Ingredients

Ingredient Profile: Avocados

Avocados have a long history and the diets of the Incas and Aztecs in the 16th century. In fact, traces of avocados have been found in excavations in Mexico that date way back to 7000 BC. It is said that avocado was once called ‘the alligator pear’. Perhaps it is because of its crocodile-like skin and pear shape?

There are more than 700 varieties of avocado. Australian avocados are predominantly grown in Queensland.

avocados

Season
Avocado is available all year around.

Selection
Choose avocado with an evenly coloured, unbroken skin. If dark bruises appear on the skin, the flesh will also appear bruised and so it’ll be unsuitable for some dishes.

Here how you can test the ripeness: Cradle the avocado in your hand with the narrow portion resting on your fingers. Gently grasp the avocado and allow your fingers to press the very tip of the narrow end. If the avocado is ripe, or very nearly so, this portion feels slightly soft and tender.

How to store avocados
Leave avocado at room temperature, out of direct sunlight until ripened to the desired degree. If you’d like to speed up ripening, place it in a paper bag with a banana. Refrigerate ripe avocado and use within 2 days.

How to prepare
Halve the avocado lengthways, using a sharp knife. Twist gently to separate halves. To remove the seed, push the knife into the seed and gently twist and lift out. The skin can be peeled off with fingers. If you’re not going to use it immediately, drizzle with lemon juice to prevent browning.

Where to Use
Avocado is incredibly versatile. You may use it in salads, sandwiches, dips and salsas or simply use it as a low-fat butter or margarine substitute. Although, avocados are usually eaten raw but they are also cooked in a casserole or soup.
here’s some examples from VegFusion:
Deviled Eggs with Avocado
Zingy Avocado Dip in Tomato Cups
Black Bean Salad with Corn, Red Capsicum and Avocado

avocadosComplementary Flavours
Avocado has and incredibly neutral taste. Therefore, it is better to combine it with certain, powerful flavours like:
• Garlic
• Chilli
• Tomato
• Lemon
• Lime
• Onion
• Spring onion
• Parsley
• Coriander
• Chives
• Garlic chives

Nutritional Profile
The avocado is the only fruit that contains a significant amount of fat –monounsaturated fat, the good kind. It is on the other hand, low in salt, high in fibre and contains less sugar than any other fruit (less than one percent). Also a good source of vitamins A, B6 and C, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and niacin.

Special Notes
Avocado is actually a fruit. A hermaphrodite one, too! Apparently, the flower changes sex in the spring. And parts of South East Asia avocado is eaten with sugar as a dessert.
You can grow your own avocado from the pit in the centre like Felicity did in J. J. Abrams’ Felicity.

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