A Guide to Avocados – Cooking and Preparing the Healthy Avocado

avocado.JPGAvocados are familiar in guacamole, and perhaps in some of those California-style dishes, but far too many cooks are still shying away from using them at home.

What you might not realize is that there are significant health benefits to cooking with this fruit.

Not only are avocados rich in vitamins C and E, but they are also full of the “good” kind of fat, which can lower cholesterol and leave you feeling full and satisfied.

This guide to avocados will help you learn how to prepare and enjoy the tasty green avocado.

What Are Avocados?

Many people assume that avocados are a vegetable because they aren’t sweet. However, avocados are actually a fruit – specifically, a berry. They grow on trees, but they won’t ripen on the branch. To become usable in cooking, the fruit must be picked and allowed to ripen at room temperature. The avocado needs warm temperatures with little to no frost, and is mostly grown in Mexico, Florida, and California.

Selecting Avocados

If you’re buying avocados, look for a dimpled green skin free of deep depressions. When you squeeze the fruit gently, it should yield to the touch if it is fully ripe. If your avocado is still hard, allow it to ripen at room temperature until it yields gently to a squeeze. Brown patches on the skin are totally normal, and don’t impact the flavor of the fruit. If your avocado feels mushy or the surface is cracked, the fruit has begun to decay.

How Do You Prepare Avocados?

When eating avocados, the skin is removed and the soft fleshy part inside is eaten. The easiest way to prepare avocados is to cut them in half, remove the large pit, and scoop out the flesh or simply strip away the peel. If you are serving the avocado raw, sprinkling it will lemon juice will prevent unsightly browning.

How Can You Use Avocados?

• Raw Avocados: The easiest way to serve avocado is to simply enjoy it raw. You can eat avocados in slices, serve on crackers, or use it as a garnish for sandwiches or salads. You can also fill half an avocado with shrimp, garlic dip, or garden vegetables for an easy, healthy, and attractive meal.

• Dips and Sauces: Create your own homemade guacamole for a Mexican dinner, or blend with tangerines and pepper for a delicious sauce. You can also create salad dressing, avocado mayonnaise, dipping sauce, and even green ketchup with avocados.

• Baked Avocado: Avocados taste delicious when baked, especially if they are mixed with cheese, walnuts, and/or bacon. Avocados also make a great ingredient in lasagna and other baked pastas.

Avocados are healthy and flexible, and well worth working into your staples of favorite foods in the kitchen. Try adding avocados to some of your favorite recipes today.

And why not check out the handy Avocado slicer to help you keep your slices neat and even.

RSVP International Stainless Steel Fish Poacher with Steamer Insert Tray

RSVP International Stainless Steel Fish PoacherMost people bake, broil or fry fish but if you want another healthy option, why not poach the fish.

You will find that using a fish poacher retains the flavor and the fish doesn’t dry out.

The RSVP fish poacher is one of those nice to haves rather than a necessity, that is unless you eat a lot of fish, then you certainly see the value.

The poacher measures 22″ with an interior measurment of 20″ so it is big enough to take a decent sized whole fish, fish steaks or filets.

  • The RSVP fish poacher is made from 18/8  Stainless steel.
  • Hand washing is recommended
  • It comes with a stainless steel rack to rest your fish on during cooking.

Want to Read More Reviews?

You can read more reviews for this product at Cooking.com

WHERE CAN I GET THE ALL-CLAD FISH POACHER?

Cooking.com
Amazon.com

 

The Emile Henry Pie Dish

emile-henry-pie-dishIf you want good quality ceramic cookware then you can’t go past the Emile Henry line of cookware which has been in existence since 1850 and to this day the factory is still owned and operated by the Henry family.

The Emile Henry pie dish is just another finely crafted ceramic cookware piece made from the rich clay found in the French province of Burgundy. The Emile Henry pie dish is available in a range of sizes from the individual 5 inch serve to the 12 inch family sized pie dish.

This beautiful ceramic cookware is suitable to put in the freezer, refrigerator, microwave and a conventional oven, plus it can be placed quite safely under the broiler.

Emile Henry 12-in. Provencale Le Grand Pie Dish, CeriseEmile Henry ceramic, heats evenly and is able to maintain hot temperatures for a long while and as it is classy enough to serve at the table, you are assured that your food will remain hot while waiting to be served.

The Emile Henry pie dish is covered with a smooth glaze which is extremely strong, will not fade or craze over time, is resistant cracking or chipping, food will not stick, it is very easy to clean and it is dishwasher safe. In fact your Emile Henry pie dish can go straight from freezer to oven. This is amazing as you would expect any ceramic dish to crack under this sort of pressure.

You can cut directly onto the surface of Emile Henry pie dish without scratching or damaging the surface.

We love the Emile Henry cookware range because it is durable, functional and looks great.

Where can I buy the Emile Henry Pie Dish?
Amazon.com
Cooking.com



Sushi Knife Review: Shun Yanagiba Sushi and Slicing Knife

sushi-knifeThis sushi knife is the ideal knife for slicing sashimi, sushi and soft raw fish but is just as equally good at cutting meat and poultry.

These knives are forged in Japan using one piece of Japanese forged high carbon steel and are extremely sharp.

This knife is designed specifically so that it doesn’t bruise and damage food which is especially important when you are slicing raw fish.

What We Like

  • This sushi knife comes with free lifetime sharpening by the manufacturer.
  • The handle is a stylish ebony Pakkawood which is made from layers of white birchwood and resin for added strength.
  • This is one sharp knife that will make cutting raw fish easy.
  • This knife comes with a lifetime warranty.

What We Don’t Like

This knife is only suitable for right handers

WHERE CAN I GET THE BEST PRICE?

We found the best price at Cooking.com

Henckels Steak Knives Review: Henckels International Classic Steak Knife Set

henckels-international-classic-steak-knife-setBefore we get into this review it might be worth noting that there are two different brands of Henckels knives. The Premium brand is made in Germany and the International brand of knives are manufactured in other countries. So for this set of knives you might find that they are actually manufactured in Spain. The steel is also of a lesser standard than the steel used in the German made products.

What this comes down to is that the products are cheaper and the quality is not as good as the German made products. This isn’t to say that you are getting poor quality, just a lesser quality but this is reflected in the price. If you want the best you are going to have to pay for it and purchase from the German made Henckels brand.

The Henckels International Steak Knife Set is still a good quality set of knives and you will have years of use from them. The blades are sharp and you should have no problem cutting through even the thickest of steaks.

What We Like

  • The handles of these knives are a hard plastic and are triple riveted for strength and durability.
  • Most reviewers have commented that the knives can cut through even tough meats easily.

What We Don’t Like

  • This set seems a bit pricey for a set of steak knives but then you are purchasing a quality brand.
  • Some have complained that handles on these knives are a little small.

Want to Read More Reviews?

You can read more reviews for these Henckels Steak Knives at Cooking.com

WHERE CAN I GET THE BEST PRICE?

We found the best price at Cooking.com