Posts Tagged ‘avocados’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Keeping Avocados Green

July 7, 2015

 

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The world seems to be having a love fest with avocados. Everywhere you look there are recipes, menu items and articles about their health benefits. If the outrage towards the New York Times article last week suggesting the use of peas in guacamole is any indication, we Americans take our avocados very seriously. Even President Obama got into the act, taking to his Twitter account to let them know that peas were not an acceptable addition to his guac!

The only problem we can find with the creamy green fleshed fruit, is keeping it that way. Avocados go brown quite quickly when exposed to air. There are lots of ideas about what keeps the guac green, and how to store leftover avocado, once it has been cut. Some work better than others. While we have written about some of these from time to time, here is a comprehensive guide to keeping avocados from going brown.

Lemon juice: The acid in lemon juice has been known to keep avocados from turning color. Squirt a liberal amount over the exposed flesh, and hope for the best!

Onions:Others advise placing the avocado in an airtight container with cut onion. Keep the flesh of the avocado away from the onion to avoid it picking up the flavor. Once the container is sealed, the vapors emitted from the onion should keep the avocado from changing color.

Leaving in the pit is another way to go. This protects most of the avocado, but the area surrounding the pit does start to go brown.

Placing plastic wrap directly on the avocado or guacamole is another alternative. Supposedly, it protects it from the air in a way that just covering it doesn’t.

Food 52 recommends brushing the exposed area with olive oil as another way to keep it from oxidizing.

Some people swear by removing the pit and placing the flesh side flat on a plate before covering it.

Many place the avocado into an ice water bath. Place the cut side into the cold water, cover and refrigerate.

One person claims that pickle juice is the answer. While this may just work, your avocado will taste like a pickle. We’ll pass on this one.

Lastly, the very best way to keep an avocado from oxidizing, is to eat it!

Photo: : Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Apples

February 25, 2014

Granny smith coupée en rondelles

Apples are the perfect on the go snack. They are healthy, low in calories, high in fiber and vitamins.
I prefer to eat them sliced. Somehow, crunching into a big ole apple, juices running down my chin, just doesn’t seem very polite, or professional. Cutting them “onsite” isn’t always possible, and cutting them in advance often leads to gross, brown slices.
Once I saw this trick, I had to share it!
Wash and slice the apple into large pieces, and then reassemble it, putting a rubber band around it to keep it intact. The flesh is not exposed to the air, therefore it doesn’t oxidize.

This concept should also work on avocados. Just leave the seed in and band it back together. Genius!

photo: Glasshouse Images

Eat Your Vegetables

July 20, 2012

It’s no secret that I am a big fan of the Union Square Greenmarket.

I tend to go on Saturday mornings, after a particularly grueling cycling class down the street, and pick up whatever strikes my fancy.

While the greenmarket goodies tend to last longer than their supermarket purchased counterparts, fresh produce only lasts so long.

I was thrilled to stumble upon some tips in the New York Times Dining section this week, on how to prolong the freshness of summer’s vegetable bounty.

Here are a few key tricks to preserving the produce of the season:

Greens, like lettuce, are best washed in advance, dried and stored.

Soft herbs such as basil and soft produce such as mushrooms and berries should be washed when used, as the water will speed spoilage. I find that putting basil in a glass of filtered water that comes a few inches up the stems, keeps it fresh for several days. Frequent readers will note that I am also a big proponent of making pesto, and basil oil while it’s still green and “perky”.

Anything that comes in bunches, should be released from it’s binding, as the closer the vegetables are packed, the faster they will rot.

Leafy tops of root vegetables, such as carrots and beets should be trimmed to 1” long to prolong freshness but prevent them from drying out.

Fruits and vegetables should be stored separately, as the ripening fruit emits ethylene, which damages vegetables.

Some produce will continue to ripen on the counter: stone fruits, melons, mangoes, apples, pears, tomatoes and avocados.  Bell peppers, citrus fruits, and berries will only deteriorate.

Bananas ripen quickly, and will speed the ripening of anything they are stored with.

If you can, cut and simply cook vegetables, as they will last longer in the refrigerator that way. Prepare them separately, to allow more flexibility in their use.

Intimidated by the skills needed to slice and dice vegetables? Have no fear.

The specialty market Eataly, just north of Union Square employs a fulltime vegetable butcher who will peel and cut your produce to order.

Photo: Glasshouse Images


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