Class is in session: Avocados 101

Published 6:12 am Saturday, December 15, 2018

Avocados are a must-have pick-up in the produce department because of their versatility and variety of powerful nutrients.

Between their healthy monounsaturated fats that can improve heart health, the fiber that may lower cholesterol and folate’s ability to improve brain health and prevent birth defects, avocados can definitely be considered a superfood.

However, when it comes to picking, storing and preparing them, you want to know what you are doing.

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It all starts with picking the right avocado at the store. This first step will depend on when you plan on eating your avocado.

  • Yields to gentle pressure: eat within a day
  • Firm: eat in 2 to 3 days
  • Hard: eat in 4 to 5 days

Are you not going to eat your avocado when you originally planned? If you want to delay your avocado from ripening, simply place it in the fridge. Or, to speed up the ripening process, place it in a brown paper bag with either an apple or banana and fold shut. Check the bag daily until you find the avocado ripened.

There are a couple of ways to reach that green deliciousness on the inside. After cutting in half, remove the pit. Then you can either scoop the flesh out with a spoon, or peel the skin off. Peeling helps you get closer to that dark green layer of flesh closest to the skin; this is where the highest concentration of lutein is. Lutein is an antioxidant that has been shown to be beneficial for eye health.

The ways to prepare avocados are endless. There is the classic guacamole, you can put avocados in smoothies, on toast or sandwiches, in salads, deviled eggs, brownies and more!

Just be sure to properly store what you don’t use from the cut open avocado by drizzling with olive oil or lemon juice, wrapping with plastic wrap and refrigerating.

Avocado Shrimp Boats

Serves: 8

All you need

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 16 Tostitos Scoops
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, quartered and sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, as needed
  • 16 shrimp, cooked and peeled
  • 3 tbsp BBQ rub

All you do

  1. Combine sour cream and lime juice. Spread on each Tostito.
  2. Top with avocado slices and cilantro.
  3. Place a shrimp on top of each Tostito.

Nutrition facts per serving: 130 calories, 10g fat, 4g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 460mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 1g sugar, 2g protein

Daily values: 10% vitamin C, 6% vitamin A, 6% calcium, 0% iron

Source: Hy-Vee