Avocados deserve a little love. Actually, they deserve A LOT of love. People ask me all the time if I eat avocados because they are “fattening.” Hello: I’m obsessed. I eat guacamole almost every day! Everything in moderation…but what else can you bake, grill, fry, puree, and spread that’s tasty AND good for you? This versatile and insanely healthy fruit (yes, fruit!) needs more time on your plate. We have nine reasons to eat avocados but first, let’s discuss some history and things you need to know.
Avocados have been around for thousands of years and have long been a part of the Mexican diet. These wonderful green guys are actually classified as a nutrient-dense fruit and even more specifically, a single-seeded berry. So while they were native to Mexico, it wasn’t until the 1900s that avocados began being grown in the U.S. specifically in California and became widespread to what we now know today.
A few helpful tidbits about avocados:
How do I know when it’s ripe?
Avocados are ripe when they give just a bit when pressed lightly with your finger; the firmer the avocado, the longer it will take to be ready to eat. If it’s presses in much too easily, it’s most likely overripe and won’t be good to eat.
Can I speed up or slow down the ripening process?
If you find yourself with a hard avocado that you need to ripen faster, you can place it in a brown bag with a banana or apple to expedite the process and if you’re looking to slow down the ripening, pop it in the refrigerator.
What do I do if I have too many ripe avocados at once?
A great solution to a large amount of ripe avocados that you’re unable to use is to freeze them for smoothies. Simply remove the skin and seed, cut into wedges and freeze in a plastic bag; these are a perfect creamy addition in smoothies!
How I keep avocados from browning in things like guacamole?
Keeping the pit in the bowl with your mashed avocado can slow down the browning as well as a bit of lemon or lime juice. Just be sure to remove the pit once you’re serving the dish or make sure people are aware it’s in there!
Avocados make a delicious addition to most Mexican dishes like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, salsas, etc. but they can also be used in so many other foods! We love putting them on salads of course, as well as in our smoothies, but they also are great in eggs, on toast, made into fries, and used in things like chicken salad or deviled eggs! The uses are endless and all are delicious!
2. Fiber-Filled Fruit
Avocados are fiber bombs; there are 10 grams in a medium avocado to be exact! Soluble fiber helps you to feel full, and insoluble fiber gets everything moving in your digestive system. Both are important, and both are in avocados!
3. Good-For-You Fat
Eat carotene-packed fruits and veggies like sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots, and mangos with your avocado. Why? Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” to help the body absorb fat soluble nutrients from other foods when eaten in tandem. Teamwork = dreamwork.
5. Super Spread Substitute
Creamy and rich avocados are a delicious “swapportunity” for mayo, butter, and cheese on sandwiches and wraps. One tablespoon of butter has 100 calories and 30 mg of cholesterol while a 1-oz. serving of avocado has 50 calories and 0 mg of cholesterol. You pick!
6. Folate Friend
With 90 micrograms per cup, avocados contain more folate (also known as vitamin B9) per ounce than any other fruit! Not only does this vitamin lessen the risk of birth defects, it’s good for the heart and for decreasing the chance of a stroke.
7. Baked Good Benefits
Avocados aren’t just for savory dishes and snacks; they can help satisfy your sweet tooth, too! Substitute animal fats or dairy with avocado; it’s high water content makes baked goods softer, chewier, less likely to crumble, and adds nutrients and good fats. P.S. Avocados make smoothies super creamy and you can’t even taste it.
8. Potassium Powerhouse
We love you bananas, but we’ve got another sheriff in town! One avocado actually has three times as much potassium as one banana. Potassium gets a lot of play for helping muscle cramps, but it’s also critical in keeping your brain, nerves, and heart functioning on a constant basis.
9. Holy Guacamole!
Avocados are the main component in guacamole, and guacamole is God’s gift to snacking. Enough said.
What is your favorite way to eat avocados? Share below!