Do You Know Nutrition: Don't forget the avocado in the sock

Oct. 18, 2010 at 5:18 a.m.
Updated Oct. 20, 2010 at 5:20 a.m.

Phylis Canion

Phylis Canion

Can you please tell me the fastest way to ripen an avocado? I am not the best a picking a ripe avocado and find myself ready to use it and it is not ready. Any suggestions?

The fastest way to ripen an avocado, is to place it in a wool sock and set it in the back of a dark closet for two days.

If you are not in to big of a hurry, avocados will also ripen if placed in a brown paper bag and set in a warm location.

Depending on the state of ripeness, sometimes adding a banana to the sock or bag will also speed up the process.

It is best to not store an avocado in the refrigerator unless it is fully ripe.

What is cream of tartar? It is true that you can use it for cooking and household cleaning?

Tartar is derived from grapes during and after the fermentation process. After wine has been fermented, two mauve colored crystalline sediments remain in the wine casks. The sediment that collects on the sides of the wine cask is called "argols" and the sediment that settles on the bottom of the cask is called "lees." These two substances are actually crude tartar.

The crude tartar is then de-crystallized by cooking it in boiling water which allows the remains to crystallize again. The remaining substance is then bleached pure white and crystallized again.

As this process concludes, a very thin like layer of white crystals is formed on the surface. The name "cream of tartar" is derived from this thin top layer that actually resembles the look of cream. It is used to produce baking powder when mixed with baking soda.

Cream of tartar is the common name for potassium hydrogen tartrate, which is an acidic salt and can be used to clean copper and brass cookware. Cream of tartar combined with hydrogen peroxide is good for cleaning tough rust stains.

Phylis B. Canion is a doctor of naturopathic medicine and is a certified nutritional consultant, e-mail her at This column is for nutritional information only and is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure.



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