Rich in dietary fiber and potassium, avocados are a healthy way to dress up meats, seafood, and salads. Add a bit of sugar for a sweet treat, or fresh herbs and spices for a unique dipping sauce for vegetables and chips. Here are some Quick Recipes for Ripe Avocados.
Choosing and Ripening
Avocados found in fresh markets are often ready to be eaten immediately. Choose avocados with firm, unblemished skin and flesh that yields when lightly pressed with your thumb.
Most of the avocados sold in supermarkets are hard and not ready for immediate consumption. To ripen, place in a paper bag and store for 2-3 days (or more) in a cool, dry area. Placing a banana or apple in the bag will release ethylene gas and speed up the ripening process.
Once the avocados are ripe, make a batch of this basic recipe and use it as a dip for steak, chicken, seafood, etc. Revamp the basic recipe using one or more of the variations below. The puree can also be frozen for up to five months.
Note: Avocado oxidizes quickly when exposed to air. To keep the puree from browning too quickly, sprinkle it with lemon juice, or place the pits back into the mashed avocado (remove before serving). If discoloration occurs, remove the top layer and use the unaffected part beneath.
Quick Recipes for Ripe Avocados: Basic Recipe for Avocado Puree
2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste (omit for whipped topping recipe below)
Using a hand held mixer, blend the avocado until it is creamy and smooth. Stir in the lime juice, salt and pepper. Use it as a dip for chips, or in one of the variations below.
Quick Recipes for Ripe Avocados: Avocado Mayonnaise
Mix 1/2 cup mayonnaise with 1 cup puree. Add 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro or parsley. Spread onto sandwiches or use as a sauce for garnishing steak , chicken, shrimp or fish. Use as a substitute for butter on corn on the cob, and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Quick Recipes for Ripe Avocados: Guacamole
Add 1/2 cup each chopped tomato and onion to the basic recipe. Stir in 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro and 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeño peppers (optional). Serve with crackers or tortilla chips, or as a topping for tacos or quesadillas.
Avocado Dipping Sauce
Mix a few drops of Tabasco sauce into the basic recipe to make a delicious dipping sauce for cut veggies, chips or french fries. Experiment with other fresh herbs, such as dill and basil, or stir in pureed garlic. For a heartier dip, add a small can of sweet corn or cooked and drained spinach. For creamier dip, mix in a few tablespoons of sour cream or softened cream cheese.
Instead of mixing butter or mayonnaise into white rice, try adding a spoonful of avocado puree for a vitamin-rich option.
Avocado Whipped Topping
In some Latin American and South Asian countries, avocado is used in sweet dishes. It may be served sprinkled with sugar or even made into ice cream. For a sweet variation to the basic recipe, add 1/3 cup powdered sugar and ¼ cup whipping cream (do not add salt and pepper). Add another tablespoon of lime juice and gentle stir. Use as a topping for fresh sliced fruit or mix into fruit salad.