Commonly mistaken as a vegetable, this creamy, comforting fruit, which has its roots in Mexico, is slowly and steadily becoming a crowd-pleaser among health and fitness enthusiasts. From avocado toast, fruit shakes to dips and sauces, chefs are experimenting with this mellow-flavoured fruit in a variety of recipes. And what's not to love? It has a unique, rich texture and comes packed with a number of health benefits. It promotes healthy blood lipid levels, enhances the bio-availability of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), phytochemicals, tells a study published in the Journal Critical Reviews In Food Science And Nutrition in 2013, titled Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. It also points out the benefits seen in weight management and healthy ageing.
Now, even though a popular fruit, many struggle to cut and use avocados the right way. Allow us to step in and help you on your way!
How to buy?
Avocados ripen only after being harvested. A good indicator of ripeness is the colour of the skin - it change from dark green to almost black as the fruit ripens. However, the ripeness doesn't solely depend on the colour. You can also feel the avocado to determine its ripeness. Put a gentle but firm pressure on the skin. If it is firm, the fruit is yet to ripen and should take 4-5 days ripe. If it feels soft and yields to the pressure, then it is most likely ripe and can be used within 2-3 days. Do not buy the avocado if it feels very mushy and smells rancid, chances are that it is overripe.
How to use it?
Place a ripe avocado on the chopping board. With the help of a knife, slice it from the middle (along with the skin), lengthwise. With the help of a spoon, scoop out the bright green coloured flesh, and separate from the seed. Scroll up and watch the video as Chef Gautam Mehrishi teaches the correct way of halving an avocado and how you can even put its peel to use.
How to store it?
If you intend on using it after a while, here’s a tip from Chef Mehrishi that will help you preserve the avocados. After scooping out the flesh, immediately transfer it to a bowl of water. Add a few drops of lime juice to the water. To prevent oxidation, also toss in the avocado seed (also called stone). A study titled In vitro antioxidant and cancer inhibitory activity of a coloured avocado seed extract” published in the International Journal of Food Science, highlights the high polyphenol content present in the avocado seed, which is responsible for its antioxidant effect.