How to Select an Avocado
Avacados that will be eaten immediately or that will be used for guacamole should be purchased ripe. Avacados purchased in advance can be firmer and will ripen in the kitchen.
A ripe avocado will be soft and slightly yield to gentle pressure when held in the palm of your hand. A hard avocado is not ripe yet and one that is overly mushy is overly ripe. Select avocados that have no gouges or blemishes on the skin. Fruit with shiny skin is under ripe and can ripen in the kitchen. The variety of avocado determines the color of the skin. California Hass avocados are a dark green or purplish-black color when ripe and the skin is bumpy. Florida avocados are lighter green with a yellowish tone when they are ripe.
How to Store Avocados
Ripe avocados which have not been cut can be stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag for three to five days. Ripe avocados which have been cut should be sprinkled with lime or lemon juice and placed in an air-tight container or covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for a day.
How to Freeze Avocados
Whole, cut, diced and mashed avocados do not freeze well. However, pureed avocados can be frozen for later use in dips, dressings, spreads, and guacamole. To freeze pureed avocado: wash the outside of the fruit well, cut and peel, place the peeled fruit in the food processer or blender. Add a ratio of 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice to each avocado. Puree until smooth. Pour pureed avocado into an airtight container or plastic bag and place in the freezer.
How to Ripen Avocados
Place unripe avocados in a brown paper bag to trap the ethylene gas they produce. This gas will help the fruit to ripen. Leave the avocados in the bag at room temperature for 3-6 days until ripened. To speed up the ripening process add an apple, banana or tomato to the bag.
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