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An Introduction to Avocado Pears
An avocado pear - or simply an avocado, as it is perhaps more commonly known - is one of those fruits which is commonly thought of as a vegetable. This is simply because although the avocado is botanically a fruit, it is most often eaten and used as a cooking ingredient as would be a vegetable. Native to the warmer climes of the American continent, the avocado knows several varieties, common ones being the Hass (as featured on this page) and the Fuerte.
The Uses for and Properties of Avocado Pears
Avocados are perhaps most commonly associated with making the Mexican dip, Guacamole. Avocado does have a great many uses, however, and not only in salads or dips.
It is often pointed out that avocado is extremely high in fat content, especially for a fruit. What one should not fail to consider in this respect is that the fat in avocado is monounsaturated and not saturated. The link below explains the very significant difference:
Avocados are very low in sugars and starches and high in a great many vitamins and minerals. Those seeking precise details of the nutritional composition of avocados may do so via the link below:
How to Tell when an Avocado is Ripe
There are a great many different varieties of avocado and it is a common belief that an avocado can be deemed to be ripe when it has changed colour from bright green, to the browner shade as in the photograph to the right. Although this is indeed the case with some times of avocado, it is by no means always so. The best way therefore to deem whether an avocado is ripe is simply to press it through the skin and it should be at least fairly soft.
How to Peel and Remove the Stone from an Avocado
There is nothing whatsoever overly complicated above peeling and removing the stone from an avocado, provided that the fruit is ripe enough. There are indeed several ways in which the process can be tackled and the option chosen may depend upon how the avocado is subsequently to be prepared and served. The following option is the one which I almost invariably use and provided the required safety procedures are followed, it is extremely straightforward:
- Sit the avocado broad end down on a stable chopping board. Hold the avocado steady with your weaker hand before very carefully slicing down with a sharp knife through the top centre until you feel the blade connect with the stone.
- Do not move the knife but rather, gently but steadily rotate the avocado away from you, until a cut has been made around the entire circumference, taking care to keep your fingers well clear of the blade of the knife.
- Lay the knife down and pick up the avocado. Hold one half in each hand and gently twist in opposite directions. The avocado should very easily come apart in to two perfect halves, the stone embedded in one of them.
- If the avocado is very ripe, it may be possible to dislodge the stone easily by hand. Too much pressure, however, will damage the flesh and result in perhaps poor presentation. It is better to hold the half of the avocado in the palm of your weaker hand (which should be protected by such as a thickly folded towel, as shown) and lay the blade of the knife gently atop the centre of the stone at a right angle with your good hand. Lifting the knife a mere few inches and bringing it down again smoothly but firmly should cause it to become embedded in the stone. A gentle twist should then remove the stone in one piece.
- There are now two options for removing the skin from the avocado. If the flesh is to be sliced, or the halves served whole, the skin should be peeled away. If the flesh is to be mashed, it may be scooped out of the skin with a teaspoon or other small spoon.
It is important to remember at this stage that once exposed to the air in this way, avocado flesh will oxidise and change colour fairly rapidly. Either use it immediately, or prevent this with the addition of some fresh lemon juice.
Avocado Recipes Around the Web
- Avocado Recipes - Cook with Avocados
Welcome to the UK's finest selection of recipes using the humble avocado. We have hand picked avocado recipes from all over the world so you will be sure find a recipe for you.
- Avocado Bread Recipe
Slightly sweet quick bread is an unusual way to use avocados.
- Dressed Avocado Recipe | Food | Channel4.com
A quick recipe for a healthy snack. Browse thousands more tasty recipes on 4Food.
- Avocado Recipes
One of the best Avocado Recipes sites in the world. A diverse collection of free recipes using avocado as a primary ingredient.
- Avocado recipes. Recipe ideas for avocados from Abel & Cole
Search 100's of recipes and make the most of your organic avocado and seasonal produce from award winning organic food delivery company Abel & Cole.