Top 7: Things you might not know about avocados

When you hear the word “avocado”, what comes to mind? Probably guacamole, right? Well get ready to be surprised because there’s so much more to know about this super fruit. And yes, technically it’s a fruit.

Map of avocado origins with half-cut avocados.

An exotic jet-setter

Did you know that there are more than 400 types of avocados? It’s true. And they all vary by shape, color and taste. Avocados used to be called “alligator pears” due to their shape and the rough green skin of some cultivars. And while we think of them as vegetables, technically, they’re fruits—berries in fact.

The most frequent kinds are Fuerte and Hass, they are both very aromatic with a nutty flavor. North and South America are leading in the growth of avocados and Central European supermarkets mostly sell avocados from South Spain, Israel, Mexico and South Africa. Here’s a recommendation: As with all produce, try to buy as local as possible.

Overview of the superfood avocado half-cut with some healthy facts.

An avocado a day

No doubt, the avocado is one of the most nutrient-dense foods. Bursting with health benefits and loaded with important nutrients, it really is a superfood. Even the Guinness Book of World Records lists avocado as the “world’s healthiest fruit”. But which ingredients make it so powerful? What’s so super about the avocado?

Well, it’s brimming with essential nutrients like vitamin A, E and avocatin B, alpha and beta carotene and biotin, vegetable and unsaturated fats.

Eating avocados can benefit your health and even your appearance as they are packed with antioxidants. According to several studies, the super fruit has been e.g. linked to lowering the cholesterol level and is said to stimulate digestion and growth of hair. It is incredibly healthy and one of nature’s little miracle foods.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/

Bunch of diverse avocados with a half-cut avocado on top in a brown shopping bag.

Tips for working with avocados

Help them ripen to perfection: Avocados only ripen once they’re off the tree. If you put your avocados in a paper bag with other fruits, the natural ethylene gas of e.g. apples will make them ripen faster.
Cut them carefully: An avocado’s tough skin and large pit can make slicing them tricky. The key is to make a slice all the way around lengthwise and then pull it in two with your hands. To remove the pit, place the half with the pit on a cutting board, pit facing up. Stick your knife blade into it and then simply rotate the knife and pull the pit out, sticking to your knife, and pop it in the bin.

A delicious dish of homemade pasta with avocado pesto.

All avocados, all the time

Avocados are extremely customizable. You can use them in nearly any dish. In fact, there’s a restaurant in Amsterdam that does just that. Everything on the menu contains avocado. Dare to try it at home?

Here’s some inspiration for you:

  • 1st course – Cold or warm: avocado soup
    A tasty chilled soup, balanced by the sharp injection of lime and hot sauce.
  • 2nd course – A delicacy from Puglia:
  • 3rd course – Healthy sin: a heavenly sumptuous chocolate-avocado pudding.

A fully packed paper bag containing potatoes with a half-cut avocado and portion of wild rice as ingredients for delicious avocado side dishes.

A surprise ingredient for your side dishes

Rich and creamy avocados spruce up a variety of side dishes, making them even more delicious.

Avocado rice – whether brown rice or white, stirring in avocado makes it super creamy and incredible moreish.

Creamier mashed potatoes – fluff up your mashed potatoes with avocado for comfort food to the max.

A half-cut avocado next to pepper, garlic and a prepared guacamole dip with a piece of lime.

Surprising dips

There is so much more than guacamole. The avocado and lime cream, for example, is creamy and spiked with lime juice. But much lighter as there is no fatty cream involved.

Have you ever tried avocado pesto? It’s very flavourful and indulgent without being overly rich. Use a slightly under-ripe avocado, as it gives a chunkier texture. Just top your pasta with some parmesan cheese and enjoy.

A delicious avocado smoothie with a half-cut avocado, mango and coconut next to a silver mixer by Bosch.

Avocado shakes and smoothies

Avocados also turn up in a lot of shakes and smoothies as they provide a uniquely silky texture.

Here are three inspirations for you:

  • The classic one: delicious avocado milkshake – a simple affair with only a few ingredients.
  • The fruity one: avocado-mango smoothie – deliciously healthy, pick-me-up.
  • The super healthy one: avocado-coconut-kale smoothie – a smoothie, healthy-living-style.

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