From the Earth: Fresh Avocados

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Food-Avocados

Avocados have always been one of my favourite foods. Besides being tasty and nutritious, I love the fact that they’re so easy to eat. You can simply cut one in half, and with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of salt, it’s ready to enjoy. This natural ingredient definitely deserves a spot on this blog, so read on and find out more about the awesome Avocado!

What is an Avocado?

The Avocado tree is part of the flowering plant family: Lauraceae. Avocado is also the name of the dark-green pear-shaped fruit of the tree. All fruits can be broadly classified into two groups: dry and fleshy fruits. An Avocado is a fleshy fruit. This is the fruit many of us have come to love.

Avocados are actually classified botanically as single-seeded berries, how interesting is that? I found this really interesting, and a little strange to think of an Avocado as a berry. However, it makes sense when you research more. Fleshy fruits are divided into two groups: drupes and berries. Drupes and berries have many similarities, but one of their biggest differences is in their endocarp – the layer that surrounds their seed or pit. Berries have soft endocarps, while drupes have tough endocarps (such as a peach). Therefore, while avocados do resemble drupe fruits, they are botanically classified as berries.

#DidYouKnow Avocados are actually botanically classified as berries. #Avocados #Berries Click To Tweet

Where do Avocados come from?

Avocados, also called “alligator pears” due to their tough green skin, are said to originate from Southern Mexico. Avocados have been part of the Mexican diet for a long time, grown in these areas as far back as 8000 BC. Researchers have linked avocado history all the way back to Mesoamerican tribes like the Inca and Maya, who are believed to have grown domesticated avocado trees. Love to think of Inca and Maya tribes enjoying a good avocado!

From Mexico, they started to spread to Central and South America. It’s Spanish explorers who were the first Europeans to eat avocados in Central America in the 16th century, bringing them over to Europe. Since then, Avocados have spread all over the world, found predominately in tropical and Mediterranean climates.

Of course, Mexico is the number one producer, producing a whopping 45% of the world’s Avocados. There are more than 50 other countries that produce Avocados, including Netherlands, Peru, Chile, Spain, United States, Kenya and many more.

When is Avocado Season?

Avocados are generally available all year round and don’t have a particular season.

There are many many varieties of Avocados, hundreds in fact. So depending on the country where they’re produced and the variety, availability changes. For example, in California, growing season lasts from about February through to September. In Mexico, they’re pretty much consistently available all year round. I am looking forward to visiting Mexico one day, that’s for sure.

In Italy, Avocados usually come from the south, Spain, Israel and Africa. They don’t seem like a popular ingredient here. When I have found them in supermarkets, they are almost always hard as a rock and pretty expensive. Either way, being an avo fan, I have still get them every now and again and patiently waited 4-5 days for them to soften. They are worth the wait!

A Closer Look at The Avocado:

Now that we know a little more about these green berries, let’s go a little deeper. Read on and discover Avocado nutritional benefits, uses, practical information, as well as links to some tasty clean recipes.


Read on to discover more about:
Avocado Nutritional Content
Avocado Uses
Practical Information
Simple Clean Avocado Recipes


Artichoke Nutritional Content:

A 100g of raw Avocado contains:

Energy160 kcal (670 kJ)
Carbohydrates9 g
Dietary fiber7 g
Sugars0.7 g
Starch0.1 g
Fat15 g
Saturated2.1 g
Monounsaturated10 g
Polyunsaturated1.8 g
Protein2.0 g
VitaminsVitamin A (1%) Thiamine - B1 (6%) Riboflavin - B2 (11%) Niacin - B3 (12%) Pantothenic acid - B5) (28%) Vitamin B6 (20%) Folate - B9) (20%) Vitamin C (12%) Vitamin E (14%) Vitamin K (20%)
MineralsCalcium (1%) Iron (4%) Magnesium (8%) Manganese (7%) Phosphorus (7%) Potassium (10%) Sodium (0%) Zinc (7%)
Water73.23 g

As you can see, Avocados are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals and low in sugar. They also contain lots of the good monounsaturated fat, making them great for the heart! I hope this is convincing you eat more avocados 🙂

Avocado Uses:

Eating:Check out Recipes down below.
Avocados can be eaten in lots of different ways. Mostly used in savoury dishes, but in sweet ones too. Add to salads, sandiches, wraps, desserts, or simply eat raw. Check out the recipes below and get eating!
Raw, as it is: Buy a whole Avocado and simply eat it raw! Cut it in half, dress with a healthy squeeze of fresh lemon and a sprinkle of salt, enjoy!
Breakfast: Avo on Toast is the best - With fresh lemon juice and salt (of course!). Another interesting simple breakfast is baked Avocado and Egg - see recipe below.
Salads: Fresh Avocado is wonderful in many different salads. I love to simply cut a fresh avo into cubes, and then dress with fresh lemon juice and salt - makes for a tasty side with a protein like chicken or meat. Savo also goes really well in a Salmon salad.
Avocado Oil – Avocado oil can be used as a tasty salad dressing and as a cooking oil.
Mexican recipes: Originating from Mexico, you'll find lots of tasty Mexican recipes online that use avocado. From a simple Guacamole to beans and avo on toast, to chilly bean wraps.
Drinking:
Smoothies: Avocados are great in smoothies and add a wonderful natural creaminess. There are lots of recipes online, and you'll find they pair well with bananas and coconut.
Beauty:
Face Mask: Avocados are great for makes homemade face masks - they contain a lot of skin friendly minerals and vitamins and will nourish your skin. Check out these 4 Homemade Avocoado Face Masks
Hair Mask: Avocados have a nourishing effect, moisturizing dry hair, so try out this homemade Whipped Avocado, Honey and Olive Oil Hair Mask.
Remedies:
Skin and Hair Health: As mentioned above, Avocado is great for the skin and hair. For example, if you have a skin condition like Psoriasis, try rubbing freshly smashed avocado directly onto the infected area affected. Alternatively, you can also use some natural Avocado oil, applied with an earbud.
Heart Health: Some studies show that the nutrients in avocados can boost heart health. As mentioned above, they also contain lots of the good monounsaturated fat, that is said to assist in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Blood Sugar Regulater: Avocados are low in carbs and sugar, falling very low on the glycemic index. It's also high in fibre. This combination makes it a great natural ingredient to eat as it doesn't cause spikes in sugar levels and can assiting in regulating levels.

Practical Information:

Buying avocados
When buying Avocados, you'll need to look at their colour and firmness. Firm Avos will likely need about 4-5 days to ripen. If they are slightly soft (but not mushy), they're likely ready to eat. Lucky you!
Usually, the darker the green, the riper they are. Look out for much darker areas, as this can indicate bruising.
Storing avocados
In general, store your Avocados at room temperature, so that they can ripen naturally.
If you have firm avocados and want them to ripen quicker, put them in a brown bag and into the cupboard. To speed up the process, even more, store them with a ripe banana, it really works!

I hope the above was useful.

Got any other tips to share? Please share below in the comments, would love to learn more.


Simple Clean Avocado Recipes:


Avocados are a super cool natural ingredient to have in your kitchen. Apart from being a superfood, they’re tasty, easy to work with, and versatile. You can make some pretty interesting recipes with them, however, I like the simple route best – halved and dressed in lemon(the secret ingredient) and salt, on toast with cheese, or as a simple side salad with my protein.

I hope that this has inspired you to add a couple to your next shopping basket.

If you enjoyed this post, please share it. I’d love to spread the love for this tasty berry-fruit. Also, if you have useful information to share, please do so in the comments – I’d love to learn more!

Ciao-for-now-xxxx

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