The avocado was a foreign object to me. I grew up eating good ole southern fare. This green capsule, now called one of the superfoods, has officially taken my tastebuds hostage.
I am no stranger to trying new and different things – if they are visually appealing. I remember it being a popular item served during football games when I lived in Virginia. With a bowl of chips, my family made the green goop (I called it) disappear. At the time, I could not understand why.
The perfectly chosen avocado should not feel mushy or have soft spots. If it feels heavy for its size, you have selected correctly. Want to hasten the ripening of an avocado? Simply place them in a brown bag on the counter. Keep an eye out so they do not over ripen. One can also place them in a bag with other fruits like banana’s to encourage ripening – but check daily! In a day or so, you should have a perfectly usable fruit.
Rule number one – do not immediately refrigerate avocados. This fruit should be kept at 68 degrees. Producing ethylene, like a banana, refrigeration will not encourage ripening but could ruin a perfectly ripe fruit.
If your avocado is not quite ripe, just leave it on the counter for a few days. I like to use an antique bowl for a pop of color. After all, it is all about the pretty in my world.
If you want to keep a ripe avocado for a few days until you use it, only then refrigeration is okay. Keep in mind, this will slow down the over-ripening, but not stop the ripening process. Refrigerated too long, the fruit will turn to mush.
A sliced avocado should be spritzed with lemon juice to preserve the color and wrap or place in an airtight container. Even when the avocado turns brown, it is edible – just aesthetically unpleasing.
Fruit With Benefits
According to Medical News Today, the avocado is essential to the whole well being of the body at any age. The benefits of consuming this green jewel include heart health, detoxifier, strong fighter of chronic diseases, and improves digestion to name a few. A terrific resource for vitamins C. E, K, and B-6, the avocado also has healthy fats that enhance our skin.
Plant Those Pits
Starting an avocado tree from one of the pits is an easy project. Knowing that it will take years to bear fruit, it can make beautiful houseplant. As with any plant, the conditions must be right for this plant to thrive.
To start, fill a nice size jar with water. Make certain the pit is clean and dry. The widest end of the pit should face the water. Poke at least three toothpicks into the side of the pit, allowing no more than one inch immersed in the water. Find a warm and bright spot to place your avocado pit so you can see the progress as it sets roots and sprouts. nIt will take six to eight weeks to see growth. Try several in case the pit doesn’t sprout. They make unique gifts for your favorite plant’s person.
Once your pet becomes a seedling and reaches a height of six to eight inches, cut it in half. It will send out heavier roots with a flush of growth with luscious leaves. Find the perfect pot, at least ten inches in diameter, add good quality soil, transplant and let the magic begin. Don’t plant the seedling too deep. Half of the pit should be above the surface of the soil. As your new plant thrives, pinch it back occasionally to avoid legginess. Depending on your climate, you could plant your tree outside or place it in a container that is portable. Remember – it is a tropical tree.
If you are looking for a cold-hardy avocado tree, they can be found on-line. One nursery, Brighter Blooms offers a cultivar that is cold hardy in zone 7 gardens. I am not certain if it would taste the same. Under the right conditions, it might be worth a try, with space or a hothouse.
Creating Good Green Goop
Last Fall I went to the Audi Field in Washington, DC for a food festival. One of the vendors had avocado toast. I tasted it and am now a changed woman. As the crunch of the whole grain bread slathered with the seasoned avocado spread danced in my mouth, I fell in love. The green goop that I did not understand, lingered on my tastebuds.
I did my research, acquired the essentials – avocado, garlic, tomato, lemon juice, a touch of olive oil, and Penzey’s Justice…and made my own green goop. Creating different palette-pleasing combinations of avocado spread is now my passion. I even found a recipe that used sweet potato slices in lieu of bread. That could be interesting.
Have you considered growing your own avocado tree? Perhaps it would be nice to grow one as a tropical plant for the summer. At some point I would tire of dragging it indoors in the winter. I think I will stick to reputable markets or grocery stores.
Teri, Cottage In The Courtby