Here in California we enjoy a long avocado season, thanks to the Mediterranean climate of the southern coast. However, we also have a region susceptible to the ravages of our California weather. Each year it seems the avocado crop can be in peril of damage from drought, freezes or fire. The avocados tough hide gives credence to its moniker as "the alligator pear." And, as crucial as water is to the survival of the reptilian gator so it is for this succulent fruit. The politics of water is of significant concern for the forthcoming 2009 as many farmers saw a 30% cutback in water in 2008.
To ripen, simply place the avos in a paper bag with an apple for company. Apples give off a gas ethylene, a natural ripening agent for most fruits. Leave at room temperature for a few days. When the avocado yields just slightly to pressure - it is ripe. Ripe avocados may be refrigerated for a few days, however, opened avos should be sprinkled with lemon juice or vinegar before refrigerating to delay oxidation.
You might think that something so rich and creamy might be bad for you – but not to worry. The wise folks at Berkeley Wellness Letter assure us that "Their oils are mostly monounsaturated—the kind that lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol but maintains HDL ("good") cholesterol." Moreover, due to its mono and polyunsaturated fat content, avocados are a healthy substitution for foods rich in saturated fat. For a health conscious take on deviled eggs try “angel eggs." Use the cooked egg whites as usual but substitute mashed avocado and seasonings as the filler instead of egg yolk and mayo. Angel eggs have approximately half the calories, carbs, and cholesterol of the traditional version but still 3.5 g protein per serving.