Did you know that avocados are superfruits? This humble fruit is not only delicious, but also an excellent source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals. In fact, studies have shown that avocados can help people maintain a balanced cholesterol level and may reduce the risk of heart attacks by 16% to 22% when consumed instead of the same amount of eggs, yogurt, cheese, margarine, butter or processed meats.
- Avocados are a “good fat” and are heart-healthy.
- If you purchase in volume, keep avocados in the fridge and take them out the day before you wish to prepare
- Did you know you can freeze avocados?
Not only are avocados heart-friendly, but they also help with many other health aspects. “Avocados are rich in mono-unsaturated fats, which help to maintain healthy blood flow, which in turn, helps to maintain a healthy brain. These soluble fibre-rich fruits help to sustain energy levels, and are also rich in folate, vitamins E and C and lutein, which promotes healthy vision,” explains Sarah Remmer, a Calgary-based pediatric dietician.
And while we don’t have the right climate up here in Canada to grow avocados, many picking and storing techniques enable Health Insiders to enjoy the health benefits of the avocado 12 months of the year. Read on for more information and inspiration about how to integrate this superfruit into your life.
How to pick an avocado
The choice of the perfect avocado depends on the desired consumption time. If the avocado skin is very green, the avocado will be ripe in a week. If the avocado skin is dark, but firm to the touch, it is not quite ripe and will need two more days. Finally, if the skin of the avocado is dark and yields to slight pressure, today is the day to eat it.
How to ripen an avocado or slow the ripening process
You have a recipe planned for one of your week’s menu but your avocado is as hard as its pit? Here’s an Insider tip: put the avocado in a paper bag with a banana for three to five days and check its condition daily. If the avocado is slightly soft to the touch, it’s ready to be cooked! Is your avocado ripe a little too early in the week? You can slow down the ripening process by keeping avocados in the refrigerator and take out the day before consumption as needed.
How to prep it
First, cut the avocado in half with a sharp knife by cutting along the length of the fruit, from the stalk or narrow part of it, and open it in half. Gently whack the pit with the knife, embedding the blade slightly in the seed and twisting to release it from the flesh. With a spoon, gently remove the skin from the flesh, and you’re done.
How to cook with avocados
As an excellent source of “good fats”, avocado can easily replace fatty culinary bases such as butter in desserts, like in this avocado and pistachio brownies recipe, or mayonnaise in sandwiches and wraps. In the morning, it is your best ally in a vitamin-packed smoothie. Grab one for a quick snack by halving it, adding your favourite seasoning or a bit of olive oil and enjoy!
As a creamy base avocados are ideal for healthy sauces and dips. Finally, during the BBQ season, grilled with a little olive oil on the fire for three to five minutes is a delight. Not only are avocados easy to incorporate into savoury, sweet or spicy dishes, but they can be baked, fried, grilled, or eaten raw without going out of style. Any reason to eat avocados is a good one!
How to preserve them
A small appetite and half an avocado left? You can slow down its oxidation with a few drops of lemon juice or avocado oil and keep it in the refrigerator for three days, wrapped in cling film. However, if you don’t plan on eating it in the next few days, did you know you can freeze avocados? To do so, cut it into cubes, place it in a Ziploc bag, sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice, and empty the bag of air before popping it in the freezer. Frozen avocado cubes can be kept for up to six months.
Discover the countless health benefits of avocados and explore recipes and more on the Avocados From Mexico website.
Do you have any avocado tips or recipes you’d like to share? Send us an email at email@example.com.