The Amazing Avocado!

I refused to eat any food that was green when I was a child. I have become a little more adventurous with my food selections now that I am an adult. The first time I tried an avocado was at a sushi restaurant. I took a chance, and tried a California roll (avocado and crab meat rolled up with white rice) and have been hooked on avocados ever since!

Avocados have been written off for being a high calorie and high fat food in the past, however, with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, the avocado is now seen as a powerhouse food than a forbidden food. Read on to learn more about the nutrient packed avocado.

Avocado Facts

  • The avocado has been given the nickname “alligator pear” for its rough skin and pear shape
  • Persea Americana is the Avocado's botanical name
  • Avocados grow year round in warm climates
  • Avocados are native to Central America
  • The avocado is considered a fruit and is a member of the berry family
  • One avocado tree can produce between 150 and 500 avocados each year
  • Looking for a reason to try an avocado? National guacamole day is September 16, and avocado is the main ingredient in guacamole!

When is an avocado ready to eat?

  • Avocados do not ripen until being removed from the tree.
  • Once an avocado is picked, it takes 7-10 days to ripen.
  • Placing an avocado in a brown bag will speed up the ripening process while putting in the refrigerator will slow the ripening process
  • A ripe avocado is soft but not squishy and will be easy to peel.
  • As soon as you cut into an avocado, it will begin to brown. Add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to stop the browning.

Nutrition Information

  • According to the USDA nutrient database, one medium avocado contains 322 calories, 29 grams of fat, 17 grams of carbohydrate and 4 grams of protein.
  • A single serving is 1/5 of a medium avocado
  • One whole avocado contains more than 20 percent of the daily value for the following vitamin and minerals: vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, folate, and potassium.
  • Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat. One medium avocado contains nearly 20 grams of monounsaturated fat. Replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated fat can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL)
  • Avocados are naturally sodium and cholesterol free
  • One medium avocado contains 13 grams of fiber

A new way to use an avocado for each day of the week

  • Monday: A new twist on the Caprese salad. Instead of topping tomato slices with mozzarella, top with avocado slices. Add black beans to make this into a filling lunch salad.
  • Tuesday: Try something new for breakfast. Make an avocado smoothie. Mix an avocado, banana, skim milk and ice in a blender.
  • Wednesday: Try a new topping on your sandwich. Replace cheese with avocado slices on your hamburger. You can also replace mayonnaise by spreading some avocado on your sandwich.
  • Thursday: Try a new treat. Make an avocado Popsicle. Blend avocado with ice and Splenda. Place in freezer.
  • Friday: Dress your salad with something new. Make a salad dressing mixing avocado, lime juice and olive oil together.
  • Saturday: Try something different on your toast. Spread avocado on whole-wheat toast instead of butter.
  • Sunday: Comfort food. Mix avocado with reduced sodium broth for a creamy soup.

How have you used an avocado recently?  Do you have a unique recipe? Share your creation with us here!

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