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Even when prices peaked, avocados proved their popularity. From avocado toast to homemade guacamole, they’ve come to define trendy dishes – and make for some Insta-worthy photos. What’s not to love? Well, how difficult they can be to slice, how quickly they brown, and that stubborn pit to name a few. Happily, there are tried-and-true tricks to help cut out the hassle. Keep reading to learn five life-changing (yes, life-changing) avocado hacks.
Keep them from browning (or at least prolong the inevitable)
There are few things more frustrating than wanting to save half of your avocado, only to find it brown in the refrigerator the next day. A ton of theories suggest how to keep the fruit from browning, but there’s a proven method that will keep it fresh for up to three days: Serena Bass, a food expert at Epicurious, uses Pam cooking spray to create a protective seal on a sliced avo. As it turns out, you can also use a mist of olive or avocado oil to create that same oxygen barrier that prevents the fruit from oxidizing overnight.
Easily eye a ripe avocado
The moment of truth: Will your avocado be ripe and green or brown and slimy? Seattle-based food blogger and professional chef Erica Strauss says the secret to picking a ripe fruit is under the stem. There are three things to look out for: If you pop off the stem and find a bright green color, it’s good to go, whereas a brown color indicates an overripe avocado. If it’s hard to get the stem off, it isn’t ripe enough yet; buy these if you’re not planning on using for a few days.
Or, ripen it on the fly
Got a fiesta fast approaching? You may remember this trick from grade school: Place the avocado in a brown paper bag, close it up tightly, and place it in direct sunlight. This traps the ethylene gas that’s produced naturally by the fruit during ripening to help accelerate the process.
Remove the pit without problem
Forget spooning! It’s a messy technique at best. Rachael Ray breaks it down step by step, suggesting you use the blade of a sharp knife to stab the pit instead. Then, simply twist and lift it out. Simple, right? Scrape the knife on your garbage can’s edge to remove the pit from the blade.
Try a diet avocado
That’s right, low-fat avocados are a thing. The Isla Bonita brand is selling diet avocados, which contain one third less fat, exclusively in Spain for now. But we’ll be sure to keep an eye out for similar options in supermarkets stateside. In the meantime, remember that while the fruit is high in fat, health professionals agree that these are the good-for-you fats – the ones that lower cholesterol and help reduce your risk of certain disease.