They’re not just for guacamole anymore. Use avocados to make great dishes into extraordinary ones, adding taste, lively color and a creamy texture to ordinary dishes. From pizza to salads to sandwiches, avocados add that little something special to your recipes.

Choosing avocados
When choosing your avocados, look for one that will be ready at the time you will need it. To determine the ripeness of an avocado, gently squeeze the fruit-a ripe fruit will yield to gentle pressure. Avocados also turn dark green to black as they ripen.
If you are buying avocados for future use, purchase firm fruit and avoid any with external blemishes.

To ripen an avocado,
If your avocado is not ready when you need it, place it in a paper bag with an apple for two to three days at room temperature (apples accelerate the process by giving off ethylene gas, a ripening agent). This also works for tomatoes and bananas.

Storing Whole

Ripe avocados
They can be stored in a refrigerator or freezer for later use.

Using Avocados
Like all fruit, wash the avocado before cutting it. Cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed and twist the two halves in opposite directions to separate them from the seed, then you can slip a spoon between the seed and the fruit in order to work the seed out. Finally, Slip the spoon between the skin and the fruit to scoop the “meat” away from the peel. By the way, you can grow the avocado seed by suspending it with its base in water. Use cocktail sticks stuck partly into the seed, in order to suspend it over a container of water. This makes a great science experiment for children and is interesting for adults too.

If mashing avocados, add 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice per 1/2 mashed avocado to prevent discoloration and lay plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture before covering.
You can refrigerate this mixture for up to two days or store in the freezer for up to two months.

Don’t just mash and eat your avocados, though, you can also add them to sandwiches and use them in desserts too!