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Avocado 101: How to Pick, Store and Handle the Perfect Fruit

Delicious Hass avocados add great taste, lively color and a creamy texture to ordinary dishes, making them extraordinary. From pizza to salads to sandwiches.

Avocado 101: How to Pick, Store and Handle the Perfect Fruit

Avocados. They're not just for guacamole anymore. Delicious Hass avocados add great taste, lively color and a creamy texture to ordinary dishes, making them extraordinary. From pizza to salads to sandwiches, avocados add that little something special to your recipes. Knowing how to properly select, handle and store your avocados will ensure that they add the perfect pizzazz to your meal every time.

Selecting your avocados

• When choosing your avocados, look for delicious Hass avocados. They are known for their creamy texture, have a distinctive bumpy skin and are available year-round.

• To determine the ripeness of a Hass avocado, gently squeeze the fruit-a ripe fruit will yield to gentle pressure. Hass avocados will also turn dark green to black as they ripen.

• If you are buying avocados for future use, purchase firm fruit.

• Avoid fruit with external blemishes.


To ripen a Hass avocado, place the fruit in a paper bag with an apple for two to three days at room temperature (apples accelerate the process by giving off ethylene gas, a ripening agent).


Ripe avocados can be stored in a refrigerator or freezer for later use.

• Mash the avocado, adding 1/2 tsp. of lemon juice per 1/2 mashed avocado to prevent discoloration.

• Lay plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture before covering.

• You can refrigerate the mixture for up to two days or store in the freezer for up to two months.


• Like all fruit, wash the avocado before cutting.

• Cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed.

• Twist the halves in opposite directions to separate.

• Slip a spoon between the seed and the fruit and work the seed out.

• Slip a spoon between the skin and the fruit and scoop away from the peel.

Once you've selected and prepared your Hass avocados, try them in this quick, easy recipe.

Turkey and Avocado

Sandwich Wedges

1 round flat sourdough bread loaf

2 large Hass avocados, peeled and seeded, divided

3 Tbsp. salsa

3 (6 by 11/2-inch) strips roasted red pepper

1 pound thinly sliced smoked turkey

3 thin red onion slices, separated into rings

3 pepper jack cheese slices

2 romaine lettuce leaves


Cut a circle out of the top of the bread; tear out the inside of the bread in the bottom section to make a shell. Mash one avocado and mix with salsa; spread over the bottom of the bread. Layer pepper strips, onions, cheese and half the turkey inside the bread. Slice the remaining avocado and place on top of the cheese. Top with lettuce and remaining turkey. Replace the bread top and press down firmly to compress ingredients. Wrap tightly and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into wedges just before serving.


How to Prevent Small Fruits

The one thing that usually shocks new tree growers is the fact that the fruits produced by their tree are much smaller than the ones they’re used to seeing at the grocery store. “What is wrong with my tree?!”, “My God! What have I done!?” are some cried you may hear from the disgruntled tree grower. However, small fruits are a natural occurrence. But while smaller fruits might be what nature originally intended, it is possible to attain larger fruits without any genetic altering or added chemicals. It is only through advanced techniques that the professionals reach such large sizes with their fruits.

Usually in the early stages of a fruit trees growing, veterans do something called “fruit thinning”. The theory behind this process is that with less fruits to pay attention to, the tree will be able to more efficiently send cells to the leftover fruits. When there are hundreds of little fruits on one tree, competing for the available materials necessary for growth, you will most likely just end up with a bunch of stunted fruits. To take care of this problem, simply pluck a third of the fruits extremely early on in the process. You should notice larger fruits that season.

On almost any tree, the success of each individual fruit depends on the spacing. Usually there should not be any fruits within six to eight inches of each other. During the fruit thinning process, this is the distance you should generally aim for to optimize the amount of nutrition that each fruit gets. Any closer and you’ll find they are crowding each other out. Usually this is the first mistake that a new tree grower makes. Having tons of fruit starting to grow is not always a good thing!

Sometimes small fruits are caused by conditions out of the gardener’s control. During the process of cell division that all new fruits go through, cool weather can be fatal to the largeness of your fruits. Likewise, if the weather is particularly cloudy very early in the season, then fewer carbohydrates will be available to your plants. Occasionally, if the factors are all against the well being of your fruit tree, then the fruits will drop to the ground before they are even ripe. A lack of water or certain nutrients, or excessive pests and diseases can also damage the growth of fruits. If you notice these things going on early in the season, you should do more fruit thinning than normal. Sometimes as much as three fourths of the fruits should come off, to allow full nutrition to those who remain.

The best way to find out how to gain larger fruit sizes is to experiment. If your tree has been around for a while, there is almost nothing you can do to it to cause it to die or stop producing fruit. Just test different thinning techniques or anything you can think of to make the fruits larger. You might even head down to your local nursery and enquire about what they would suggest. They will be able to give you advice based on your region and specific tree, which is better than anything I could tell you. So don’t settle with small fruits. Go out there and find out what exactly you need to do to improve the size.


How to determine the correct fruit and vegetable juicers

Juicers are a very good health and weight loss investment. Therefore choosing the correct juicer for your juicing needs are very important

juicers, juicer, commercial juicers, wheatgrass juicers

There are many factors that determine which of the many juicers out there is the correct juicer for you. Some of the factors that you need to consider are:

• Juicer Type
• What produce you are most likely to juice
• Cleaning
• Power
• Noise Level

Juicer Types: There are six main types of juicers that are available today. They are Centrifugal Juicers, Citrus Juicers, Manual Press Juicers, Single Gear a.k.a. Masticating Juicers, Twin Gear a.k.a. Triturating Juicers and Wheatgrass Juicers.

Centrifugal Juicers: Centrifugal juicers are the pretty much the most affordable and popular choice available to people looking to buy a juicer these days. These juicers use a shredding disc to spin out the juice and a strainer basket to hold the pulp in the machine.

Citrus Juicers: A citrus juicer provides the convenience of juicing citrus fruits at home so you can enjoy the benefits of fresh squeezed citrus juice any time.

Manual Press Juicers: Since the juice is pressed through cheesecloth, the juice is virtually pulp free, but can be a slow process. Requires produce to be shredded in order to be pressed and squeezes the juice out of the produce with pressure.

Single Gear a.k.a. Masticating Juicers: These produce less foam, and can be utilized to make baby food, sauces, & sorbets. A slow turning single auger is used by these types of juicers to crush the produce into the walls or screen of the juicer.

Twin Gear Juicers a.k.a. Triturating Juicers: These juicers have two gears that shreds then presses the juice out of the produce. These types of juicers are liable to be more expensive than other types of juicers, but twin gear juicers are the most efficient and can extract larger volumes of juice from fruits and vegetables.

Wheatgrass Juicers: Wheatgrass juicers can extract the juice out of the blades of wheatgrass either manually or automatically. Wheatgrass is a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, and enzymes. This is a specialized type of juicer since normal fruit and vegetable juicers will not juice wheatgrass.

Produce most likely to be juiced: If you are likely to be juicing fruit and vegetables in equal quantities then a centrifugal juicer is your best option and some models also feature attachments that will allow you to juice citrus as well, should you wish to do so. However those juicers do not juice leafy vegetables well. If citrus or wheatgrass are going to comprise the majority of what you are juicing then buying a juicer specifically engineered to juice those products would be your best option. For juicing mainly vegetables a single auger juicer would be the best option, but they produce rather thick juice from fruit, almost sauce-like, since they are designed for juicing stalk-like vegetables.

Cleaning: The time it will take to clean a juicer after you used it will depend on the complexity of the juicer as the average juice has between 4 and 7 parts requiring cleaning. This means that while a citrus press can be cleaned with a quick wipe down, a juicer with more functionality will take longer to clean. Also a check should be made as to whether the components are dishwasher safe, unless you are happy to hand wash the parts.

Power: The amount of power you need depends on the hardness of the produce you are juicing. The harder the produce, the more power you will need, but anything over 400 watts should be more than sufficient. The stronger the motor is the longer it is likely to last. Also a check should be made as to whether the motor is guaranteed by the manufacturer.

Noise Levels: This is dependent on the power of your juicer's motor. The more powerful the motor, the higher the noise levels produced. The importance of this factor is guided by personal preference and your situation. If you have no one around to complain about the noise and you don't mind the noise then it is unimportant but if you mind a loud noise or people around you do, then it is a consideration, but it must be weighed up against the effectiveness of your juicer.

Cost is not seen as a factor when buying a juicer because there are so many juicers available at so many different prices, but the higher quality juicers are likely to cost more than average. Ultimately your personal preferences will determine which juicer you buy.


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