Superfood Spotlight: The Amazing Avocado!

Post 39 Canva2Do you love avocados? If so, you are not alone. We Americans, on average, eat about five pounds of avocados each a year.  Now that’s some avocado love if I don’t say so myself. So, in honor of this amazing food, I thought I would share some fun and interesting things that you may not have known about the amazing avocado. Let’s get to it!

These luscious goodies are old! Did you know that avocados were around during the time of the mammoths? That’s around 65 million years ago! The original avocado probably had a larger seed and less flesh than modern avocados. So glad that’s not true now! Avocado trees made their first appearance in Florida in 1833, and then in California in 1856.

Here’s a fun fact. The Aztec word for avocado (ahuacatl) sounded like the early Spanish word for “lawyer,” so that’s what the conquistadors called them!

You can grill avocados! How about pairing them with onions and some multi-colored bell peppers on the grill as well? Yum! Avocados are amazing for adding creaminess to smoothies and even soups.  They also work great in desserts. I have blended avocado, raw cacao power, and some agave for a quick chocolate pudding. It’s really good, trust me.

According to a study conducted on behalf of the California Avocado Commission, the top-five trending ways we Americans love to eat avocados are: in guacamole, salads, sandwiches, burgers and on toast. No surprise to me that guacamole is number one. I seriously have a love affair with the stuff! This one didn’t make the top five, but another favorite way we Americans love to enjoy avocados is in salsa. If you haven’t tried this, you are missing out. There are a variety of recipes for this on the web, but the basic ingredients are: tomatillo, jalapeno, cilantro, avocados (of course!), salt, and pepper. I like to add lime juice to mine. The lime juice takes it over the top!

Nutritionally speaking, avocados are the bomb! Did you know that the greatest concentration of carotenoids (antioxidants) is in the dark-green part of the flesh closest to the peel?  And avocados are a fruit and not a vegetable!  A serving of avocado is about two tablespoons containing 50 calories and 4.5 grams of fat, 90 percent of which is unsaturated fat. Because they are a healthy fat, avocados can be used as a one-for-one replacement for less healthful fats in baked goods and creamy sauces. For instance, if you were to swap two tablespoons of butter (200 calories) for two tablespoons of avocado (50 calories) you would save 150 calories and 14 grams of saturated fat and gain nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients!

Right now is the best time to enjoy avocados because they are in season. Some trivia: ever seen an avocado with a label that says “Hass”? It’s named after postal employee Rudolph Hass, who bought the seedling from a California farmer in 1926.

There’s some global avocado love happening as well. Did you know that in Brazil, Vietnam and Taiwan, a favorite use for avocados is mixed into milkshakes and ice cream? In the Philippines, Jamaica and Indonesia, they make a sweet dessert drink made of sugar, milk and ripe avocado. Central Americans enjoy avocados mixed with rice and in Chile, avocados are added to hamburgers, hot dogs and celery salads.

As you can see, avocados are versatile and however you choose to enjoy them, it’s sure to be a delicious experience. I don’t know about you, but I think avocados make most any dish special. To your good health!

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