Avocados - Picking the perfect Avo isn't psychic!
Avocados are the kinder surprises of the adult world; you never know what you’re going to get inside! Or do you…
The perfect fruit cameo, is it chocolate mousse? kidding its avo! These brownies are delicious how did you get them so dense and moist? I used avocado! This toast is missing something… AVO! The list is endless. However, how does one go about picking the ‘Perfect’ Avo? hmm.
Because, let’s face it they trick us with the 2 for 1 deal knowing full well our strike rate of landing the perfect avo is 50% or less, and by the time it's cut open it’s too late; your guac is never going to be the same.
Well, we will let you in on a process of elimination while in store and a secret if your limited for options after that!
Are they in season where you are or, have they been imported by popular demand?
This is quintessential to the state of your avocado, usually, on the tags stickers or signage, they will say “Product of (insert country name)” this will indicate if its been held in cold storage for long periods of time, picked when ripe or unripe. A quick google will tell you when avos are in season for your country. In Australia we have two main varieties that grow here:
Hass: In season from May through to January.
Shepard: February to May.
You’re giving the avocado the routine ‘pat down’, but so has everyone else, its bruised and battered by the time you get your mitts on it, it’s almost guac inside the shell. Drats! Fear not, there are other ways to tell:
- Check the colour, it should be dark emerald green. Bright green and its too ripe, almost black and it's overripe, lots of spots and stringiness on the inside.
- Pop off the little stalk nub, if it pops off easily and is a nice creamy green underneath, you’re on to a winner! If it's too stubborn its under-ripe, leave that bad boy there. (we will get to that later). If its got a bit of shrinkage to the stem piece and underneath reveals a dark brown, you have missed it sadly.
- Firm but gentle fondle if by chance you get to a fresh delivery of avo’s yet to be inspected by half of the population, you can use the gentle pressure test. If it doesn’t concede under some gentle but firm pressure it’s not ripe if it squishes too easily and leaves a mushed imprint permanently, it's overripe.
What if it's unripe and you need Avo pronto like your guac depends on it!?
Kitchen Hack 1.
With love to all of our avo-loving friends, we have your back here! If by chance, all that is left is unripe avocados, there is a sneaky method to get them to quickly ripen in less than half an hour…
You will need two things, well three including the avo of course!
- Fanforced/ conventional Oven.
Step 1. – Preheat fan forced/conventional oven to 200 Fahrenheit or 90 Celsius.
Step 2. – Wrap your avocado up in tin foil and pop in oven for 10-15 mins is the sweet spot. Take it out and refrigerate for 15 mins to cool it back down. Hey presto, your avo should be easy to use and creamy!
Pro Tip: If you’re making Avo Mousse – whip in a serve of Choc Noway, it adds a new dimension of density and richness, plus you get your daily serve of collagen too!
What to do with the seed?
Kitchen Hack 2.
Roast it! No, we don’t mean say mean things to it, we mean, while you have your oven on; pop the seed in there and slow roast it. Its loaded with greatness as if avocados couldn’t get any better…
History of the humble avo seed:
The seed of the avocado often gets thrown away when we make our expensive Smashed Avo on toast sensation; but did you know that 16-20% of the weight of your standard avo is from the seed itself!? Undoubtedly, it looks like a hard task to eat, literally. But research is starting to see some benefits in keeping the seed as a snack… In 2017 in just the USA alone there were 994,340 metric tonnes of the humble avo shipped into the states. That’s a lot of avo seeds gone to waste! So, what makes it so special? Well, the seed was initially used as a natural orange colouring in foods but now is starting to be worth its weight in gold quite literally for exceptional anti-inflammatory properties.
Aztec and Maya cultures have used the seed for centuries to tackle mycotic and parasitic infections, diabetes, inflammation, and gastrointestinal irregularity. And, here’s the word we are obsessed with… it's packed with POLYPHENOLS. It packs more antioxidant and polyphenol properties than eating the mush around it. Now, the eating part is the challenge, polyphenols are naturally bitter enough to make you look like you just kissed a vacuum…
So, the preparation of the seed is handy and might save your teeth.
Step 1. Slow dry the seed in the oven around 120 Celsius or 250F for around 2 hours.
Step 2. Crush this up into a powder and add it into meals or smoothies usually 1tsp to half a seed. Pairs perfectly as an addition to your Gutright, which is also loaded with Polyphenols. Keep the powder in an airtight container in the freezer for a week if you aren’t going to eat it straight away.