Avocado Facts

Avocados were once thought to be somewhat unhealthy because of their substantial levels of fat, but, these days, avocados are widely regarded as one of the most healthy fruits available and can be used to substantially revitalize your personal health. Even though they are largely believed to be vegetables, avocados are in fact a fruit.   Avocados are generally produced in tropical climates such as Mexico, Hawaii and Florida, but can be grown in temperate climates like California and Texas, too.

Avocado Varieties

The Hass avocado, thanks to it’s ability to grow year long, is the most common avocado in the world and comprises for 80% of the market. Other types of avocado varieties include Gwen, Fuerte and Bacon, but, most chefs tend to prefer the Hass variety, due to it’s rich buttery flavor, which makes it highly versatile in the world of cuisine.

Avocado Nutrition Facts

The health benefits of avocados are numerous.  Avocados offer an excellent source of monounsaturated fats and are also very high in dietary fiber. They’re packed with B vitamins in addition to vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin K, and, they contain 60% more potassium than bananas.

The healthy and balanced fats in avocados play an important role in absorbing carotenoid antioxidants from other healthy foods. Research shows that, unless the key nutrients present in vegetables and fruits are consumed along with healthy fat, the body has a tough time absorbing the carotenoid antioxidants.  To reiterate, your body MUST consume adequate amounts of healthy fats, in order to properly and fully assimilate the vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants from food.  For this reason, the healthy fats present in avocados play an important role in providing your body with healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as facilitating the transport of  vital disease-fighting, health-boosting nutrients to your body.

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How to Pick an Avocado

When choosing an avocado, you want to pick ones that are heavier than they look.  This indicates that the fruit includes a tremendous amount of moisture.  The avocado should be soft enough to yield to slight thumb pressure.  If it yields too much, then its overripe.  Additionally, the skin of the avocado should not have any tears or bruises.

The prime season for avocados is late winter to early spring, however, Hass avocados are usually available year-round.  Within the last few years, avocado prices have increased somewhat.  Generally, you should expect to spend any where from .50 cents to $1.50 each, depending on the size, and variety of the avocado.

Avocados are commonly used to make guacamole, but don’t just limit your avocado intake to dip.  This buttery rich fruit is delicious cubed in salads, sliced on sandwiches, as a creamy base for soups, added to steamed veggies, and mixed into smoothies.

How to Open an Avocado

1. Wash the avocado

2. Cut in half lengthwise down to and around the pit

3. Twist and separate the two halves

4. Remove the pit

5. Spoon the avocado from the skin

Bon Veggie Appetit!

Gina ‘The Veggie Goddess’ Matthews

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