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Once upon a time, we thought avocados were only for guacamole. That time is finally over. Now we add avocado to our breakfasts, smoothies and even desserts. Let’s discover the secrets of this tasty green fruit, with its rough skin and large pit.

Composition

Avocado contains a number of vitamins, including vitamin K, and is a very good source of fibre. It’s also the only fruit with monounsaturated fatty acids, which are good for heart health. Avocado can add colour, variety and flavour to a vast range of dishes.

Ripening

Avocados only ripen after they’ve been picked. From harvest time to when they’re stocked in our grocery stores, avocados are stored in a cool place to prevent ripening. That’s why avocados are rarely ready to eat when you buy them at the supermarket. So, buy your avocados a few days before you plan to eat them, and ripen them on the kitchen counter. If you’re not going to eat them quickly, keep them in the fridge after they start to ripen. This will help them last a few days more and keep the flesh from turning brown, which can happen if the fruit has soent too much time in cold storage. To find out if your avocado is ripe, hold it in your hand and press it lightly: it should yield gently under pressure.

In the kitchen

The easiest way to peel an avocado is to cut it in half lengthwise, working around the pit. Then turn the two halves in opposite directions to separate them. To pit the avocado, tap the knife blade onto the pit and twist the knife clockwise. The pit will detach from the flesh and you can remove it easily. Then use a spoon to remove the flesh from the avocado and cut it as desired. Avocados brown quickly when exposed to air. To avoid this, coat the flesh with lemon or lime juice, which is acidic and contains ascorbic acid, properties that prevent browning.

Ideas for cooking avocado

Green smoothies have become iconic in recent years. Make your own tasty version by mixing banana, spinach, avocado and apple juice. The avocado adds a sumptuous creamy texture. At lunch, crush avocado on a piece of toast and top with a soft-boiled egg. Easy and delicious! With its composition and texture, avocado can be substituted for fats in some recipes. For example, it is sometimes used in desserts, such as our pistachio, avocado and chocolate pie recipe (a must-try!).