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Plant of the Month: Avocado

how to ripen an avocado

(Credit: Fit Bottom Eats)

How to Select

As with most fruits and veggies, look for those that are relatively free of bruises or skin defects. But don’t be too picky; the tough skin means that the pulp is often left unbruised and unscathed. When holding a perfectly-ripe avocado it should yield slightly to pressure when squeezed. If you want to have avocado today and avocado tomorrow, grab avocados with different levels of ripeness.

Tip: If you buy hard, green, unripened avocados, place them in a fruit bowl and store them at room temperature until they soften. To expedite the process even more, place them in a brown bag with another fruit, such as an apple, bananas, or citrus, as they release ethylene and this will speed things up.

How to Cut Your Avos

   •  Cut the avocado in half, lengthwise around the seed.

   •  Rotate the two halves in opposite directions to separate.

   •  Slip a spoon between the seed and the pulp and work the seed out.

   •  (If you’re feeling brave, tap the knife firmly into the seed, rotate and pop out the seed)

   •  Scoop the fruit away from the skin with a spoon.

   •  If you’re more a visual learner, see here.

Tip: Squeeze lemon or lime juice on all cut surfaces to keep the fruit from browning.

High in Fat (The ‘Good Kind’) – 3 Things to Know

1. A 1 ounce serving of avocado contains 4.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of carbs (of which 2 are fiber) and less than 1 gram of protein.

2. Of the 4.5 grams of fat, only half a gram is saturated fat. The remainder is the “good kind” of fat, including 3 grams of mono- and poly-unsaturated fats. Good because they can lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and can increase good cholesterol (HDL).

3. 75-80% of the calories in avocados come from fat. An avocado serving (1 ounce) is about 50 calories, of which 40 calories are fats.

How to Grow Your Own

If you want to enjoy the delicious green, gooeyness whenever you like, why not grow your own? For a step-by-step guide to propagating, growing, and harvesting your own avocados from seed, click here. If you do go this route, you will have an excess of avocado. You can make a lot of new friends by gifting them or you can freeze them. Just use the first two steps in cutting them listed above, put them in a Ziploc bag, and start stockpiling.

Three Mouthwatering Recipes

You’ve bought them (or grown them), now cook em’!

Cheesecake Factory Avocado Egg Rolls

Creamy Avocado & Spinach Pasta

Avocado Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Have you own avocado recipes or avocado-focused tips? Share the wealth below!