Awesome Avocado

The avocado is an awesome fruit – yes, it is a fruit and not a vegetable.  It has been maligned recently because of the fat content, but you absolutely should be eating avocado.  The fat it does have is the monounsaturated kind and everything about the avocado – including the fat – is really healthy.

Choosing Avocados

Avocado display in the produce section - organic avocados

Fresh Avocados

You should look at both the color and texture when selecting avocados.  The color should be dark green or even black to indicate ripeness.  Gently pressing on the outside should indicate it is soft.  Hard indicates not ripe yet, but you don’t want too soft indicating over-ripe.  You can select unripened avocados and ripen them at home.  Putting them in a paper bag on your counter at room temperature will help them ripen.  Once ripe, they can be stored in the refrigerator, but only for a few days.  Make sure to use them before they go bad.

If you cut or open an avocado and don’t use it all immediately, sprinkle some lemon juice on it – just like you would on apple slices – to help it from turning brown.

Choosing organic is always better if it is available.  Since you don’t eat the skin (the outside which gets exposed to the chemicals) then conventional is ok, but there is always some chemical seepage into the fruit.


Wholly Guacamole Snack Packs

Wholly Guacamole Snack Packs

One easy way to eat avocados is to get ready-made guacamole.  My favorite is Wholly Guacamole brand found in the fresh produce section.  They have several different flavors available and also an organic version.  My favorite is the snack pack option pictured here.  Each box has 6 smaller plastic packs of guacamole which is a great size for serving one or two people at a time.  While I prefer organic, that box has two larger packs and I find it hard to use all of a pack for one meal.  You can seal the pack in a plastic bag, but it still browns quickly.

Guacamole can be used by itself as a chip dip or makes a great topping for nachos, burritos, veggie burgers, or anything else you can think of.

Health Benefits

Not only is the fat content not harmful, but avocado has been shown to lower cholesterol when eaten regularly.  It both lowers the bad cholesterol and increases the good cholesterol level.  They also have more potassium than bananas, several other vitamins like B, E, and K, and also lots of fiber.

Avocados should be a part of any diet and are especially good for vegan or vegetarian diets.  Do you have any suggestions for recipes or serving?

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