The avocado is a very nutrient dense fruit made up of 60% water. 100g avocado (approximately one whole fruit) contains 180 kcal, 5g fibre, 17g fat (primarily monounsaturated), 2g protein and double the potassium of a banana (634mg). Avocados are rich in vitamin A, C and E, all potent antioxidants that slow the aging process and protect against cancer and heart disease. They also contain B vitamins and the phytochemical lutein, a carotenoid that helps reduce the risk for macular degeneration. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2001-2012, 27,684 U.S. adults ages 19+) suggest that avocado consumers, who reported eating an average of about ½ of a fresh avocado per day, had better diet quality and positive health parameters (body weight, metabolic syndrome) than non-consumers
Avocados will ripen on the counter at home but if they are picked when rock hard there is a chance they will rot before they ripen. Choose an avocado free of cuts and bruises and that smells fresh. A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure and the button stem falls off when nudged.
Store your avocado on the counter until ripe then it can be refrigerated for up to one week. If you cut an avocado before it is ripe, put the two halves with the pit back together, wrap with saran and let them ripen on the counter.
Cut through the skin lengthwise to the pit all the way around and twist in opposite directions. To remove the skin lay cut side down and peel with a knife or cut the flesh and use a spoon to remove from the skin. Sprinkle with lemon or lime to prevent browning.
Dips like guacamole are very popular snack food with tortilla chips. Try mango salsa with avocado or salads topped with asparagus, mint, feta and avocado. Use it as a spread instead of mayo, in desserts with cocoa or in smoothies for a source of monounsaturated fat. I love a rustic whole grain toast topped with sliced avocado, smoked salmon and arugula microgreens. Delicious!