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Avoca-Do’s and Don’ts

thanks to http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenni_e/

Don’t be afraid of the alligator pear!

Sure, they may be funny looking, but avocados, as they are more commonly known, are so good for you. They have plenty of vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, and more potassium than bananas. They’re also a great source of fiber and manganese.

Heck, you don’t even have to eat them to reap some of the benefits: an avocado face mask has been a standard beauty aid for fighting aging affects and sun damage.

The first step to enjoying an avocado is picking the right one. If you see them on sale at the stores, get them. Don’t worry if they’re not ripe yet, as you can let them ripen at home on the kitchen counter. The green ones aren’t ready to eat. They’ll be ready in a few days, so keep that in mind if you’re planning guacamole for your taco party. Check them every day. As they get riper, they darken to black. An avocado will also soften as it ripens. So at the store, hold it in the palm of your hand and give it a gentle squeeze. If it gives a little under the pressure, then it’s closer to ready. Mind you, too soft and too black is too ripe.

Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first few times. Practice makes perfect.

Also, avocados will start to brown once they are cut. To keep them from going over once you’ve opened them up, squeeze on some lemon or lime juice to preserve them. That will also give the flavor a little zing.

They’re easy to use. Put them on a sandwich. Put them on a salad. Or go for it and get ambitious!

Follow this link to Health.com for 8 healthy avocado recipes (besides guacamole. That you got to do on your own!): http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20395687,00.html

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