All you ever wanted to know about Avocados
Avocados are full of good fats, fibre and deliciousness. The fruit is also called ‘alligator pear’ or ‘apple of the winter’. Today, it is easily available in the neighbourhood stores such as Godrej Nature’s Basket. Using its soft flesh you can easily add yumminess to your salads, sandwiches, smoothies, soups and sushi.
Recently, Chef Saransh Goila played host at Godrej Nature’s Basket, recreating delicious dishes from the American television reality show AXN Top Chef. He made Macaroons with Guacamole, Quinoa Pasta and Mango Slaw, using fresh avocados from the GNB shelves.
The recipes are easy to replicate and avocados are available and affordable most of the year. But if you are worried about how to buy them, store them and use them, here are a few facts and techniques you should know about the fruit…,
- Avocados are fruits known since the Aztec times, or even earlier.
- The tree is native to Mexico and Guatemala, but is now grown in the United States, South America, South Africa and Indonesia.
- The avocado tree is evergreen. Different varieties can be harvested at different times of the year.
- Avocado fruits mature on the tree, but become ripe only after being picked.
- Avocados can get sunburned, which makes the skin blister and peel – just like with humans.
- Avocados are a rich source of “good” fats and potassium. They have lots of fibre, and can help reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Avinash Tripathi – Category head, Godrej Nature’s Basket, shares tips on how to choose an avocado:
- If the fruit is bright green and very firm, it is not ready to eat. Wait until it turns olive green.
- For frying, the avocado should be olive green and firm. That way it will keep its shape on cooking.
- The fruit is ready to eat when it is brownish green and soft to the touch, but not squishy.
- A ripe fruit, ready to eat, should have no bruises or cuts on the skin. It is best stored in the fridge to prevent it becoming overripe and inedible.
- An unripe avocado can be ripened in a paper bag with a banana or an apple for company. Don’t forget about the packed away avocado, because it will be ready to eat very quickly!
How to store an avocado:
- A ripe avocado can be stored in the refrigerator for a week. However, some of the nutrients could be lost because of the cold temperature.
- The pulp of an avocado will go brown when it is exposed to the air. Once cut, sprinkle it with lemon juice to stop it from becoming discoloured.
- To store a cut avocado, wrap it tightly with a cling-film or put it into a dish with a tight-fitting lid and keep it in the refrigerator.
- The darker green flesh near the skin is the most nutritious. So if you peel the fruit instead of scooping out the flesh, you are doing yourself more good!
- Avocados freeze well if pureed. Add a little lemon juice to stop the puree going brown.
- In salads or sandwiches
- In smoothies
- In ice cream
- Crumbed and deep-fried
- In sushi
Delicious and nutritious, avocado is an all-time favourite. Pick up your fruit today and enjoy the healthy treat!
Stay tuned for a special feature on gluten-free foods, coming soon!