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An avocado is a super food with many health benefits. This blog post is part of my know your veggies and fruit series and I hope you enjoy them. You would find answers to questions like what are the health benefits of avocados, What is an avocado? Is it a fruit or vegetable? How to cut an avocado, how to store it and more. I would also share recipes that incorporate avocados. If you enjoy this series, please leave me a comment so I can know.
What is an Avocado?
An avocado is a super food that is also known as alligator pear. Avocados are from the avocado tree that is native to South Central Mexico. It is now grown across the globe and is used in many delicious recipes.
How many calories in avocado
100g of Avocado has 160 calories, 1/2 of a medium avocado has 130 calories, 1 whole avocado has 250 calories depending on the size.
Is Avocado a fruit or vegetable?
Is Avocado a fruit? Is it a vegetable? That is a question uppermost on most minds. I know you would be surprised to read that an Avocado is actually a fruit not a vegetable.
Most recipes that require avocados are usually savory dishes like guacamole, Cobb salad, Avocado tomato salad. For that reason, avocados are usually thought to be veggies. Now you know, avocados are fruits from the very family with one large single seed.
How to incorporate avocado in recipes
Avocados can easily be incorporated in lots of delicious recipes sweet or savory. They can be used in the following ways
- Cut up in slices or cubes and added to salads. Hello Cobb Salad!
- Mashed and made into guacamole or used as butter on a delicious avocado toast or to make avocado chocolate cakes.
- Blended and used to make Avocado ice cream or smoothies
What are the Health Benefits of Avocados?
Avocados have very many health benefits, some of which I would be listing below
- Avocados are rich in vitamins like Vitamin K, C, B5 and B6, minerals and other nutrients.
- Avocados can help you lose weight be strong it is rich in fiber and Hewitt you fats (mono saturated fats) which both help you stay full for longer.
- They are very high in potassium even more than bananas and studies have shown that a high potassium intake has been linked to reduced blood pressure.
- They are loaded with antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin which are helpful to the eyes.
Types of Avocado
There are various types of avocados. The most common being the Hass Variety. Below are the types of Avocados.
How to tell if an avocado is ripe.
It’s important to know how to tell if an avocado is ripe and ready to be eat. This is how I check mine by color and touch (squeeze test). The color and degree of firmness can guide you.
- If it’s still very green and hard with no give when pressed, it’s probably not ripe.
- If it’s dark brown and squishy to touch it’s probably too ripe and already going bad.
- If it’s brownish but firm and slightly spongy to touch it’s just right.
Another way is to check the stem. Pull out the stem, if the flesh peeking out is green then it’s ripe but if it’s brown then it’s probably going bad. Combine the stem test with the squeeze test above.
Fun Facts about Avocados
- The highest consumption of Avocados in the US is during the Super Bowl. Probably guacamole and chips
- The world’s largest producer of Avocados is Mexico 🇲🇽
- Avocado is a fruit not a Vegetable
- Avocado is also called Alligator Pear
How to cut an Avocado to avoid Avocado hand.
It is important to cut your avocado properly using the right cutting technique. I know you might be wondering what is avocado hand? You are not alone. I was perplexed the first time I heard avocado hand.
Avocados hand also known as avocado injury is an injury one gets while cutting an avocado. It usually happens when the knifes slips and pierces or cuts the hand. The can be mild or severe depending on the depth.
If it’s a minor cut, a simple first aid can help. Wash your hands dry with some paper towel and cover with band aid. If it’s a deep cut, it’s best you go to the emergency room for treatment.
Cutting an Avocado
Place a towel in your palm, hold the avocado in the same hand. The avocado should be between your hands and the towel. Once you have done that, follow the next steps below.
- First with a sharp knife, cut the avocado lengthwise till you hit the pit.
- Rotate the avocado while the knife is steady to make a cut all round the pit until you get to where you made the first cut.
- Twist and separate the two halves.
- Hit the pit with the sharp edge of the knife, twist and remove pit.
- Score the avocado flesh and gently scoop out and use for any recipe.
If you are not comfortable cutting an avocado in your hand, you can cut it using a cutting board.
How to store Avocados
If the avocados are not ripe, you can leave them out in the kitchen counter to ripen. Ripe avocados can be stored on your kitchen counter if you would use them up in 1-2 days. Store them in the fridge if you are not using immediately or you want to slow down the ripening process.
Already cut avocados are more difficult to store because once you cut the avocado, oxidation sets in making the green flesh turn brown. It doesn’t mean it’s bad but it’s no longer pretty and you definitely can’t serve it to guests.
To try to preserve a cut avocado, you need to leave the pit in them put it pit side down in a small container and full it with water enough to cover the flesh. If the flesh doesn’t come in contact with air, it won’t turn brown. I use this trick for my guacamole and it stays green for up to three days.
Some people suggest rubbing or spraying with lemon juice, that hasn’t really worked for me. I also read putting slices of onions with the cut avocado slows down the oxidation process but I haven’t tried that yet.
If you would like to give it a try I would advice you do that with an avocado you intend to use for a savory recipe and not a sweet recipe. I know you won’t want your avocado ice cream or smoothies to taste like onions.
Looking to eat more avocados? Try these Avocado recipes.
- Keto Cobb Salad
- Keto Egg Salad
- Keto Guacamole
- Keto Avocado Tomato Salad.
- Avocado toast
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To a healthy lifestyle,
PS: I would like to thank you my amazing readers and online friends for your support. Low carb Health club was listed among the Top 75 low carb blogs on the web in 2020 and it’s all because of you guys. Thank you so much for sharing the recipes and blog with your family and friends.