And although avocados actually are a fruit (not a vegetable), upon doing a little research I also found that the word avocado traces back to the Aztec word ahuacatl, which has nothing to do with alligators or fruit!
Being born and raised in California, avocados have always been a favorite of mine. I adore them in sandwiches, as a garnish for Mexican food, in a citrus or green salad or combined with other ingredients for delectable guacamole.
There are several varieties of avocado (Hass, Zuano, Fuerte, Bacon and more), each having different peak seasons meaning that their oil content is plentiful, giving them their famous buttery texture and taste.
At this time of year, Hass (proper pronunciation rhymes with glass) avocados are a great choice and I’ve been bringing them home from the market on a regular basis. This makes my hubby a happy camper and even my six-year-olds like to include avocado slices with their dinner. Who says that children turn up their noses to food if it’s green? As a matter of fact, my grandson Declan started his solid food experience with mashed avocado and accepted it with enthusiasm. What a great way to start a child of nutritionally.
Which ever way you wish to enjoy your avocado, you can be sure that you are doing something nice for your body. Avocados are a good source of protein (without the health hazards of animal products) and provide beneficial fat (which actually can protect from heart disease). Additionally, with their unique combination of vitamins A & E, along with phytonutrients, minerals and omega-3′s, this fabulous fruit is an anti-inflammatory super food.
Perhaps you are an avid avocado consumer, or maybe you’ve never tried one. Well, here’s my encouragement to pick out a few next time you are in the produce aisle. When choosing your a alligator pear, check to see that it is firm but soft on the surface when you gently squeeze. Avoid avocado that is too soft, mushy or is dented. I usually pick out a few which are ready to eat and a few which are still very firm (although I never buy rock hard avocados because they don’t seem to ripen well). I let my firm avocados ripen for a few days at room temperature in the kitchen.
The ripening process can be accelerated by placing the avocados in a brown bag. (The addition of an apple or banana to the bag with cause even faster ripening.) Sliced avocado does turn dark, but this can be lessened by coating the cut edges with lemon juice or oil and placing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
While I’m speaking of sliced avocado, take a look at this nifty little tool.
It is called – of all things – an avocado slicer. It makes amazingly quick work of creating neat, uniform segments. (They are available in my shop.)
Arriving home from the market, if you need an idea of what to do with your newly purchased avocado, click here for the easiest most delicious guacamole recipe ever (and it’s good for you, too!)
So what to you think? Leave a comment and let me know!