Avocados are gaining popularity because of their rich nutritional value plus it’s mild and unique taste. It’s a versatile food that works with all kinds of dishes. Avocados are not only nutritious and delicious, they seem to be the hipster icon of the year. I have seen so many avocado tattoos on calf muscles and biceps that I’ve lost count. So if you love that green berry (yes, avocados are berries) so much that you would eat it for every meal and get a tattoo of it, stay tuned. The potential to add them to everything from smoothies for a rich and creamy texture, to desserts in order to substitute unhealthy fats, is endless! Avocados are super nutrient-rich, and the fact that they taste delicious makes it easy to get all your vitamins and healthy fats with every bite.
How to shop for avocados:
I love a good life hack, and luckily there are plenty for picking avocados. It’s difficult to base your decision on color alone (though you should observe any discoloration and bruising,) so it’s better to squeeze the berry gently and see if it’s firm but gives just a little. Don’t use your fingertips though, because you could wind up bruising it! If the avocado yields to firm, gentle pressure, then it’s ripe and ready. But if it just feels kind of tough, it’s going to need a couple more days 
My favorite life hack for avocado selection is this one: peel back the stem! If you scratch off the tiny little stem on the top of the avocado, you’ll be able to know if your choice will be delicious or just brown and slimy inside. If the stem comes off easy and what’s underneath appears green, then it’s ripe! If you find brown underneath, then it’s overripe and won’t be good. And if the stem doesn’t come off and all, then the avocado is under ripe and won’t be ready for some time.
If you’re buying avocados for an event, such as a party that absolutely needs guacamole, purchase unripe avocados 4-5 days in advance. That should give you a nice window and help to ensure you won’t wind up with over-ripe berries at your party.
How to store avocados:
Once you’re a pro at choosing avocados, you still have to be able to store them. If you’re like me, you don’t always use the entire berry in one sitting; sometime’s I’ll put half into my smoothie, and sometimes I spread a quarter on toast. I typically put my leftover avocado in Tupperware before sticking it in the fridge, but there are better ways to store the green goodness and ensure it won’t be gross by the next morning .
Storing a cut avocado:
No matter what form it’s in, cut, sliced, mashed, or even guacamole, put the remainders in a bowl and sprinkle some lemon, lime or even fresh orange juice on top. The acid slows down the oxidation process (that’s what leads to the brown slime) and prolongs the life of the avocado. But if you do start to see some browning, just scoop those parts out and toss them.
If your avocado is simply sliced in half, you can just run some water over the cut surface and put it in the fridge. It’ll most likely develop a little brown film, but it’ll peel back easily and can be tossed.
Storing an avocado that’s close to going bad:
If your avocado is perfectly ripe but you don’t have the time to use it, don’t throw it away! Puree your avocado with a food processor or blender and store it in the freezer. When you are ready to try out that new dip or spread recipe, you can take it out and use it.
How to ripen an avocado:
I think we’ve all been there: in the produce section of our supermarket standing in front of the lousy selection of avocados and being forced to find the best of the worst. Obviously you want to choose one that is under-ripe and not over-ripe, but it still means you are going to have to wait to be able to eat it. Maybe as long as four days! Or does it?
It turns out, there are some simple and effective methods to ripening an avocado quickly.
- Place the under-ripe avocado in a paper bag. Make sure the bag is in good shape and there aren’t any rips or tears. The bag is going to seal in the ethylene gas and ultimately ripen the berry.
- Add a banana in the bag with the avocado. You can use an apple or a tomato if you don’t have any bananas lying around, but the banana is your first choice. These fruits emit more ethylene gas than others, and the more they produce, the faster they’ll ripen.
- Close the bag by rolling it down and keep it at room temperature and away from sunlight.
- Check in often. The avocado will ripen as quickly as one day, so be sure to check it out. As it ripens, it will get some hints of deep purple and black. Once it’s ripe, store it as discussed, but only fora few days.
How to ripen a cut avocado:
If you forgot to check for the ripeness of the avocado and went straight to slicing it open, you may be disappointed to realize it’s not read to eat. Luckily you can take a couple steps and ripen the halves in no time.
- Sprinkle the avocado slices with lemon or lime juice. This will help avoid that brown mush.
- Cover it in saran wrap with the two halves facing each other like you are reconnecting it. Stick it in the refrigerator.
- Check in often! The length of time it will take to ripen will vary, but check in every day to ensure it doesn’t go bad. Take the avocado out of the wrap and poke it gently. If it seems soft enough, feel free to sample it. If it doesn’t quite taste right yet, put it back in the fridge.
How do you cut an avocado?
Few things are as satisfying as taking a knife to the pit of an avocado, twisting it and pulling it out cleanly! But not everyone can do it on the first try. Below is a video showing you how to successfully cut an avocado.
Here are some delicious avocado recipes for you to try:
Baked Egg in Avocado
This breakfast is both delicious and beautiful. Want to host the ultimate healthy brunch and look like a pro? Try this.
Avocado Banana Smoothie
This creamy breakfast smoothie is not only sweetly delicious, but it’s a great way to burn fat and give your heart the healthy stuff it needs!
Avocado toast is a classic way to incorporate healthy fats into your morning routine. This site gives six unique ways to top your toast.
Power Breakfast Potato Boat
If you love eating a big breakfast , this beast is for you. A potato, some bacon, a fried egg and avocado is on top of melted cheese. Don’t make this one a habit though.
Blueberry Avocado Muffins
I’m a sucker for recipes that give me healthy things hidden in seemingly sinful things. This delicious muffin is a sweet way to get your vitamins in at the breakfast table.
Mexican Grilled Corn Avocado Toast: If you needed more proof that avocado toast is never bland , check out this recipe. Mexican style street corn tops tons of delicious flavors on this gorgeous brekki.
Spicy chard and pineapple smoothie:
If you don’t like a ton of sweetness in your green smoothie, try this recipe. The bitter chard mixed with the sweet pineapple provides a memorable bite.
Avocado and egg breakfast pizza
Pizza can be for breakfast! Top your “pizza” with pureed avocado and a fried egg. Add some hot sauce if you’re feeling crazy.
Steak and avocado breakfast burrito
Chipotle, who? This breakfast burrito will be your new favorite meal.
Pomegranate and Pistachio Relish on Avocado Toast
If you want a little sweet, a little salty and a lot delicious, make this toast ! Not only will your stomach be happy, but your Instagram will be filled with pictures of this pretty meal.
Avocado Chicken Salad
Delicious, light and refreshing, this avocado chicken salad is sure to please even the pickiest eater. Check out this recipe for a lunch you will look forward to eating.
Tomato Avocado Melt
Cheese? yes. Avocados? yes. I’m already sold .
Avocado Grilled Cheese
Just when you thought a a grilled cheese couldn’t get an y more delicious, someone put avocado with it. Yes, please.
Spicy southwestern salad with avocado dressing
This salad is loaded with greens, beans, corn and sweet potatoes. Avocados and cilantro create a delicious dressing that would probably be good consumed with just a straw.
Japapeno Turkey Burgers
You can find plenty of rich recipes including avocado, but if you’re watching your weight, you may find even more. This turkey burger is a great lunch you don’t have to feel guilty about.
Shrimp avocado salad
This salad is a great choice for a warm day, especially if you’re in a seafood state of mind. Avocado is great with fish (think any sushi roll ever), so shrimp makes sense!
Garlic Bacon Avocado Burgers
Sometimes you just need a good burger . And hey, if you use avocado, that makes it healthy! Right?
Orange Almond Salad with Avocado
If you want a fresh salad with lots of flavor, put this yummy salad together.
Toasted Avocado and Bean Pitas
I believe everything tastes better on pita bread. But I’m pretty sure this combo would taste good even on it’s own.
Cucumber Avocado Sandwich
This sandwich is simple, clean and oh so good.
Avocado Caprese Salad
Okay, these little bites are so cute. How could you not want to eat these healthy cuties?
Chickpea Avocado Mash
This wrap is so good and healthy, but it still tastes filling and satisfying.
Avocado Hummus Taquitos
I love taquitos. That crunch is so satisfying. Hummus and avocado mash mingle here for a creamy, crunchy lunch.
Avocado Pasta Salad
This recipe is chock full of avocado. It even has an avocado dressing!
Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
Light, refreshing and uber healthy. Enjoy!
Creamy Avocado and Spinach Pasta
This is pasta you don’t have to feel guilty about! Slurp those noodles knowing your nourishing your body!
Chicken Avocado Quesadillas
These quesadillas are super filling but so, so tasty! You’ll look forward to having leftovers for lunch the next day.
BLT Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados
Who needs stuffed peppers when you can stuff an avocado? Try this one tonight.
Avocado Pesto Stuffed Shells
I loved stuffed shells, and I love this recipe because it gives me the taste I want without all the fatty cheeses.
Creamy Cucumber and Avocado Soup
This soup is perfect any night of the year, no matter the weather. And it’s so colorful!
Avocado Pesto Noodles
I love noodles that aren’t actually “noodles.” This recipe will deliver a flavorful dinner that won’t leave you feeling carb-loaded.
Avocado Cucumber Egg Salad
This dinner recipe could so easily be served as a snack or a side dish. No matter when you choose to eat it, you’ll definitely enjoy it.
Tomato Avocado Salad
Want a crazy healthy dinner? Eat this.
Avocado, Strawberry and Spinach Salad
When a salad is balanced, it truly can be its own meal. This clean salad is perfect for a summer night.
Avocado Frittata with Cotija and Mozzarella Cheese
A casserole that you can enjoy on a diet?! You’re welcome.
Black bean tacos with avocado cilantro-lime sauce:
You can’t go wrong with tacos . And if you’ve learned anything so far, it should be that avocados make tacos even better.
Blackened Shrimp Avocado Cucumber Bites
Refreshing, yummy and can be a snack or a meal . Depends on how hard it is for you to stop eating them!
Smokey bacon sweet potato hash and eggs:
YUM! While this is almost like breakfast for dinner , it’s going to be good and good for you no matter what time of day.
Blackened Tilapia Taco Bowls
What’s better than tacos ? Deconstructed tacos!
Chili-Lime Beef and Black Bean Bowls with Avocado Crema
Beef, avocado , black beans…what more could you want?
Crispy Baked Avocado Fries and Chipotle Dipping Sauce
One of my favorite things about clean eating is how not clean it tastes. I love zucchini chips, roasted sweet potatoes and crispy brussel sprouts. These avocado fries are a delicious, healthy way to snack.
This is a super simple recipe to put together, and ideal as an appetizer.
Avocado Deviled Eggs
If you are always responsible for bringing deviled eggs to the party, try these next tim e to impress the crowd.
Avocado Egg Rolls
These are a great pre-dinner snack. That is, if you can avoid eating them all!
An avocado list wouldn’t be complete without a guac recipe!
Fudgey Avocado Brownies with Avocado Frosting
The cool thing about avocados is they add a creamy texture which can pass for a rich batter in baked goods. This recipe is for yummy HEALTHY brownies
Mexican Chocolate Avocado Ice cream
Healthy ice cream? It sounds too good to be true. But it’s real and you can make it!
Flourless Chocolate Avocado Cookies
These cookies are great for people with allergies.
Avocado Fudge Pops
These are yummy if you’re an adult, but if you have picky kids, they’re an ideal way to get your kid to eat healthy !
Honey Lime Avocado Baked Donuts
Homemade doughnuts instantly make you impressive and cool. Healthy homemade doughnuts make you a superhero.
Which recipes are you going to try? Let us know!
Avocado cartoon image: http://lingvistov.com/doodles via Pinterest
Avocado stem images: thekitchn.com
Featured photo credit: Krzysztof Puszczynski via stocksnap.io
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