Avocados: keeping them fresh & making guacamole

The produce item I always keep on hand is the avocado. As you know, they are sensitive little suckers. They don’t like heat, they don’t like light, they’re never the right firmness for what you’re making, they turn brown in about 5 minutes after you cut them up… wah wah wah… quit your whining & man-up, avocados! They’re also extremely difficult to grow, which is why they’re so expensive at the store. And they’re a fruit. Wrap your mind around that.

But time and time again, we splurge on avocados because they’re so tasty, versatile & nutritious. Mash them up into guacamole, add them to a taco dip, slice on top of a salad, feed little pieces to your baby, use them in your hair & on your face, and so on.

Fruity Tooty

Why they’re good for you

Avocados got a bad rep for a while when everyone was in a calorie-counting, all fat is the devil craze. But now people are putting those old school diets aside and focusing on ingredients, not calories. Yes, avocados contain fat, but it’s the good fat (Omega-3 fatty acids) your body needs to function properly. Monosaturated & polysaturated fats make up most of the avocados fat content, and these guys actually help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Avocados are also naturally free of sodium, trans fats & cholesterol. They contain 20 vitamins, minerals & phytonutrients, including lutein which is good for eye health. Rock on, avocados.

How to keep ’em green

As soon as avocado flesh hits the air, the omega-3 fatty acids start to oxidize and break down, causing it to turn brown very quickly. I’ve always tried to cut it up quickly and use it right away or cover it with plastic to limit it’s exposure to the air, but that never worked too well. Apparently the secret is… onions! Place the avocado your not using at the moment (or fresh guacamole) in an airtight container, and place some onion pieces directly on top. Apparently, the sulfuric acids released by the onion act as a natural preservative and will keep the avocado fresh & green for a few days, rather than a few hours.

Meg’s Homemade Guacamole

Throw 3 peeled avocados in a bowl & mash with a fork.

If you’ve never worked with avocados before, watch this short video on how to remove the pit & slice them. Skip the lemon juice part because I’ve found that it doesn’t even work, and will just make your avocado slimy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAAMx_R523o

Add in 2 diced garlic cloves, 1/2 of a diced onion, 2-3 small diced tomatoes, the juice of 1 lime and 1/4 tsp. of salt & pepper. You can play around with the amounts of these ingredients to suit your own taste. Add more garlic, add less tomato… customize it!

Mix together until ingredients are combined, lay a few onion slices on top to preserve freshness, cover & chill in fridge for one hour. But of course try some first to see if it needs more salt, pepper, lime juice, etc. You’re the cook, you do what you want!

I’ve gotten so many wonderful compliments on this guacamole and it’s better than anything you’ll find at the store & even in most restaurants.

Grade A Baloney

Diviertate!

Meg

 

 

Sources:

http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/the-absolutely-best-way-to-keep-an-avocado-half-fresh-126950

http://www.avocadocentral.com/

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