There are quite a few varieties of avocadoes, but the main two types sold in Australia are Hass; which are oval-shaped, with a pebbly green skin that turns purple-black when ripe, and Fuerte; which has a distinct pear shape, and glossy, green, pebbly skin.
For immediate use, choose avocadoes that have a darker skin (dark green or black) and yield to soft pressure. For avocadoes that will be used in a few days, choose ones that are firm, with bright green skin.
To ripen, either store at room temperature for 4–7 days or, to ripen faster, place into a paper bag with a banana. Ripe avocadoes can be stored at room temperature, and should be used within two days.
Avocados are best eaten raw. Remove stones and skin before eating. Avocadoes can be used to make spreads and dips, or sliced and added to salads and sandwiches.
4 quick ways with avocadoes
Make an easy avocado dip for your next get-together. In a small bowl, mix 2 mashed avocadoes with a squeeze of lime juice, a chopped tomato, 1/2 sliced red onion, garlic powder and pepper, to taste.
Try this easy, antioxidant-packed citrus salad: Combine baby spinach leaves, 2 segmented mandarins or 1 orange, 1/2 diced avocado, shredded chicken and a thinly sliced red onion. Dress with a vinaigrette or mirin (Japanese rice wine).
Make a quick, tasty side salad, or wrap filling, by combining together a can each of drained corn kernels, diced tomatoes and rinsed kidney beans. Add a diced avocado, a diced green capsicum and 1/2 chopped red onion. Season with 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar and ground pepper.
Make your next sandwich something to rave about: In a small bowl, mash 1 avocado with a squeeze of lime juice, a tablespoon of chopped dill and a dash of pepper. Spread onto a wholemeal roll or baguette and top with smoked salmon, rocket, grated carrot and tomato and cucumber slices.
Did you know? Avocadoes are actually a fruit, not a vegetable, and they are one of the few fruits that contain fat (but it’s the ‘good’unsaturated kind).