If you're anything like us, the avocado is a top-tier food in your kitchen. Not only is it packed with healthy fats, but it's deliciously versatile to boot. However, when it comes to preparation and storage, the fruit (yes, fruit!) can be notoriously finicky.
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To help you out, we've gathered our favorite avocado hacks. These tips cover everything from the best way to remove the pit to easy cutting techniques. Now, who's ready for some avo toast?
1. Longer avocados have smaller pits.
There's nothing worse than cutting an avocado, only to find that there's more pit than flesh. Take a tip from TikTok user @lilsipper_official and choose longer avocados instead. Skip the wider, more circular avocados, which tend to have larger pits. The more you know.
2. Ripen avocados with a paper bag and banana.
It's tough to find perfectly ripe avocados at the grocery store. And unless you're going to use them that day, ripe avocados will quickly turn to mush anyway. The solution? Buy unripe avocados and try this classic hack shared by @fitfood_selma. Place the unripe avocado in a paper bag, along with a banana. Thanks to the natural gases released by the banana, the avocado will ripen beautifully within one or two days. (You can also try this hack with an apple.)
3. Push out the pit with your thumb.
A common method for removing an avocado pit is to whack it with a knife — but this technique is dangerous AF. For a safer option, try this viral hack by sushi chef and TikTok user @_mynameischo. Place your index and middle fingers on each side of the pit (on the flesh) and rest your thumb on the back. Push your thumb forward, slightly pressing down with your index and middle fingers, and the pit will drop right out.
4. Slice it with the skin on, then peel.
Slicing an avocado can be pretty messy, but this hack from @plantbasednews will change that. Cut the avocado in half as usual, then slice the avocado with the skin on. Next, peel away the skin to reveal perfectly cut pieces, which can be neatly layered on toast or plated meals.
5. Or, place the avocado face down, then slice and push.
If peeling individual slices sounds like too much work, this hack (also from @_mynameischo) might be your jam. Set the peeled avocado flat side down, slice at angle, then push it forward. Repeat until you've cut the entire avocado. And just like that, you've sliced an avocado without accidentally making guac in the process.
6. Drizzle with lemon juice to stop browning.
Once cut, avocado quickly turns brown due to a chemical reaction called oxidation. And while it's still safe to eat, it can look pretty unappetizing. To stop this from happening, coat the avocado flesh with lemon juice, as demonstrated in this video by fitness superstar and TikTok user @blogilates. Cover the avocado in plastic wrap, or for a more eco-friendly option, store it in an air-tight container.
7. Or, coat it with olive oil.
No lemon juice? No problem. You can also coat the exposed avocado flesh with olive oil to prevent oxidation, as TikTok user @natashagreentea shows us in this hack. If you want to avoid a strong olive oil aftertaste, use light olive oil or another neutral-flavored oil, such as safflower oil.
8. Scoop out the flesh and freeze it.
If you're stuck with too many ripe avocados, pop them in freezer. As Instagram user @denise_g61 shows us, you can scoop out the flesh, freeze them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and then bag 'em up. It's the perfect way to prevent avocados from spoiling while ensuring you always have some on hand.
Kirsten Nunez is a writer and author who focuses on food, health, and DIY. In May 2014, she published a craft book, "Studs & Pearls: 30 Creative Projects for Customized Fashion." Her work has appeared on eHow, Martha Stewart, Shape, VegNews, and more. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York.