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Over the past few decades, avocados have exploded in popularity. With their creamy texture and mild flavor, avocados are full of heart-healthy fat, fiber, and other nutrients — and they are delicious added to salads and grain bowls, piled onto hearty bread and served as avocado toast, or mashed into guacamole (you can even mash it up with peas).
The fruit (yes, avocado is a fruit!) has become so popular that some emergency rooms have reported an epidemic of “avocado hand,” an injury that can occur when the knife you’re using to cut an avocado slips through the soft fruit and into your hand. I’ll show you how to cut an avocado and avoid “avocado hand” below, but first let’s cover how to select an avocado for your favorite recipes.
How to select an avocado
A perfectly ripe avocado should yield to pressure when gently squeezed with the palm of your hand. (Don’t use your fingers as this may lead to bruising.) You can also gently remove the small stem at the avocado’s end. If it comes off without much resistance and the flesh underneath is bright green, it’s likely that the avocado is ready to be eaten.
If you find that the store doesn’t have any perfectly ripe avocados, you can speed up the ripening process at home. Place the avocados inside a brown paper bag along with an apple or a banana, fold the bag shut, and leave it on the counter overnight. The fruits release a gas called ethylene, which helps the avocados ripen faster.
If your avocados ripen before you’re ready to use them, pop them in the fridge; this will significantly slow down the ripening process.
How To Cut An Avocado
Hold the end of the avocado in one hand and start cutting through the fruit until you hit the pit with your knife.
Once you hit the pit, slowly rotate the avocado so that you’re cutting all the way around it.
With one hand on each side, twist the avocado and pull the halves apart.
To remove the pit, lay a folded dishtowel in the palm of your hand and place the avocado half that contains the pit on top of the towel. (The dishtowel protects your hand in case the knife slips.) Gently grip the towel/avocado, and, with the knife in your other hand, carefully strike the pit with just enough force so the blade cuts into the very top of the pit.
Once the knife is wedged into the pit, rotate the knife to loosen the pit from the flesh and pull it out. Remove the pit from the knife by scraping the edge of the knife on the trash can.
To dice the avocado, use a butter knife to gently cut slices through the flesh in one direction and then the other direction to make a crosshatch pattern. To slice the avocado, cut in one direction only.
Use a spoon to scoop out the pieces.
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