As seen on Facebook. Karen googles an avocado hack to keep avocados “just right” for a week or more.

I love guacamole prepared any way. I love it on a salad, on a sandwich or on a crabcake. I love it with chips, on top of nachos, on pita bread and chilled on top of a cold bowl of gazpacho soup. I even love it as a vegan guacamole soup. So why am I stuck between a guac and a hard place? Two reasons come to mind. Number one, my husband hates, yes, hates guacamole, in fact he hates anything with avocados in or on it. Number two, the hard place is when I buy an avocado hard and wait days for it to get soft, then it seems I’ve waited too long because when cut open, I’m stuck with an over ripe avocado that has a mushy greenish brown pulp. Inedible. What to do about these two dilemmas? I know I can keep on trying to sneak a recipe or two into my husband’s lunch or snack plate, but how to buy a just right avocado and keep it that way for a few days or even a week without ending up with a mushy mess. The internet to the rescue.

It is amazing the things I learn at 2 a.m. when I can’t sleep and start scrolling food sites on the internet. Just last week I came across an avocado hack to keep avocados at premium ripeness for a week or more. I had to try this hack. So off to the store I went to buy three “just right” avocados. I took them home, washed them in cold water then placed them in a clean jar and filled the jar with cold water, completely submerging the avocado. I placed them in the fridge and ignored them for one week. After seven days, I removed one of the avocados from the water, cut it open, and it was the exact same ripeness as it was seven days earlier … OMGosh the hack worked!

So now that I have three perfectly ripe avocados to use in a few new recipes my hubby may even try, I invite you to “Please Join Our Table” as I experiment with new guacamole recipes to taste and ones I hope hubby will also enjoy!

Avocado Guacamole Soup

(Makes about 6 servings)

I love love love this soup. Make it now for a great Easter dinner starter and make it again during the dog days of summer. You are going to love how quickly and easily this soup comes together. If you use coconut or cashew yogurt, it is a vegan soup. It is great just like that but adding the optional guacamole salsa on top, a spoonful of ingredients that usually would be in a guacamole dip, takes it to new heights in flavor and presentation. The bonus tip is that the soup portion can be made one day ahead. Just cover and place in fridge and be sure to wait to add the toppings at the last minute when you serve it.

INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided

2 large ripe avocados (about 1 1/2 pounds), halved, pitted, peeled

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 cup whole milk Greek yogurt that has been strained for 24 hours. Measure after straining.

*Or use Mexican crema, no need to strain

DIRECTIONS: Combine 1 cup vegetable broth and next 3 ingredients in blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups broth and blend. Pour into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste, stir in cream. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 1 day.

INGREDIENTS (CHIPOTLE CREAM TOPPING)

1 -2 teaspoons (or to taste) chipotle in adobo

1/4 cup whole milk Greek yogurt that has been strained for 24 hours. Measure after straining. (Or use Mexican crema.)

1 tablespoon honey

Salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: In a blender, pulverize the chipotle in adobo on lowest speed, add remaining ingredient until just blended. Place in bowl, cover and place in fridge until ready to serve.

Note: Mexican crema (also known as crema Mexican) is a sour, slightly thick cream that tastes like a combination of USA sour cream and French crème fraîche.

Guacamole Crab Papaya-Mango Salsa

INGREDIENTS

6 ounces, crabmeat, cooked, chilled

1/2 small papaya

1 mango

2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and cubed

1 small jalapeño pepper (seeded and minced)

2 teaspoons lime juice

1 tablespoon, rough chopped fresh. No stems.

1/2 avocado, cubed

DIRECTIONS: Peel and seed the papaya. Peel the mangoes. Cut fruit into bite-size pieces and place in a bowl. Add tomatoes, jalapeño and lime juice to fruit. Gently stir in cilantro and avocado. Arrange this salsa on top of chipotle cream topped soup and place crabmeat on top of salsa.

My Creamy Avocado Pasta Salad

The secret ingredient in this creamy avocado pasta salad recipe will shock you! I was inspired to create my recipe by a dish my friend Cindy Nunnery made. This salad is easy, creamy, vibrant, fresh and so satisfying! Oh, and my hubby loved it!

INGREDIENTS

2 cups lightly packed fresh baby spinach (sometimes I just use baby butter lettuce)

4 tbsp lemon juice (from 1 large lemon)

1 garlic clove, smashed

3 medium avocados (2 for the dressing, 1 for salad)

1/3 cup Dukes mayonnaise

12 ounces of your favorite pasta (I use rigatoni.)

1 1/2 cups frozen sweet peas

1 cup frozen corn or baby carrots, sliced

2 cups (1 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper seeds, or to taste

DIRECTIONS: Cook pasta according to package instructions — 2 minutes before it is done add the frozen peas and corn or carrots. Cook 2 minutes or until veggies are crisp tender. Rinse under running cold water to chill the pasta. Drain well and place in a large mixing bowl. In a food processor or blender, combine half of the spinach, 2 quartered avocados, lemon juice, garlic clove, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper seeds. Pulse until blended then add remaining spinach and blend until creamy and smooth. If too thick add a bit of EVOO or water. Add avocado dressing to pasta bowl, along with sliced tomatoes and 1 remaining sliced avocado. Fold ingredients gently to combine until evenly coated. Season to taste with more salt and black pepper. I serve this with grilled shrimp on top. Enjoy!

Karen Boughton
Author: Karen BoughtonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I grew up in a big, Greek, cooking family. I married my high school sweetheart and soon had three daughters. My husband and I worked in the family’s Greek restaurant, “Zorba’s,” for several years before moving to Baton Rouge and eventually Corpus Christi. There I taught microwave cooking classes for Amana.in studio and on television for three years before moving to Kingwood in the late '80s. I reached out to learn more about regional and international foods, spending 16 years in management in private athletic/dining/country clubs for ClubCorp, where I embraced health and cooking. In 2008 I joined the Tribune Newspapers as food editor, the same time that I became a nutrition advisor and USANA Health Sciences Associate. These two passions have given me better health and the freedom to live life my way.

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