08 Aug Enjoy Avocado Sans Injuries
By Tyffanie Ammeter, MS, Guest Blogger
Have you ever heard of avocado hand? This absolutely real phenomenon refers to the hand injuries that occur when trying to get the slippery pit out of an avocado’s soft green flesh, resulting in damaged nerves and tendons. The injuries have become so frequent and severe that the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons has suggested adhering a warning label to the fruit. Maybe that’s a bit over the top, but it is important to know how to safely enjoy this tasty fruit.
Selecting & Prepping An Avocado
To select the ripest avocado, gently squeeze the fruit in your hand. It’s ready to be eaten when it feels firm, but still yields to the pressure. If needed, you can speed up the ripening process by placing it in a brown paper bag at room temperature for 2-4 days. Just make sure to check it daily because avocados can go from perfectly ripe to overripe very quickly.
Before you cut into an avocado, rinse the outside of the fruit and dry it with a paper towel. This removes unwanted bacteria that could contaminate the flesh as you cut into it.
Cutting The Avocado—Not Your Hand
Use the following steps to cut and peel an avocado, while sparing your hands from injury:
- Set the avocado on a cutting board.
- Keeping the knife perpendicular to the cutting board, insert the chef’s knife into the fruit until the knife hits the seed.
- Rotate the avocado with one hand so that the knife cuts the fruit lengthwise around the seed.
- Twist the two halves of the avocado apart, setting each side skin up on the cutting board.
- Carefully cut each piece of avocado in half again and slide the quarters apart. Remember one of the avocado halves will have the pit in it, so take care to cut around the hard center.
- Remove the pit by pulling it out gently with your fingers. Avoid using the knife to try to get the seed out!
- Use your fingers to gently pull back the skin of each quarter to peel the fruit. If it doesn’t come out easily, spoon the flesh out of the skin.
Savoring & Storing An Avocado
How can we eat thee avocado? Let me count the ways: add to toast, blend into a silky chocolate pudding, throw in a smoothie for extra creaminess, grill it at the next BBQ…the list goes on. To maximize visual appeal, squeeze a bit of lemon or lime juice on your avocado to keep its bright green color.
And if you have any leftovers, store any unused pieces in the fridge, covered tightly in plastic wrap to prevent browning, and eat within a day or two.
Share below your favorite way to enjoy this delicious fruit!
Tyffanie Ammeter is a bilingual nutritionist with a master’s degree in Nutrition & Public Health from Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a food and fitness enthusiast who loves dachshunds, dark chocolate and speaking Spanish. Follow her cooking adventures and more on Instagram: @TyffanieAmmeter.