In my humble opinion, avocado could be one of the most perfectly engineered fruits around. And yes, it is a fruit. The creamy and subtlety sweet flesh is oh so delicious in everything from guacamole to salad dressing.
Avocados quite literally grow on trees. They are a flowering tree and the fruit that they bear is the avocado.
These trees likely originated in Mexico but are now found all over the world in tropical and Mediterranean climates. Fun fact: Mexico supplies roughly one-third of the world with avocados.
This fruit has green skin and creamy, almost buttery green flesh. They are picked and ripen off the vine either at the store or at your home. Crazy fact: there are over 500 varieties of avocado growing throughout the world. These are naturally found as well as hybrids that we have created.
Despite their differences, they are all green. They vary in terms of size, flesh texture, and subtly, by flavor. They also vary to a degree by growing season, but we do not need to get into that.
The one you will most commonly run into at the grocery store is the Hass avocado. It is characterized by its rough, almost pebble-like skin.
Here are some great recipes featuring avocado:
- Homemade Guacamole
- Shrimp Salad Avocados
- Avocado Green Goddess Dressing
- Southwest Chicken Casserole
- Maple Citrus Salmon with Orange-Avocado Salsa
What are the health benefits of avocado?
Thank goodness these babies are nutritious. If they weren’t, I would be in trouble because I eat so many of the darn things. Did someone say, guac? First and foremost, they are solid sources for things like Vitamins K, C, and E as well as potassium, folate, fiber, and antioxidants.
They are also high in fat. Thankfully, it is the monounsaturated variety that is good for your heart, helps fight inflammation, and might have some cancer-fighting properties.
Is it okay to eat an avocado every day?
From what I have read and heard; it is safe to enjoy an avocado a day. Phew!
How do you know if an avocado is ripe?
Skin color will vary by type, but one thing stays the same. Give it a gentle squeeze, if it yields a little bit, it is ripe.
Is there a way to speed up the ripening of an avocado?
I am so glad you asked! If you have a bunch of them and you need to make guacamole in a day or two for a big party, put them all in a paper bag. I don’t know what happens there, but it helps to speed up the process. (This also works for bananas.)
Alternatively, if you some that are ripe and you are not ready to eat them yet, put them in the fridge. This will help keep them at optimal ripeness for a little longer.