VegBox Recipes

Avocado

Avocado A ripe avocado can be truly delicious. Packed with healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, protein and anti-oxidants, their nutritional value is high.

And there's so much more you can do with them than just the humble guacamole (avocado dip) and avocado salad.

Read on for more about avocados, including how to ripen them and how to store them, so you can enjoy them at their best.

Buy?
If you've got an avocado in your veg box, wait until it yields to gentle pressure in the palm of your hand. If it's still very firm, it's edible, but won't taste as nice.

Once they get mushy, use quickly, or they might have turned brown and be beyond their best.
Store?
Handle avocados gently because bruised and bumped avocados have brown patches that don't look or taste as good as gently handled fruit.

If storing a part-used avocado, leave the stone in place and wrap the avocado in film, so there's very little air left. It will keep in the fridge for a day or two. The stone stops it going brown as quickly.

Whole avocados can be stored in a cool, dry, dark place or in the fridge. The length of storage depends on how ripe they already were when you got them, so check them daily to make sure they're not over-ripening.


How to ripen avocados
If you need to ripen an avocado that is still rock hard, you can put it in a paper bag with a banana for a few days, which should produce good results.
Cook?
Use a sharp knife to slice the avocado in half, lenghtways. You'll need to turn the avocado to work round the stone.

Then twist the two halves to separate them. It should then be easy to remove the stone from the half it has stayed in.

Either scoop the flesh from the skin with a spoon or gently peel the skin back, to reveal an intact avocado half.

Prepare avocados shortly before use, as they tend to discolour quickly and your lovely, fresh green avocado dip will quickly turn brown... A little lemon juice can help slow this process.

More Avocado Information

The avocado is thought to have originated in the area of Mexico about 7000 BC. It is believed to have been introduced to Europe during the 1500s.

Their image in the UK has improved since the 70s, when they were an obligatory part of dinner party starter menus. Nowadays, they're probably most famously used in guacamole, but there are so many other ways of using them that there's no need to get bored.

Is the avocado a fruit or vegetable?
The answer is a fruit. Technically, containing its own seeds, you'd think of it as a fruit. And it's often called an "avocado pear". It belongs to the Persea genus in the Lauraceae family which, apparently, officially classifies it as a fruit.

Did you know...?
The ancient Aztecs considered avocados to be fertility symbols. This meant that, in modern times, many people wouldn't buy avocados for fear of sullying their reputation!


Some varieties of avocado are easier to peel than others, which is why some literally slip out of their skin, whilst others leave you with fingernails full of avocado flesh. So chances are it's not your technique - it's the avocado variety!


Avocado Health Benefits
People on diets often avoid avocados because they are considered to be "high fat". Yet the fats in avocados are actually good for you.

Their monounsaturated fats are better for you than saturated fats (dairy, red meat) and can even help reduce cholesterol. They contain protein, and lots of useful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. So adding the occasional half an avocado to your diet can help you be healthier.

Tomato And Avocado Salad
Late summer is a time when many veg box schemes and home veg growers have a glut of tomatoes. If you’ve got some that are really ripe and full of flavour, then this simple salad is really delicious.
Ingredients

Serves 4

  1. 4-6 medium tomatoes
  2. 2 spring onions (optional)
  3. 1 ripe avocado
  4. 200g lettuce leaves (any combination)

Dressing (optional)

  1. 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  2. Juice of &fract12; lemon (optional)
  3. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  4. &fract12; teaspoon runny honey
  5. Handful mixed summer herbs, chopped (e.g. parsley & chives)

Method
  1. Wash the tomatoes and spring onions.

  2. Chop the tomatoes roughly. Slice the spring onions.

  3. Peel the avocado and remove the stone.

  4. Chop the avocado flesh into small chunks.

  5. Wash the lettuce leaves and dry well.

  6. Mix all the dressing ingredients together, until well combined (a small screw-top jar is the easiest way to do this).

  7. Mix all the salad ingredients together and drizzle the dressing on top. Serve immediately.

Cupboard-To-Table

15 minutes

Suggested Avocado Recipes

Tomato And Avocado Salad

Late summer is a time when many veg box schemes and home veg growers have a glut of tomatoes. If you’ve got some that are really ripe and full of flavour, then this simple salad is really delicious.

Got one? Send us your recipe!

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