Avocados are always eaten raw because heating can cause them to become bitter. They can be added to cooked dishes just before serving. Avocado is most commonly used to make the Mexican dip called guacamole, a mixture of mashed avocado, lime juice, tomatoes, and hot peppers. Avocado slices can also be added to salads, sandwiches, or sauces. Mashed avocado is a good spread for toast, bagels, or sandwiches, and can be used to top chili or a baked potato. It makes a healthful replacement for sour cream, butter, or margarine. Avocado halves can be stuffed with tuna, chicken, or crab salad.
To prepare an avocado, slice in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh. Discard the skin and pit. Avocado flesh darkens quickly when exposed to air. While this doesn’t present any health hazard, it makes the avocado look less appealing. To prevent this from occurring, rub avocado slices with lime or lemon juice, or mix about ½ tablespoon (7mL) of juice into mashed or puréed avocado.