Avocado Hacks You'll Wish You Knew Sooner

Avocados are everywhere. They're in smoothies, on toast, seamlessly woven into desserts, and even on Crocs. And while some may feel they know the ins and outs of avocados, these hacks offer new insight into this delicious, nutritious, and versatile fruit perfect for your delicious, healthy lifestyle.

These trendy fruits have been domesticated since as early as 5,000 B.C. (via California Avocado). Still, they didn't become popular in the United States until the 1992 Super Bowl, when players shared their favorite guacamole recipes and fans voted on the best ones, reports The Atlantic. This clever marketing scheme aimed to popularize the fruit, and it certainly worked. In fact, the avocado's value sales jumped 70% between 1988 and 2000, and the age of avocado toast was born.

Now that avocados have become so popular, it is the perfect time to ensure you know all the hacks to enjoy the absolute best from avocados.

Pair it with an onion

When cooking with avocados, you may find that you only need to use half of an avocado. This presents quite the problem because you may be nervous about storing it. After all, browning happens to avocados quickly. Although safe to eat, brown avocados aren't always the favorite way to enjoy these fine fruits. Fortunately, there is a solution, and it comes from a somewhat unexpected vegetable.

Prevent that dreaded oxidization by putting your halved avocado in the same container as a sliced onion. This handy trick works because the sulfur compounds the onion releases play the part of preservative for your avocado. This hack should keep your avocados fresh and green for several days, and it even gives your leftover onions a new purpose. This hack shouldn't change the flavor of your avocado, but if you're hoping to use it in your brownies, you may just want to do a taste test to ensure it still tastes right.

Dice with your cooling rack

Avocado toast makes the perfect breakfast and is a real people pleaser for your next brunch. However, avocados can also be challenging to cut and prepare between the skin and the slippery flesh. Thankfully, this simple hack can help you prepare avocado toast with perfectly cut pieces.

First, cut your avocado and remove the pit. Then, using a cooling rack with a square grid, put your avocado flesh down on the cooling rack and press down until you reach the skin. This hack works well for barely ripe avocados as well as ones that are nearly too ripe.

Once you cut up your avocado, you can smash it onto your toast or leave it cubed. Either way, it will be delicious and easier to manage than those oddly shaped, oblong slices you'll get from slicing the avocado. Consider using this hack to prepare your avocado for salads, sandwiches, and guacamole.

Use Cindy Pawlcyn's tip for guacamole

Guacamole is already delicious, and it doesn't need much help. However, Cindy Pawlcyn has a great hack to take your guacamole from good to great.

For this one, prepare your guacamole like you usually would with avocados, onion, cilantro, lime, and tomatoes. Then, prepare a simple vinaigrette with 6 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and salt and pepper to your taste. Finally, take that vinaigrette and pour it over the top of your guacamole rather than mixing it in. This will kick the flavor up a notch and will also better preserve the freshness of your guacamole.

Olive oil helps stave off the oxidation that turns your guacamole brown and should preserve that pretty green color for roughly 24 hours. So go ahead and prepare that guacamole ahead of your party, and your olive oil pool will help keep it looking fresh and delicious.

Safely remove that pit

Imagine preparing your favorite breakfast: avocado toast. It's a dish you've made dozens of times, but on one particular morning, you're distracted by your upcoming morning meeting when your knife misses the avocado pit and lands on you instead. An emergency room visit is a less than ideal way to begin your morning.

So instead of risking such a scenario, consider switching your method of pit removal. You can safely and effectively remove the pit of your avocado using a spoon or even your own hands. To remove it with a spoon, take a smaller spoon and align it with the narrow part of the pit. Then, lift it out.

If you have an especially ripe avocado that you'll be mashing anyhow, you can squeeze in the sides of your avocado to remove the pit. Or, place your avocado flesh side down between your index and pointer finger and thumb on the outside skin of the avocado. Then, with your thumb, push the pit forward through your two figures, and it will pop right out. This method works well for very ripe and barely ripe avocados.

Add hummus to avocado for delicious toast

If you love avocado toast but are looking for a way to spice it up a little, consider adding hummus. This delicious spread has a base of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon, and garlic, and though you can use fresh-made or store-bought hummus for your toast, you may find that store-bought hummus is even creamier than what you can create at home. Plus, there are so many exciting flavors of hummus you'll undoubtedly find something interesting for your toast.

There are two primary ways to add hummus to your avocado toast. You can put down a layer of hummus on your bread, then pile your avocado on top for a little separation of flavors. Then, tie the whole thing together by adding some roasted chickpeas on top of the avocado for a little extra texture. Or, you could mix your avocado and hummus to create more cohesion. Try both and see what you prefer!

Add avocado to your brownies

You've heard of having your cake and eating it too, but what about brownies? Well, with this simple trick, you can add a healthy side to this favorite dessert. According to Medical News Today, avocados are rich in important vitamins C, E, K, and B6. They also support heart, bone, and vision health. Not to mention, they even lower your risk of depression and improve digestion.

The next time you're whipping up a batch of brownies, substitute the called for vegetable oil with avocado. For this switch, ½ cup of vegetable oil is equal to one avocado, and you can adjust that ratio as necessary for your recipe. To ensure that the avocado mixes smoothly with your batter, consider whipping up your avocado using a blender or food processor before adding it into your mix. There's no need to adjust the cooking temperature or time because this is a clean substitution.

Replace mayo with avocado

Any good picnic will have its share of mayo-based salads. With everything from egg salad to potato salad, this condiment is a popular ingredient in many picnic and potluck favorites. Unfortunately, this also means that people who dislike mayo may not be able to enjoy these delicious salads. Still, with this hack, those mayo-based salads become more palatable to those who keep their distance from mayo.

Instead of using mayo in your next egg salad, consider using a well smashed (perhaps even blended) avocado. To achieve a creamy texture akin to mayo, use a very ripe avocado that is very soft and easy to blend into your salad. You can make the same substitution for mayo on sandwiches, potato salad, and even deviled eggs. Of course, this will alter the color and taste of your dish, so be sure to taste and add seasoning if needed.

Lower LDL cholesterol with an avocado

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but an avocado a day can help protect your heart. In fact, a study from the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating an avocado daily can lower your cholesterol. In the study, 500 people were asked to add an avocado to their daily diet for a period of six months. In the end, they found that the avocados did not cause weight gain and showed an LDL cholesterol reduction of 2.5 milligrams/deciliter.

This research shows that avocados aren't just delicious. They can, in fact, significantly impact the well-being and overall health of avocado lovers. Thankfully, there are many ways to add avocado to everyday meals, between featuring this delicious fruit in a meal, using it as a substitution, making a smoothie, creating a dip, or even enjoying it in a dessert (yum!).

Add creaminess to mac and cheese with avocado

If you love mac and cheese but want to make it a little creamier, avocados may be just the ticket. If you're using a box mix, follow the instructions as listed, then add in blended avocado while adding the cheese, milk, and butter after cooking your noodles. Consider adding just your avocado and cheese packet first to see if you even need milk and butter. Your avocado may serve the same purpose as that milk and butter.

If making your macaroni from scratch, blend two avocados with ​​milk and goat cheese. Then, fold that into your macaroni. As everything melts together, add in your shredded mozzarella. This recipe may have more of a grown-up feel, so, if you're hoping to pass it by a picky toddler, you may be better off with the boxed method.

No matter what method you choose, your macaroni and cheese will indeed take on a bit of green color, so this could be a great option to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.

Freeze your avocados

Have an extra avocado on its last leg? To avoid waste and a brown avocado, freeze it before it becomes too ripe. Freezing avocados is actually quite simple, and there are only a few steps you'll want to follow to help save those delicious avocados.

First, cut, peel, and remove the pit from your avocado. Then take your lemon juice and rub it all over the avocado. You'll want lemon juice on every inch of the avocado. Finally, take cling wrap and closely wrap the entire avocado. Be sure to get into the pit area and ensure that you do not leave any air bubbles. Put all of your cling wrap-covered avocados together in a large ziplock, remove the air, and put it in your freezer. When you're ready for those perfectly preserved avocados, take out and unwrap your avocados, let them thaw, and prepare them as needed.

Add it to your beauty routine

If you're looking to shake up your beauty routine, this fruit has a secret for you: It can help remove your makeup, pamper as a face mask, or even deeply condition your hair. To easily remove your makeup, Cosmopolitan recommends taking a cotton ball or pad and rubbing it over a fresh avocado. Then, use that pad to remove even your makeup, including your toughest eye shadows. This works because the oil in an avocado works well as a makeup remover.

To really treat your skin, combine that avocado with 1 teaspoon of raw honey and rub it on your face. If you're experiencing a breakout, try adding in a spoonful of yogurt for a bit of acne-fighting power. According to Cosmopolitan, this helps kill the bacteria causing all that trouble. Leave on for about 10 minutes. Then, wash it off to reveal happy skin.

Avoid using a metal knife

One of the easiest ways you can begin the browning process is to cut your avocado with a metal knife. The copper and iron in a metal knife react with those enzymes in avocados that cause that dreaded browning of an avocado.

Avoid this pre-activation by using a nonmetal knife to cut your avocados. Ceramic knives, for example, make a great alternative. Kyocera explains that ceramic is a material forged by nature and is 50% harder than steel. In fact, it's relatively close to the hardness of a diamond. In addition to helping ensure your avocados don't turn brown too quickly, ceramic knives also stay sharper longer. That said, when it comes time to take out the pit of your avocado, if you're opting to use a knife (even though there are much safer methods), make sure you do not use your ceramic knife for this task. Instead, switch back to your metal knife for the removal.