How to prep (and use) avocados

by admin on January 16, 2007 · 9 comments

The rich, buttery Hass is the world’s most popular avocado. Its flesh contains up to 30 percent oil, but it’s all good, monounsaturated fat. I say seize the opportunity for that kind of satisfaction. By contrast, the Florida avocado has green, smooth skin and is juicier but less rich than the Hass. Its flesh contains only 3-5 percent oil, and you can tell when you’re eating one.

Whether you buy firm, greener avocados or soft, darker ones, remember that they should be consistently firm or soft all over — no bruises or soft spots.

How to prep them:
Carefully slide the knife longways through the avocado’s skin and flesh. When you feel the knife make contact with the smooth pit, rotate the knife around the pit (while turning the avocado with the other hand) to cut the avocado in two.

Twist the two halves around the pit and pull them cleanly apart.

The pit will stay in one half. Lightly stab the lower part of the blade into the pit, then twist the knife and avocado in opposite directions.

The pit should stick to the knife.

To discard the pit, carefully pull it off the knife or knock the heel of the knife against the rim of the trash can.

Scoop the avocado out with a spoon, being sure to keep the spoon moving along close to the skin so you don’t leave any flesh behind. You can either slice the avocado while it’s still in the skin (like I did here), or wait until it’s scooped out on the cutting board.

This was a really ripe one, best for spreading and dressings. If you see any brown spots, cut them away.

To prevent the avocado from browning, some people advise leaving the pit in the bowl with the chopped or scooped avocado. This can help slow down the browning of the flesh. A better way to do this though is to put the avocado in a bowl, squeeze a little lime over it and then cover it in plastic wrap, pressing down to get the wrap airtight.

I usually eat avocados close to their plain form, subtle flavor and creamy texture intact. Cut in half and drizzled with good olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a sprinkling of kosher salt & fresh ground pepper and eaten with a spoon right from the skin. Cubed or sliced and tossed into salads. Sliced and fanned out alongside tacos and burritos with a squeeze of lime and sprinkling of chopped cilantro. Spread on good toasted bread with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt & pepper, plus crumbled goat cheese and sliced radishes.

If you need to mess with them a little more, puree the flesh in a food processor with a little lime juice and chopped shallot. Drizzle in buttermilk or plain yogurt and then add salt and pepper for a creamy dressing. Or make guacamole by lightly mashing the flesh and stirring it together with finely diced red onion and tomato, lime juice and lots of cilantro.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

micha January 22, 2007 at 1:20 pm

Who do you think makes the best guacamole? Is there a recipe you particularly like?

Brys January 23, 2007 at 9:27 pm

Hi Micha,

I tend to make mine very simply: diced avocado, diced red onion, a squeeze of lime, lots of fresh cilantro and salt and red pepper flakes.

I think of the ratios as particularly personal with guacamole, but I like about 1/4 of a medium red onion to every 2 avocados, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and a light sprinkling of salt. I’m a cilantro fan, so I add about 1 cup of coarsely chopped leaves for this amount.

Hope this helps.

JohnPearson January 24, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Nice Post.

That was well said. Always appreciate your indepth views. Keep up the great work!


Keri February 7, 2010 at 8:28 pm

is it ok to just peal and eat? and Why would I crave a avocado? Plus i always get sleepy about 30min after i eat the pealed avocado. I’m puzzled.

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