We are surrounded by plenty of fruits and veggies that we seldom understand the benefits off and sometimes feel handicapped on how to use the produce seamlessly in our day today culinary expeditions at the home kitchen. One such fruit is Avocados. Avocados is a super food that were about a decade ago hard to find on the shelves of our stores, forget to see them with the regular subji wala near your house. `I clearly remember holding the fruit the first time when I was training at a 5 star hotel in Delhi. It was one of the prized ingredients for the chefs and very sadly most of them would rot before could be made into something as it was simply an alien ingredient for many chefs 15years back. It was regarded a fruit which the western cuisine would use and almost every application that I saw with the fruit was a guacamole. Guacamole is possibly the most common and the best recipe one can whip up. It is simple, fast to prepare and pleases the palette of almost everyone.
I have to admit to you something else as well, that for the longest time in my career that I spent in Indian kitchens I have never picked up an avocado and tried to use it. Partly because of its erratic supply and partly because I under estimated the culinary strength of the fruit.
My interest came only a few years back when I was researching on super foods so I could use them in my cooking. And this time I had the interest and thanks to AVANZA avocados from New Zealand, our markets now see the fruit in abundance on the shelves, especially the “Hass” variety that is one of the most grown and appreciated varieties in the world. I have never come across a wonderfruit so simple and so healthy such as the avocado and am glad I could create some of my signature with it.
Avocados do not have a very strong singular taste. They are pretty bland with a light nutty taste and a creamy texture. This characteristic actually is a blessing in disguise as you use the fruit to make almost anything, create a savoury or a sweet dish and even a beverage. Avocados without any interference blend in what ever you put them in. They are a delicate fruit and require careful handling right form the time you pick and choose them till you cook them.
Identification & Handling an Avocado
Best way to identify a Hass avocado is by its outer colour. Another way is to press the nib of the fruit from where it is attached to the tree. If the nib depresses without much resistance then it is ripe. Never ever press an avocado to find out the ripe ness. It just destroys the delicate fruit. Here are the steps to identification to avanza hass avocados that are widely available.
Purple Brown – Means the fruit is soft and ripe, ready to be eaten. At this stage it should be stored in refrigerator and to be consumed within 2-3 days. You can easily mash the avocado to make dips, smoothies, spreads, desserts and salads with the same.
Brown Green – Means the fruit is firm and ripe it is ready to be eaten. At this stage you can easily slice or dice the fruit. Add it to a salad, kebab or even add it to a curry just before finishing.
Olive Green – It is a stage where the fruit is still not ripe and requires to be wrapped in a paper and kept at room temp in a fruit basket. Use as the skin darkens. Usually 3-4 days
Bright Green – Completely raw to be stored at room temp in a fruit basket. Use as the skin darkens.
Quick health Benefits of Avocados
Beautiful Skin – Hi concentration of Vitamins and antioxidents in the avocado works towards healthy skin. Presence of oleic acid in avocados maintains moisture in the epidermal layer of our skin, hence nourishing and hydrating the skin.
Hi Fiber – Avocados are known for hi fiber content that gives the daily requirement of fiber by the body and keeps the digestive system in shape.
Hi Immunity – Vitamin C present in avocados help keep immunity in the body by fighting the free radicals.
Heart Healthy – Avocados are rich in good fats and omega acids that maintain healthy cholesterol for a healthy heart functioning.
Eyes — Avocado contains lutein, which is important for the maintenance of eye health.
How to cut an Avocado
Step1 – Hold the fruit lengthwise and using a sharp knife, run the knife lengthwise through the fruit circling around the seed.
Step2 – Using both hands gently twist the fruit and separate it into 2 halves.
Step3 – To remove the seed firmly hack the sharp knife blade into the seed, twist, loosen the seed and remove it and discard the seed.
Step4 – Cut the two halves further into two lengthwise. Now carefully peel off the skin and discard it. Choose to either slice or dice it.
Step5 – Alternatively if you wish to mash the avocado scoop the pulp with a spoon after step3.
Tip when using an avocado
Once cut apply some lemon juice if nit using immediately as it starts oxidizing.