Stay at Home Mum have teamed up with GLAD Australia, the leaders in innovative fresh food protection products, to create our Fresh Pickings series, where we will take you behind the scenes in paddocks across Australia to learn how to protect and preserve our fresh Aussie grown fruit and veg properly to maximize nutrients and freshness and ultimately reduce our food waste. If it’s worth buying, it’s worth saving and we couldn’t agree more when it comes to the humble AVOCADO, our first fruit in our Fresh Pickings series!
Australia’s produces some of the best avocados in the world and are a favourite in our household. They are filled with good fats, anti-inflammatory properties and folate, so it’s no wonder we have been avo crazy the past few months! Join us learning about this Aussie gold; how to pick a good one, how to protect them to ensure they stay fresher for longer and best of all, how to include more of this fruit (yes first fact and the series they are a fruit!) in your diet!
Stay in season with GLAD whilst Stay at Home Mum travel around Australia and pick, protect and cook with the freshest ingredients. And be prepared for plenty of laughter and delicious recipe creations along the way including avocado ice cream and guacamole, plus any more.
Pick | choosing the right avocado
Our day started on the hass avocado farm in Manjimup, WA owned by Tony Fontanini. For a man who runs a huge business, he is surprisingly down to earth. The pride in his voice as he tells us all about his crops was inspiring. Having Tony show us around the farm and show us firsthand how to choose a ripe avocado was really helpful. And he was happy to share his tips with us:
Tony’s Avocado Picking Tips
- Always buy fruit in season – we are supporting local and ensuring the freshest fruit for the best value. Avocado orchids are found in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and Tasmania which makes them available all year round.
- Check for ripeness – with a hass avocado, the skin changes from olive green (unripe), to rich purple (firm Ripe), to a black shade (soft ripe) when they are ready to eat. You can also check the top of the avocado – if the ring is brown, then it’s overripe. With other varieties (like shepherd, reed, sharwil and wurtz avocados), you can check by applying gentle pressure on the stem. If it yields, then it’s ready to eat.
- Handle with care – avocados have tough skin but they are still gentle souls on the inside. While it is important to give the avocado a little touch, don’t squeeze the life out of it when handling avocados at the local farmers market or grocery store. It could cause unwanted browning and bruising.
- Choose for usage – If you are shopping on Monday for a Saturday BBQ, then stock up on hard, un-ripened olive green avocados and let them ripen 4-5 days at room temperature. If the avocado is ripe, then store it in the fridge in the fruit drawer as refrigeration will rapidly slow down the ripening process.
Prepare | Avocado protection tips
Preparing your avocado involves cutting it properly and protecting it after you have cut it. You may actually be surprised how much of the green deliciousness you can waste by incorrectly preparing it. So here are some do’s and don’ts to consider:
- Cut the avocado lengthwise on a secure surface. A good hint is to place a clean dish towel under the cutting board to prevent slipping.
- Do the twist. Holding the avocado in the palm of one hand, under the other hand to twist and rotate the two halves apart.
- Don’t use a knife to chop into the seed.
- Use a spoon. Wedge around the seed and gently lift it out of place.
- Do create a small wedge at the top of the avocado for perfect peeling. Hass avocados are especially great because the skin peels so easily. Simply peel the skin back until there is none left.
- Don’t force it. If the avocado skin won’t peel easily, then run a spoon around the edge to help wedge the skin off before you start the peeling process.
Protect | Keep your avocados fresh up to 3x longer*
Who ever said they’d loved to waste an avocado? No one! However, it is a common fruit that goes to waste in Australian households which is why it is important to know how to protect them correctly. Avocados are a fruit which means they have high moisture content and can spoil very quickly. Plastic, however, acts as a great moisture barrier so by using food protection products such as GLAD Cling Wrap you can drastically decrease your foods spoilage time and keep your avocados fresh up to 3x longer!*
Tips for whole avocados
- Don’t wash or cut your avocados until you are ready to eat them.
- Do ripen at room temperature and then move them to the fridge. Cooler temperatures rapidly slow down the ripening process. A hard, unripe avocado typically ripens in four to five days and typically lasts two to three days uncut in the fridge. This is a good way to manage your avocados and waste less.
- Don’t store your unripe avocados next to overripe fruit (like bananas), unless you want to speed up the ripening process. If so place your avo in a brown paper bag with a ripe banana or apple.
- Don’t store your whole avocados next to ethylene sensitive produce. Avocados are high ethylene producers, a colourless/odourless gas that acts as a ripening agent and speeds up the spoilage. Most veggies are sensitive so ensure you keep your fruit in one draw and your veg in the other, in the fridge.
Tips for cut avocados
- Always store in the fridge – cut fruit and vegetables should always be stored in the fridge.
- Protect to prevent browning – avocado flesh when exposed to air oxidizes, turning it an unappealing brown colour. Help prevent this browning by creating an air barrier with a product like GLAD Cling Wrap.
- Protect to prevent moisture loss – wrap your cut avocado as tightly as possible, making sure the exposed surface is pressed flush and tight against the wrap, leaving no air gaps. GLAD Cling Wrap will retain up to 99% moisture in your avocado over 7 days*, helping it stay fresher for longer.
- Protect using GLAD Cling Wrap – keep your avocados fresh up to 3x longer*! The new GLAD Cling Wrap is their best-ever wrap. It now comes with a 1.5x tighter seal** for long-lasting freshness, plus many more product improvements including; a new easy starter tab (no annoying sticker when you start the roll which tears your cling wrap when opening), a redesigned, thicker and easier to grip carton for durability and longevity and a new cutter bar location (in the lid) which is easier and safer to use as the blades are not exposed when handling the box.
- Add lemon or lime juice – Citric acid is a strong antioxidant that will dramatically slow the browning process. Simply brushing a small amount of fresh citrus juice over your avocado before wrapping in BPA-free GLAD Cling Wrap will keep the avocado from browning for at least a day to two.
- Freeze pureed – pureed avocado gives the best result. Place peeled avocados in a food processor or blender (or mash by hand), add one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice for each avocado (this will prevent browning) and puree until smooth.
- Protect frozen – transfer puree into GLAD Snap Lock reseal bags. They are thicker than standard freezer bags which helps protect against freezer burn for longer. They also come with a unique double lock zipper for reassurance they will not burst open in the freezer. Just remember to squeeze all the air out of the bag before sealing as air speeds up food spoilage.
- Use the right sized reseal bag – GLAD snack sized reseal bags are the perfect portion size for smoothies, baby food or for spreading into sandwiches. If you plan on making guacamole or other dip, freeze the portion size needed in a larger bag size such as medium storage. We recommend freezing avocados for up to five months.
- Thaw right – place it in a bowl of cold water or thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Cook | Avocado Ice Cream Recipe
After a tour of the farm and packing shed, we headed back to the kitchen to create avocado ice cream. Avocado ice cream with praline is not only delicious but also incredibly healthy and perfect for a hot summer’s day.
Check out our post on Avocado Ice Cream to see how to make them. Or, you can also view the video for detailed step by step instructions. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
For more avocado ideas, be sure to also check out our additional avocado recipes in our new Fresh Pickings Section.
Save good food, from going bad…
All in all, it was fantastic to see the inner workings of an avocado farm and to learn how to properly pick, protect and cook with avocados. Thanks for sharing our journey and stay tuned for our next video series where we will be showing you how to keep another delicious Aussie grown fresher for longer.
*based on moisture loss data and visual appearance compared to no protection.
**Up to 1.5% (or 50%) improvement in GLAD cling film to GLAD cling film seal.