Tips for Preparing Avocados
Use a stainless steel knife to cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Gently twist the two halves in opposite direction if you find the flesh clinging to the pit. Remove the pit, either with a spoon or by spearing with the tip of a knife. Next, take each of the avocado halves and slice lengthwise to produce four avocado quarters. The use the California Avocado Commission’s “nick and peel” method to peel the avocado. Just take your thumb and index finger to grip an edge of the avocado skin and peel it away from the flesh, in exactly the same way that you would peel a banana. The final result will be a peeled avocado that contains most of that dark green outermost flesh that is richest in carotenoid antioxidants.
You can prevent the natural darkening of the avocado flesh that occurs with exposure to air by sprinkling with a little lemon juice or vinegar.
The Healthiest Way of Cooking Avocados
Many avocado recipes that you’ll find in cookbooks and on the Internet include avocado as an ingredient in its raw, unheated form. In the World’s Healthiest Foods recipes, we also favor this approach. We simply cannot think of a better way to preserve the health benefits made possible by avocado’s unique and delicate fats. If you do plan to use avocado in a recipe that calls for heat, we recommend that you use the lowest possible temperature and least amount of cooking time that will still work with your particular recipe. Our purpose in making this recommendation is to help you minimize damage to avocado’s unique fats. We’ve seen one research study showing that approximately 40 seconds of microwave heating on medium heat is a heating method that doesn’t significantly change the fatty acid profile of avocados. Sometimes we like to add avocado to a dish that has been cooked. This is a similar approach to some traditional Mexican recipes. For example, in Mexico they add sliced avocado to chicken soup after it is cooked. The avocado warms and mingles well with the soup but retains its nutritional concentration since it is not cooked.
How to Enjoy
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
- Use chopped avocados as a garnish for black bean soup.
- Add avocado to your favorite creamy tofu-based dressing recipe to give it extra richness and a beautiful green color.
- Mix chopped avocados, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice and seasonings for a rich-tasting twist on traditional guacamole.
- Spread ripe avocados on bread as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise when making a sandwich.
- For an exceptional salad, combine sliced avocado with fennel, oranges and fresh mint.
- For a beautiful accompaniment to your favorite Mexican dish, top quartered avocado slices with corn relish and serve with a wedge of lime.
WHFoods Recipes That Feature Avocados
- 10-Minute Huevos Rancheros
- Breakfast Bagel
- Poached Huevos Rancheros
- 15 Minute Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- 15 Minute Turkey Chef’s Salad
- Healthy Veggie Salad
- Mexican Cheese Salad
- Salmon, Cucumber, Dill Salad
- 15-Minute Halibut with Avocado Salsa
- Southwestern Salmon & Black Beans
- Romaine and Avocado Salad