Food Uses

Indians in tropical America break avocados in half, add salt and eat with tortillas and a cup of coffee-as a complete meal. In North America, avocados are primarily served as salad vegetables, merely halved and garnished with seasonings, lime juice, lemon juice, vinegar, mayonnaise or other dressings. Often the halves are stuffed with shrimp, crab or other seafood. Avocado flesh may be sliced or diced and combined with tomatoes, cocumbers or other vegetables and served as a salad. The seasoned flesh is sometimes used as a sandwich filling. Avocado, cream cheese and pineapple juice may be blended as a creamy dressing for fruit salads.

Mexican guacamole, a blend of the pureed flesh with lemon or lime juice, onion juice or powder, minced garlic, chili powder or Tabasco sauce, and salt and pepper has become a widely popular “;dip”; for crackers, potato chips or other snacks. The ingredients of guacamole may vary and some people add mayonnaise.

Because of its tannin content, the flesh becomes bitter if cooked. Diced avocado can be added to lemon-flavored gelatin after cooling and before it is set, and chunks of avocado may be added to hot foods such as soup, stew, chili or omelettes just before serving. In Guatemalan restaurants, a ripe avocado is placed on the table when a hot dish is served and the diner scoops out the flesh and adds it just before eating. For a “;gourmet”; breakfast, avocado halves are warmed in an oven at low heat, then topped with scrambled eggs and anchovies.

In Brazil, the avocado is regarded more as a true fruit than as a vegetable and is used mostly mashed in sherbet, ice cream, or milk shakes. Avocado flesh is added to heated ice cream mixes (such as boiled custard) only after they have cooled. If mashed by hand, the fork must be a silver one to avoid discoloring the avocado. A New Zealand recipe for avocado ice cream is a blend of avocado, lemon juice, orange juice, grated orange rind, milk, cream, sugar and salt, frozen, beaten until creamy, and frozen again.

Some Oriental people in Hawaii also prefer the avocado sweetened with sugar and they combine it with fruits such as pineapple, orange, grapefruit, dates, or banana.

In Java, avocado flesh is thoroughly mixed with strong black coffee, sweetened and eaten as a dessert.

Avocado slices have been pickled and marketed in glass jars. California began marketing frozen guacamole in 1951, and a frozen avocado whip, developed at the University of Miami, was launched in 1955. To help prevent enzymatic browning of these products, it is recommended that sodium bisulfite and/or ascorbic acid be mixed in before freezing.

Home Made Recipes

The avocado you use should be fully ripe. If you buy several unripe ones for future use, let them mellow in your fruit bowl (they look lovely with apples) or put them in a paper bag, or wrap them in foil to hasten the process.

You may store your ripe avocados in the refrigerator, but never, never put this delicate fruit in the freezer. It might just die of shock.

How do you know when the avocado is ripe? Hold it in the palm of your hand and gently press it with your fingers. A ripe fruit will yield to your touch. It will open easily, peel evenly and reveal its glorious green-gold interior.

The avocado like any other organic matter, is perishable. Some of the formulas on this site are designed for ONE TIME USE, and should be made up freshly for each treatment. Others may be refrigerated up to 48 hours.

To prevent the avocado or its mixture with other ingredients from darkening while stored in your refrigerator, place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the avocado mixture so as not to expose the mixture to air. The usual method of adding lemon or lime juice for this purpose may be too harsh for skins which are dry or sensitive.

Facial Cleanser

Peel your avocado (or one-half) and remove the pit. Your avocado can now be PUREED, MASHED, or MACERATED by any of these methods: the fork, the blender, the potato ricer, the food processor or the sieve.

Beat the yolk of an egg until it is light and frothy, add a half cup of milk and the mashed half of a ripe peeled avocado.

A blender is handy here, but if you don’t have one, beat the mixture with a fork until you have a thin cream or lotion-like consistency. Apply on squares of cotton as you would any other cleanser. You may also use this deep cleanser after ordinary soap and water, if your skin is normal. It’s quite effective against pollution and grime. Therefore, it’s a very pure method of keeping your complexion free of pollutants which can interfere with normal skin function.

Since the formula is perishable, we suggest making it every other day and storing it in the refrigerator between uses.

Sources: Hort Purdue, Wh foods

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