A is for Avocado
Avocado. What is all the hype about this small green bumpy raindrop? I keep hearing how good it is for you and your heart so I thought I would break it down for you. Is it really as good as all that chatter?
Is it a fruit, vegetable or nut? Where does it come from? What are the benefits of eating it and how do you eat it?
The Avocado is fruit. It grows on trees in tropical or subtropical climates. It qualifies as a fruit due to being produced on a tree only after it is pollinated and has a pit or seed at the center.
In the US, a major source of Avocado is California. You can find a ton of great info at the California Avocado Website.
That is where I found out that Avocados really do live up to all the hype! They boast over 20 essential nutrients and help your body absorb other fat soluble nutrients. They are cholesterol free and provide heart healthy mono-unsaturated fats which can help to lower cholesterol when used in moderation to replace saturated fats. For a complete list of vitamins and minerals, visit the California Avocado Website.
How should you use it? Oh… let’s count the ways! You can simply just eat a few slices as is, or season it up however you like. When mashed up, you can flavor many ways and use as dips, spreads, replace oils in recipes and even as baby food!
When shopping for one, pick one that is fairly firm with just a slight bit of give if you are ready to eat it. If it will be a few days, I always choose a very firm one. If it is really soft, chances are when you open it up, you will have a lot of brown bruising. Now if you have never had one, beware of a rather large pit in the middle. I like to score mine lengthwise all the way around, twist and separate. You can then easily remove the pit and either just slice or spoon out the fruit, or you can buy a handy Avocado Cutter to make it easier. Here is an example from Amazon:
OXO Good Grips 3-in-1 Avocado Slicer, Green
So once you get that far, here are some recipes to get you started!
Twice Baked Avocado Pesto Potatoes
Avocado Pesto Pasta
Sweet Potato Mexican Casserole (topped with Avocado)