Toast to Avocado
February 23, 2016 1 Comment
So I have to brag for a moment, living in Southern California has spoiled me to fresh produce all year round. Our “seasons” here are quite blurred which means that in the middle of February, I can get killer blueberries that usually aren’t “in season” until summer for most of the country. And avocados? It’s an ongoing dream, all year round they taste incredible here!
For that reason alone, I may never leave. If you’re avocado obsessed like me, you know that beautiful green pod of creamy fruit goes on and with just about everything.
On a burger? Check
As a pasta sauce? Check
In brownies? Check
Wrapped in bacon and eaten like a french fry? Check
Really, the possibilities are endless!
Here in California, we grow 90% of the avocados sold in the U.S.. Technically they are in season during spring, summer and fall. It’s considered a super food because of the amount of nutrients packed into it, from protein to monounsaturated fats (the good fats, the ones that can help lower risk for heart disease and reduce cholesterol among MANY other benefits), Vitamin K (helps clot blood) to Vitamin B6 (helps you generate serotonin, the chemical that balances your mood), avocados are nutritionally beneficial to your body no matter how you slice it (ha! see what I did there?)
There’s also this intellectual/emotional game with avocados. You know, right when you think you’ve finally figured out how to know when an avocado is ripe and then encounter those horrifying “well-it-wasn’t-ripe-this-morning-but-now-I-want-to-eat-it-with-dinner-and-it’s-brown” quick turn to death moments that are absolutely heart breaking! In my experience, the avocados you purchase from the store grant that heartbreak all too often. Getting them from a farmers market will not only yield tastier avocados but I’ve found that window of “almost there” to “ready to eat” is larger and therefore more avocados can be enjoyed in their proper state.
The reason for this? Avocados don’t actually ripen when they’re still on the tree, they begin once they are picked. From there the time to perfect eating begins! This makes sense for my experience above. Avocados bought in stores (even when they say they are locally grown and ESPECIALLY when they’re not) go through transportation and storage before getting into your cart. This is precious ripening time that is out of your hands. Farmer’s markets on the other hand, usually have their produce picked in the previous day or two and then ONE trip from the farm to the market – a much quicker trip from tree to your kitchen than a grocery store.
There are a few things you can do to speed up and slow down the ripening process once you’ve purchased an avocado:
Speed up: Put the avocados in a brown paper bag (if you were ever curious why this works, avocados give off ethylene gas which is what makes them ripen. Putting it in a paper bag concentrates this gas and helps the process move along quicker than open air)
Slow down: Put the avocados in the refrigerator, ONLY once they are ripe! (the cold basically just slows down the process of ethylene gas production, almost the opposite of above but if you put them in too soon, you can risk them never ripening)
How do you know when it’s perfect? Best way I’ve learn to check is to pluck off that little nubbin that used to be the stem – if you see bright green, it’s probably ready! Also hold and feel the avocado, it should be soft enough for a little give but not feel like mush.
And here we come to my favorite part – what shall we do with it?!
Of all the million and one ways you can eat an avocado, putting it on toast has been my favorite way as of late. The versatility and possibilities of avocado toast are ENDLESS. It can literally be as simple as toasting some bread and slicing or mashing some avocado on top. Or it can be as involved as you want, perhaps serving it on home made bread or a smear or melt of your favorite cheese or with a delicious cut of meat or a medley of roasted vegetables. However you like it, goes!
I usually eat it for breakfast (hello nutritional start to my day!) but it can be transitioned to be any meal or snack!
Check out the gallery above for some of my favorite avocado toasts I’ve made and I’d love to see your version as well! Use the hashtag #FudgeVeinAvocadoToast and let’s see your toast to avocados!