With steep competition in the food space, every restaurant must compete for the minds and hearts of diners. What better way for a brand to stand out than to provide healthy yet tasty menu offerings—something that every diner is craving for? Universally, diners have become obsessed with avocados, a healthful, versatile fruit that can add great texture and flavor to many recipes. As such, avocados have become a major trend among restaurants and chains that want to attract healthy eaters. Adding avocados to the menu also lends a more healthful image and adds an air of sophistication to the menu and by default, to the brand.
Everyone seems to be jumping on board the avocado band wagon—from QSRs to fine dining, from the local taco truck to your local caterer, and for good reason too. Besides the creamy taste and luscious mouthfeel it creates in a dish, avocados are considered to be one of the Earth’s Superfoods. Avocados provide a healthy serving of almost 20 vitamins and mineral salts in each portion of avocado along with powerful antioxidants. It also provides ‘good fats’ which help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol making it great for the heart. It helps combat infections and disease, and is good for the bones and blood. In addition, a scientific study has proved that the consumption of at least half an avocado in the course of a meal helps suppress the appetite longer in the hours to follow. Avocados also have more fiber than most fruit and vegetable varieties! So what’s not to love?
Avocados are such a versatile fruit—it can be used for savory as well as sweet preparations. For instance, in Portuguese speaking countries such as Brazil, it has always been enjoyed as a dessert mixed with sugar and lime while the Spanish-speaking countries of South America have always used it as an ingredient in savory recipes.
Here in the US, adventurous restaurants are thinking way outside the box. Cubana Social in Brooklyn, for instance, serves avocado fries, with the crispy exterior and smooth interior complementing each other in an unexpectedly pleasant way. Portland’s Salt and Straw ice cream company has created multiple flavors that include avocado, and Angel City Brewery in Los Angeles even uses avocados in one of its limited edition beers.
Did You Know: Last year’s Super Bowl alone scored a consumption of 53.5 million avocados, while annual consumption of this fruit was closer to 4.25 billion.
As an added bonus outside of the kitchen, this Superfruit has great moisturizing properties, making it an excellent ingredient for homemade beauty treatments. It can be mashed to be used as a face mask or used as a mask for dry and damaged hair. Since it is rich in vitamin B6 which facilitates the production of hormones, it is considered an aphrodisiac as well conferring energy and virility.
How to Select, Store and Ripen Avocados
Avocados taste best when they’re perfectly ripe. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to transport ripe avocados because the soft flesh can damage easily. As a result, most avocados sold by wholesalers and grocery stores are under-ripe and need to sit a few days in the kitchen to ripen. Check out the Freshness Contained tool in the Cambro App to learn the best way to store avocados.
If you need to consume the avocado right away, here are some tips to pick a ripe one:
TIP 1: The skin should be dark, with a hint of green, and taut, with no dents. The flesh should yield to gentle pressure.
TIP 2: Check under the stem!
– If the stem comes away easily and you find green underneath the avocado is ripe and ready to eat.
– If you find brown under the stem then the avocado is overripe and will most likely have brown spots inside.
– If the stem doesn’t come off then the fruit is not ripe enough yet to eat.
Green avocados can be ripened in a brown paper bag out of direct sunlight. In a few days they should be soft enough to eat. However, if you happen to have green avocados and desperately need to eat them right away, you can ripen your avocados any time — it just takes between 10 minutes and an hour, depending on how ripe the avocado is originally. To ripen an avocado quickly you should:
- Wrap it in tinfoil
- Place it in a baking dish
- Leave it in a 200-degree Fahrenheit over until it softens
How To Prevent Avocados From Browning
Once you cut an avocado, remember that it begins interacting with the air through a process called oxidation, which essentially means the fruit starts to turn brown. Browning doesn’t ruin avocados, but it does make them look unappetizing.
If you plan to use the avocado soon, you can slow oxidation by pouring lemon or lime juice over cut avocado. Storing the avocado or guacamole with the pit left inside will also help prevent browning. Even with help from citrus juice, though, the avocado will likely start browning within an hour. If you need to prevent oxidation for more than an hour, you will need to use a storage container that will protect it from air. Storage containers and seal covers from Cambro will shield your avocado from the air to slow the browning process. You can even use the containers to safely store avocados overnight.
Avocados Are Here To Stay!
Avocados are part of an exciting new trend restaurants can use to attract health-conscious diners. Knowing how to select, store and ripen them is the essential first step to creating appetizing menu creations. With so many ways to use them, avocados are a fabulous menu addition so stay on trend and keep your customers healthy with this amazing versatile fruit!