Everything you need to know about avocado from nutrients to picking them and what to make with avocado.
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You’ll learn everything you need to know in this avocado 101 guide. That’s right, avocados are a berry in the form of a pear, not a vegetable. Avocados are a tasty and nutritious fruit high in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
Fun Fact: Did you know that over 2 billion pounds of avocados are eaten in the United States each year? Yep, look it up! That means each person eats about 7 pounds of avocados! If you think about it, the majority of those avocados most likely ended up in guacamole or avocado toast since it is America’s favorite dip and breakfast!
There’s no reason to be scared of avocado fat! Avocados contain mono-unsaturated fat, which is among the healthiest fats available.
Avocados are high in fat-soluble vitamins A, E, and K, as well as vitamins B, C, and trace minerals such as magnesium and potassium (both known to help reduce blood pressure). To put it into perspective, one avocado contains twice as much potassium as one banana.
They also have more protein and less sugar than any other fruit on the market, as well as being high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
A single 3.5 oz (100-gram) serving of avocado contains:
Protein: 2 grams
Fats: 15 grams
Carbs: 9 grams
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Eating avocados has many health benefits. Avocados are very nutritious, containing over 20 different vitamins and minerals. They are also high in fiber, low in carbohydrates, and high in healthy fats.
Here are just a few of the many benefits of incorporating avocados into your diet:
- Loaded with Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acid. Oleic acid has been known to reduce inflammation and improve effects on genes linked to cancer.
- Loaded with Fiber. Fiber aids in weight loss and metabolic health such as improving digestive health.
- Can lower cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels.
- High in Antioxidants containing carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that are important to eye health
How To Pick Avocados
When shopping for avocados, avoid avocados that have sunken in dark spots or cracks. Most of the time, they will still be rough, which is good because they will ripen once you get them home.
Using this simple trick, you can tell if an avocado is perfectly ripe: Hold the avocado in your palm and gently rub your thumb against its back. A ripe avocado will yield to gentle pressure but will not be squishy.
You can also check the color by lifting up the nubby stem at the end of the avocado – if it’s a bright vibrant green, you’ve got a nice one; if it looks brown under there, leave it at the shop. But, in any case, place the stem area back when you’re through testing.
How To Store Avocado
Once you’ve brought your avocado home, keep it on the counter in a cool, dry position until you’re ready to use it.
A hard avocado will normally ripen in a matter of days. If they ripen before you’re ready, place them in the fridge to slow the ripening process. On the other hand, if you need them to ripen faster, place them in a paper bag and leave them on the counter or by bananas as they release natural gas known as ethene.
If your avocado is sliced, it will quickly begin to oxidize (meaning they will turn brown). The easiest way to prevent this is to rub some citrus juice on the flesh, which will help to slow down the oxidation process.
If you need to store an avocado that has already been sliced, rub it with lemon or lime juice and store it in an airtight jar in the refrigerator. Another way is to have it stored with the flesh face down in an airtight container with some filtered water. This will also help with the avocado from oxidizing. Although there may be some oxidation, I have noticed that either of these are the best choice for storing the unused portion of the avocado.
How To Cut Avocados
- It is very easy to cut, peel, and seed an avocado. Break the avocado in half lengthwise with a knife. You can feel the pit as you cut into the avocado. As you go around the avocado with the knife, you can use the pit (seed) as a guide.
- Simply twist and separate until you’ve sliced all the way around the avocado. The pit will be in one half of the avocado and not in the other.
- You have two options for removing the pit: gently tap the sharp edge of your knife into the pit, twist, and release, or give your avocado a little squish and the pit should pop right out.
- Then, either peel off the skin or scoop out the flesh with a spoon.
- You can now slice, dice, or mash your avocado. Also, don’t forget to leave the avocado in its skin, season the flesh with salt, and eat with a spoon.
There are a few ways to enjoy avocado when preparing it for your meal. Here are some of my favorite:
Make a rose: by thinly slicing the halved avocado and removing the seed. Then slightly spread the thin slices and carefully wrap them from the center out. You can place it on top of your greens and toppings
Cubed: by halving the avocado with the seed removed. then slicing ¼-inch spacing vertically and horizontally. Use a spoon to scoop it out of the skin and you have cubes! (Or you can scoop it out first and then cube it. I like the first method because you don’t need a cutting board)
Sliced: by halving the avocado with the seed removed. Then thinly slice and scoop it out with a spoon.
Mashed: by halving the avocado with the seed removed. Next, you can slice it into ¼-inch and scoop it out. Then place it on your toast and use a fork to mash (“spread”) it.
Avocados are great in smoothies, salads, tacos, and even desserts. Here are some recipes we’ve made with avocados: