The first word that you probably think of whenever you hear the word “avocado” is most likely “guacamole”…
And if you’re like me, you rarely saw avocados when you were growing up in any other location than the local Mexican restaurant.
Since avocados and Mexican food always seem to go hand in hand, then it is no shock to learn that the avocado is believed to have first originated in the state of Puebla, Mexico, where archaeologists have discovered avocado pits lodged in caves dating back to at least 10,000 B.C.
Today Mexico remains the largest avocado-growing country in the world, but avocados have also become an important cash crop for California, since having first been introduced from Mexico to California in the 19th century. Over 95% of all United States avocado production takes place in Southern California…60% in San Diego County alone.
Avocados have become a superfood of choice for many who are overhauling their eating habits.
Their unique appearance, taste, and health benefits have moved avocados from being a novelty food item once used only in guacamole, to now being a staple ingredient on many family grocery lists and an important ingredient…in everything from avocado toast at breakfast to avocado mousse for dessert.
Avocados are available in many varieties, but most of the avocados found in your local market will be ‘Hass’ avocados, the most common cultivar of avocado. It is this Hass cultivar that currently account for 80% of all avocados cultivated in the world in any given year.
All ‘Hass’ trees are descended from a single “mother tree” raised by a mail carrier named Rudolph Hass, of La Habra Heights, California. Hass patented the productive tree in 1935, and the “mother tree” finally died of root rot and had to be cut down in September, 2002.
These Hass avocados are the typical avocados that are medium-sized ovals with black, pebbly skin.
The flesh of these avocados is green and not particularly sweet. They have a distinct and subtle flavor, and a smooth texture. These avocados can be used in making both savory and sweet dishes.
So here are a few points about choosing and storing this new addition to my Grocery IQ app…
1.It is not necessary to buy organic. Avocado already has a very thick skin that protects it from any pesticides.
2. Do not refrigerate avocados as soon as you get them home from the store. Most of the avocados that you find at the local market have been picked while still unripe, and will require another four or five days to ripen. Once the avocado is actually ripe, it will yield to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed.
Some supermarkets sell fully-ripe avocados. These avocados have been treated with synthetic ethylene gas in a “ripening room,” a practice that has now become an industry standard, since first being pioneered in the 1980s by Gil Henry, a farmer from Escondido, California, after watching hidden footage films from a hidden supermarket camera which showed shoppers repeatedly squeezing hard, unripe avocados, putting them “back in the bin,” and moving on without making a purchase. (Sorry, but doesn’t that count as part of the “food processing” that so many of us are trying to avoid right now?!)
3. If you want your avocados to ripen faster, then place them in a paper bag along with an apple or banana. This will expose the avocados to the ethylene gas that they need to fully ripen.
4. After using part of an avocado, the rest of the avocado may be stored in the refrigerator for future use.
5. Add lime or lemon juice to keep them “pretty” after peeling, especially if serving as part of a buffet. The flesh of the avocado is prone to enzymatically browning when being exposed to air.
6. Propagating Your Own…Remove the pit from a ripe, unrefrigerated avocado fruit. Stab the pit with three or four toothpicks, about one-third of the way up from the flat end. Place the pit with the toothpicks attached in a jar of water. Four to six weeks later, you should start seeing roots and a sprout. Plant the pit in a pot of soil once the stem has grown a few inches. Keep watering it every few days, and eventually you may end up having a very large avocado tree…or another something to keep a “resident four year old” entertained at least.
- that adding avocado to a meal helps further carotenoid absorption. (9)…To promote a healthy, shining complexion, simply rub the inside of an
- avocado peel on your skin and use…Mix in some therapeutic essential oils and you can easily make a cost-effective lotion instead of pouring out money for that store-bought stuff filled with irritating chemicals!
- Avocado can also be used to make homemade hair masks to replenish, moisture and add shine….4. Cancer Prevention…Several studies have surfaced recently touting
- avocado as a cancer-fighting food. The Journal of Nutrition and Cancer published the results of a study, for instance, claiming that the phytochemicals in
- avocados are so powerful that they could prevent the use of chemotherapy in people with oral cancer! (10)…Researchers from Ohio State University are taking this theory one step further and attempting to figure out exactly how this phenomenon happens. A preliminary study published in 2011 suggests that the specific phytonutrient combination within each
- avocado may hold the key to its anticancer effects. (11) Research suggests that phytochemicals extracted from
- avocados help induce cell cycle arrest, inhibit growth, and induce apoptosis in precancerous and cancer cell lines. (12) Studies indicate that
- avocado phytochemicals extracted with 50 percent methanol help in proliferation of human lymphocyte cells and decrease chromosomal changes….Another reason that
- avocados are being linked to reduced risks for both cancer and diabetes is their MUFAs. These have been shown to offer better protection against chronic diseases compared to other types of fatty acids because of their ability to lower inflammation. (13) Beta-sitosterol is also highly protective of the prostate and linked to better immune function and lower prostate cancer risk, while carotenoid antioxidants are beneficial for preventing skin cancer — making eating
- avocados a great way to fight skin cancer with food. (14)…
- avocado benefits for weight loss! (16)…6. Better Digestive Health…As you now know,
- avocados are one of the best fruit sources of fiber. Depending on the size of the
- avocado, one whole fruit has between 11–17 grams of fiber! That’s more than nearly any other fruit and most servings of vegetables, grains and beans too.
High-fiber foods are important for anyone with digestive tract issue because fiber helps shift the balance of bacteria in the gut, increasing healthy bacteria while decreasing the unhealthy bacteria that can be the root of some digestive disorders. Fiber also helps add bulk to stool, makes it easier to go to the bathroom, and helps pull waste and toxins through the intestines and colon….Fats are also essential for digestion and nutrient absorption because they nourish the lining of the gut. A low-fat diet can result in constipation or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a fluctuating disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by abdominal pain and change in bowel habits….. Protection from Insulin Resistance and Diabetes…According to a large group of studies, weight maintenance with a MUFA-rich diet improves fasting insulin levels in insulin-resistant subjects. Ingestion of a MUFA-dense food (such as
- Avocado Recipes…Mango
- Avocado Salsa
- Avocado Bison Burger
- Avocado Soup…Chocolate
- Avocado Mousse
- Avocado Pizza.
- avocados with nearly any meal or snack — even as a burger topping at your neighborhood BBQ. One pilot study with research supported by the Hass
- Avocado Board and conducted by researchers at UCLA found that adding half of an
- avocado to a 90 percent lean burger may cut down on compounds that lead to inflammation, which could, in turn, be associated with heart disease. The study was conducted on 11 healthy males ages 18-35, and while further research is needed on other individuals, the results of this pilot test are promising. Compared to eating a burger by itself, topping it with half of a fresh Hass
- avocado adds not only great flavor and texture, but could also add beneficial anti-inflammatory responses during digestion. Score!…You can get inventive, if you’ve got culinary inclinations, too: A halved and pitted
- avocado topped with an egg, sprinkled with chives and a little sea salt, and baked for about 15 minutes is an easy way to impress friends when you’re stumped about what to bring to potluck brunch. Adding
- avocado to a smoothie with other nutrient-rich foods or fruits can be a great post-workout snack, or a healthful way to start the day. For dinner,
- avocado and tomato salad (or, let’s be honest, adding
- avocado to just about any salad) with a little balsamic vinegar is a tasty treat that’s also diet-friendly….So, there you go: There’s a lot more to this simple, mighty superfruit than you might have previously thought — so go ahead and order that side of guac.Image
- Avocados are the darling of the produce section. They’re the go-to ingredient for guacamole dips at parties. And they’re also turning up in everything from salads and wraps to smoothies and even brownies. So what, exactly, makes this pear-
- avocado is popular in vegetarian cuisine as a substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content….Generally,
- avocaa chips (left)….It is used as the base for the Mexican dip known as guacamole, as well as a spread on corn tortillas or toast, served with spices….In the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, and southern India (especially the coastal Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka region),
- avocados are frequently used for milkshakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts. In Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk or water, and pureed
- avocado. Chocolate syrup is sometimes added. In Morocco, a similar chilled
- avocado and milk drink is sweetened with confectioner’s sugar and hinted with orange flower water….In Ethiopia,
- avocados are made into juice by mixing them with sugar and milk or water, usually served with Vimto and a slice of lemon. It is also common to serve layered multiple fruit juices in a glass (locally called Spris) made of avocados, mangoes, bananas, guavas, and papayas.
- Avocados are also used to make salads.
- Avocados in savory dishes, often seen as exotic, are a relative novelty in Portuguese-speaking countries, such as Brazil, where the traditional preparation is mashed with sugar and lime, and eaten as a dessert or snack. This contrasts with Spanish-speaking countries such as Chile, Mexico, or Argentina, where the opposite is true and sweet preparations are rare….Sliced
- avocado…In Australia and New Zealand, it is commonly served in sandwiches, sushi, on toast, or with chicken. In Ghana, it is often eaten alone in sliced bread as a sandwich. In Sri Lanka, well-ripened flesh, thoroughly mashed with sugar and milk, or treacle (a syrup made from the nectar of a particular palm flower) is a popular dessert. In Haiti, it is often consumed with cassava or regular bread for breakfast.
In Mexico and Central America,
- avocados are served mixed with white rice, in soups, salads, or on the side of chicken and meat. In Peru, they are consumed with tequeños as mayonnaise, served as a side dish with parrillas, used in salads and sandwiches, or as a whole dish when filled with tuna, shrimp, or chicken. In Chile, it is used as a puree-like sauce with chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs; and in slices for celery or lettuce salads. The Chilean version of Caesar salad contains large slices of mature
- avocado. In Kenya and Nigeria, the
- avocado is often eaten as a fruit eaten alone or mixed with other fruits in a fruit salad, or as part of a vegetable salad.
- Avocado is a primary ingredient in
- avocado soup.
- Avocado slices are frequently added to hamburgers, tortas, hot dogs, and carne asada.
- Avocado can be combined with eggs (in scrambled eggs, tortillas, or omelettes), and is a key ingredient in California rolls and other makizushi (“maki”, or rolled sushi).
In the United Kingdom, the
- avocado became available during the 1960s when introduced by Sainsbury’s under the name ‘
- avocado pear’.…Unusual avocado variety from Cebu, Philippines…
- Avocado Body Scrub…Avocado Body Scrub–Bold Sky
- Avocado Deep Conditioner..Ingredients…one half mashed ripe avocado, one egg, a couple of drops of peppermint essential oil, 2Tbsp olive oil…Benefits…adds shine…can help restore luster to your hair…rich in vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids…will smooth and moisturize your locks without weighing down fine hair
- Avocado Face Mask…1/2 of a mashed ripe avocado, 2Tbsp honey… Benefits.. extremely hydrating…Best for…all skin types, especially dry skinreduce the risk of heart disease