Avocadoes are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fats and many paleo recipes take advantage of their versatility in the kitchen! They can be eaten raw, sliced or mashed, made into guacamole, grilled, baked, scrambled with eggs, added to soups, and even used as the creamy base of puddings and cakes. The usual avocadoes that we buy in stores are Haas avocadoes. These don’t actually ripen on the tree and only ripen/soften after harvesting. When harvested the outer peel is a bold green, which turns progressively darker to an almost purplish black as the avocado ripens.
To choose a perfect avocado, it depends on when you plan to eat it. Avocadoes are perfectly ripe when they are dark in color and yield to firm gentle pressure. It will feel lightly soft but not feel mushy (if it’s mushy, it’s too ripe). Bright green, firm avocadoes will ripen in 4-5 days. Dark green, firm avocadoes will ripen in 1-2 days.
To ripen avocadoes, simple leave them out on your counter or in a fruit basket (they are a fruit after all!). If you want to speed up how quickly they will ripen, store them in a brown paper bag with an apple! Yes, this really does work!
Once an avocado is perfectly ripe, you can store it in the fridge in your vegetable crisper. It will typically keep for 5-7 days.
To cut into your avocado, run a sharp knife around the long edge (and down to where you can feel the round pit in the middle). Then twist both halves in opposite directions. If you’re only going to use half of the avocado, leave the pit in the other half, cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge. Use a sharp knife to cut your slices or segments, then use your thumb to pry off the peel (or you can use a spoon). You can also buy some pretty useful avocado slicers that do this job very easily! These are definitely one of those fun little kitchen gadgets that actually work.