A ripe avocado is like a fruit from lost paradise!
Avocados aren’t appealing at first glance: either they come along in a corrugated brown-black way or with a gleaming green, rather even skin seeming artificial. Their pulp merges from green to light yellow – and you think: what now? Well: you don’t need any cooking – an avocado can be eaten as it is, but the flavour will grow when adding some spices… Avocado dips & salads are just delicious!
For the record:
Avocado is generally rated a very healthy fruit with lots of healthy oil – meaning also lots of calories, but we don’t… (remember rule #1).
This is an extraordinary fine avocado accompanied by garlic – it’s best mate!
However, let’s start with buying avocados:
- There are brown avocados & there are green avocados. Sometimes you’ll get only the brown species, sometimes you’ll… I think I don’t need to go into more details.
- Sometimes avocados are as hard as an apple or a green pear. Sometimes they are soft up to “very soft”: when squeezing you’ll think the skin will crack & the pulp will ooze out immediately.
For the record:
As I read recently when surfing the Internet food world there are about 10 different main varieties of avocados – I’m sure there are more out there. They vary slightly in size & obviously in skin color & texture – and a litte in taste. Of course I can only report on the varieties I know – mainly a brown one called “Hass” & green ones shaped more or less like pears (name unknown to me – maybe “Hall” or “Choquette” judging from photos): there isn’t so much difference in taste – all are delicious.
Coming back to the act of buying: at home – unfortunately – you’ ll sometimes discover that the avocado is so hard you’ll need a knife to cut the pulp or you even try to use a blender to puree the pulp which won’t work nice. Another possibility is that you’ll discover that the pulp is very, very soft & no longer green-yellow, but brown or … it is soft, but marbled with ugly brown fibres… All these examples show that your avocado either isn’t ripe or is much too ripe (or was inappriately stored …. e. g. frost damage in winter).
So: how to buy an avocado & how to store it?
I like to propose following approach:
- Reach for an avocado in your trusted food store, hold it in your hand & squeeze it carefully.
Case #1: The avocado is as hard as an apple or a pear & you want to eat it tonight.
Forget about it & think of another dish.
Case #2: The avocado is as hard as an apple (etc.) & you plan to eat it in 3-4 days (or even later).
Buy the avocado & store it appropriately at home – let it ripen!
Case #3: The avocado is slightly flexible like a ripe peach or apricot if you squeeze it carefully & you want to eat it tonight or tomorrow.
Buy the avocado: it’s ripe & fine for tonight or tomorrow.
Case #4: The avocado is really soft (you can create dents in the skin!)…
Don’t buy it – it’s overripe & probably brown inside and/or full of brown fibers.
- Now: the avocado sits on your kitchen table & meets its fate.
If the avocado is hard store it somewhere in your kitchen – on a shelf or the kitchen counter – where you won’t forget about it & can test its ripeness each day.
If the avocado is ripe (aka slightly flexible when squeezed) there are 2 possibilities:
#1 You may eat it now.
#2 You store it in the fridge.
Don’t buy any overripe avocados or process any unripe avocados.
You can enforce avocado ripening when storing avocados in your kitchen at room temperature (allow 3-4 days for ripening).
You can store ripe avocados for up to 3-4 days in your fridge.
Unfortunately – despite all your best care & attention – you can’t avoid any avocado desaster every now & then! (If a hard avocado won’t ripe in your kitchen – stays hard after 4-5 days – forget about it: if you cut it in half you’ll find that it is full of brown fibers (99% probability!))
We’re dealing today with avocado dips – mainly the famous guacamole (pls refer to enchilada dinner), but I’ll also add some simple recipe for a very simple avocado dip.
Guacamole: it’s avocado, garlic for flavour, tomatoes & spring onions for some bits in the puree, some sour cream for smoothing & maybe some chili for spicy hotness…
Guacamole starts with peeling the avocado. If the avocado is ripe the skin is somewhat loose & you can rip & peel it off with your fingers leaving the avocado pulp undisturbed.
I always mash the avocado manually. Maybe the avocado doesn’t get so fine as in a store-bought guacamole, but some texture doesn’t hurt.
Add the sour cream & salt & pepper & whisk it with thoroughly with an egg whip. Voilà: this is the simplest avocado dip possible!
A dash of lemon juice? Maybe…
Add chopped tomato & spring onion as well as some spices, garlic, chili… & mix it.
… and here comes guacamole!
I use to add some sour cream to my avocado mess making it smoother & softer. However, I learnt that the “original guacamole” relies only on avocado mess… Therefore I define – from now on – the use of sour cream is optional!
The recipe will teach you all the details:
I proposed a very simple avocado dip & outlined it above:
- Cut a clove of garlic in half & rub the bowl with the garlic halves.
- Peel the avocado & put it in the bowl.
- Mash the avocado & whisk in sour cream.
- Add salt & pepper.
This is totally easy & quick to prepare & works as a dip as well as a sandwich spread. The more sour cream you add the more “liquid” the dip gets. The photo at the end of this contribution shows a bowl of simple avocado dip.
Coming now to the fact of oxidation: an avocado tends to react very fast with oxygen – an unaesthetic brown layer develops growing deeper & deeper when time goes by… How to prevent this development?
- My experience:
If you mash the avocado manually instead of using an electric blender slows down oxidation immensely. The manual mashing just creates a less fine texture of the puree.
If you plan to serve the avocado dip within 2-3 hours it’ll work fine.
- If you prefer to be on the safe side – in any case – use some lemon juice. You’ll need not more than a “big dash” – creating a light background flavour. Of course, if you like the lemon flavour you can add some more!
You can store this type of avocado dip longer than just 2-3 hours in the fridge, but I recommend to prepare it during the day when you plan to use it.
When speaking about avocado dip I cover also guacamole or the avocado delights like egg salad with avocado or shrimp salad with avocado or…
The businesswoman with too many office hours thinks
Home-made guacamole is a lot easier than I ever thought! It doesn’t seem to be a fixed recipe – there are obviously variations possible: fine for me – so I can manage my own version each time. When using lemon juice I can prepare it beforehand & be on the safe side… Also the simple avocado dip – below – looks very fresh & light! Another fancy snack in my kitchen repertoire.