Avocados are one of my favorite foods of ALL TIME! And what better way to eat them than in guacamole on Guacamole Day (who knew?!), which fittingly falls on Mexico’s Independence Day! Avocados are originally from Central and South America, but most recently about 90-95% of the avocados in the U.S. come from California. There are 80 different varieties, but the most common and most likely to be found in your local grocery store is Haas.
Avocados are jam-packed with healthy properties. They are known as cancer-fighting foods largely due to their anti-inflammatory components (phytosterols) and high antioxidant content, which has also shown to help arthritic symptoms. Most of their fat is monounsaturated, which means that they play a role in decreasing the risk of heart disease. Their high level of oleic acid helps our gut absorb fat-soluble nutrients, especially two key carotenoid antioxidants (lycopene and beta-carotene)—research has shown up to 200-400% increased absorption! Avocados also promote blood sugar control, since a regular-sized avocado only has 1.5 grams of sugar and 12 grams of fiber!
An average-sized avocado is about 6 oz or 180 grams (a small-sized fist).Since portion control is so important in healthy eating, the nutrition facts below are based on half an avocado or about 3 ounces.
- Calories: 150 calories
- Total fat: 13.50 g
- Saturated fat: 1.50 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g, 0.75 g from sugar
- Fiber: 6 g of fiber
Each serving has about 15–25% of our daily value of 13 vitamins including A, C, E, K and 9 B vitamins! They are also a rich source of potassium with about 430mg per serving.
Do You Need to Buy Organic?
Nah! Avocados are #2 on the “Clean-Fifteen List” with the lowest amount of pesticides.
How to Peel?
Your choice! My only suggestion is that no avocado be left behind—the greatest concentration of antioxidants occurs in the dark green flesh beneath the skin.
How to Pick?
A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark, sunken spots or cracks. A firm avocado will ripen in a paper bag or fruit basket at room temperature within a few days. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Choose an avocado with a slight “neck” rather than a rounded top—this means that it was tree-ripened and has better flavor!
How to Store?
Avocados ripen better outside of the fridge, but once ripe save them in the fridge for up to one week. The challenging part comes once they are sliced! They get yucky and brown within an hour. A few tips to prevent browning are: 1.) Sprinkle with lemon juice; 2.) Refrigerate in a plastic container; 3.) Use an Avo Saver (very fancy and efficient!); or 4.) Cover packed guacamole with a thin layer of water to prevent oxidation. The last is a great tip from The Kitchn.
Ideas on How to Cook & Serve
- Try my Spicy Guacamole Recipe. All it takes is good prepping, as seen below.
- Blend in a smoothie. Dig Inn has a tasty option including avocado, green apple, agave nectar, lime juice and organic soy milk. Just watch the calories, since this 16-ounce shake is almost 400 calories!
- Use as a spread on whole grain bread or gluten-free crackers.Add a pinch of salt or spice, such as ginger or turmeric. Yum!
- Garnish salads with avocado, not only on account of the taste but also to increase absorption of antioxidants!
- Use in sandwiches, wraps or on egg/omelets.Choose avocado instead of cheese for less calories and healthier fat breakdown.
- Try this awesome creamy avocado dressing from Closet Cooking.Buttermilk can be made with 1 cup of skim milk and 1 TBS of lemon juice. Ditch the mayo!
What’s your favorite avo-recipe?
Originally posted on NYHRC Tumblr
Written and photographed by Alanna Cabrero, MS, RD
Avocados. World’s Healthiest Foods.
Edited by TCabrarr