The technique of cubing an avocado is quite simple. Here's how to do it:
1. Take one half of the avocado then slice into inch-thick segments.
2. Next, take each slice and gently peel away the rinds, until only the flesh is left.
3. Then, take each individual slice and cut lengthwise into small cubes.
4. Another method of cubing while the meat of the avocado is still attached to the skin is to section your avocado with a knife, horizontally and vertically. Then with a spoon, simply scoop the cubes out.
Avocados offer a powerhouse of benefits to help keep you going each day. Whether you enjoy them alone or on top of your favorite meals, avocados are as versatile as they are delicious.