Generally grown in Guatemala, Mexico and West Indies, the most popular variety is the Haas Avocado which is Guatemalan. They are also found in most tropical countries, in fact I was first introduced to them when I moved to Nigeria as a child. At that time, we didn’t know how to use it or even how to ripen it (a challenge for many) so as a family we didn’t try it. Today however it’s on our weekly grocery list as we have discovered many ways to enjoy this delightful buttery fruit.
First let’s look at the nutritional benefits of Avocadoes which are packed with Fat, Fiber, Vitamins and Potassium.
Fat- Contrary to popular belief Fat is not harmful (assuming it is the right kind of fat) and Avocadoes my friend is a Fat that you want to be best friends with! This is a monounsaturated fat very much like the fat in Olives which helps to protect against cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, insulin resistance and many more health conditions. It is also important to note that our hormones, brain, cells and many bodily processes require fat for optimum function.
An excellent source of soluble fibre, Avocadoes help with bowel regularity and can help maintain blood sugar levels.
A great source of Vitamins B5, C and K Avocadoes help stabilize energy, support the adrenal glands, increase immunity to fight infection, reduce inflammation and the list goes on.
One Avocado contains twice the amount of Potassium found in one Banana. Potassium is needed for electrolyte balance along with Sodium where the two together balance mineral and fluid levels in the body. Potassium further boosts energy levels, regulates nerve impulses and is needed for many cellular functions. So, Avocadoes really are a nutrient packed food, often referred to as a Superfood!
A common question that I get asked is ‘how to buy Avocadoes’? Here’s what works for me.
- Buy a bag of unripe avocadoes, the skin will be green, and they will be hard to touch
- Take out as many as you need and store the rest in the refrigerator
- The ones that you took out place them on your kitchen counter in the same basket as your onions. They will be ready to eat within 1-3 days. Be sure to check them every day though.
- You will know they are ready as the skin will be darker, softer to the touch and if you pressure touch the tip of the narrow end, it will bounce back.
- I generally plan to take them out of the refrigerator 2 days before I need them. I do not suggest storing cut Avocadoes as they do go black in the fridge (even with the pit) and don’t taste as good.
Now, to the fun part, how to use them?
Avocadoes can be used in Smoothies, Salads, Dressings, Dips and even Desserts! Here are some easy ways to use them:
Smoothies– Many people like to replace banana with avocado in their smoothies, the result is a delicious creamy drink but be sure to replace 1 banana with ½ avocado as 1 full avocado makes the drink very thick and heavy.
Salads– Add chopped Avocado to any salad and reap the benefits of this filling nutrient dense fruit which is more satiating due to its higher fat and calorie content.
Dressings- Avocado Vinaigrette is very quick to make, simply blend ½ ripe avocado, salt, pepper, lemon juice, dash of olive or avocado oil, clove of garlic and some cilantro in a blender and you have a delicious dressing ready! Add a couple of tablespoons of water if its too thick and 1 tbsp maple syrup if you’d like some sweetness.
Guacamole- My ultimate favourite dip which always gets swiped up by the kids! As a subscriber to Wellness Redone, you would have received my Recipe book Easy Recipes to Curb Cravings and Boost Energy which has a delicious Guacamole recipe. If you’re not a subscriber, you know what to do!
Desserts– Yes that’s right, Avocadoes are used in desserts too and you wouldn’t even know it! The first time I had it was at a restaurant in Halifax, it was a delicious Chocolate Mousse that I happily indulged in unknowingly and only after did I find out that it had Avocado and could not believe it! Try this quick recipe for Avocado Chocolate Mousse, https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2015/10/15/avocado-chocolate-mousse-vegan-healthy/
And if the above don’t appeal to you try it Meghan Markle style on toast! Simply mash up an avocado in a bowl, add lemon juice, salt and pepper, mix and spread on your morning toast for a filling breakfast. Gourmet it with toppings such as: fried egg, cilantro, chopped sundried tomatoes, onions, hemp seeds or anything that makes your morning glorious!
Whilst this fruit should feature frequently in your diet you can also benefit from the oil of the fruit. Avocado oil is an excellent oil for cooking, with a high smoke point (approx. 400 degrees) it can be used for everyday cooking. This is a preferred cooking oil as it is very good for the skin, may lower blood pressure, improves heart health, increases nutrient absorption and I recently heard that in France it has prescription status for osteoarthritis!
If you have any questions or would like more information on Avocadoes, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org