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Why Avocados Are So Great!

Updated on August 26, 2011

Avocados Are One Of Natures Perfect Foods

It goes without saying Avocados are just about the perfect food! These little fruits are so versatile and so tasty they can be used in many different ways. Not only are they delicious, but they are very healthy for you and great for your skin too! Find out how to open an avocado and how to cook with an avocado.

I Love Avocados

My absolute favorite fruit! Yes, I said fruit. It is a fruit by biological classification, but since it is used in salads and other dishes it is called a vegetable. I am so in love with this wonderful fruit. I try to incorporate them into a lot of my meals. But, even if I don't put them into my meals I can just eat one all by it's self. Yum Yum Yum!

Avocados grow in California and I live in California so it is a perfect match.

Avocados can be traced back to 7000 BC! and records show cultivation of this wonderful fruit from 6000 BC. It has always been used in dishes from Mexico and in other southwestern parts of the world.

Video On How To Pick An Avocado

The Health Benefits of Avocados

Avocados are full of nutrients.

Avocados are almost perfect in terms of the nutrients it contains. Avocados are packed with vitamins, like vitamin A, B-complex, they have vitamin C, K, H, E, and folic acid, plus magnesium, copper, calcium, iron and potassium. Avocados provide all of the essential amino acids, plus fatty acids, including Omega 3 and 6. Did you know that avocados contain more protein than milk while a small avocado will provide more protein than a huge steak. Avocados contain fat but it is the mono - unsaturated kind of fat that is really good for our bodies!

How To Cook With Avocado

Great ways to use avocado with your favorite foods

Mix avocados with chopped bell pepper, onions, tomato, celery,or fresh coriander, lime juice etc. to make a guacamole or salsa.

Add avocado to your favorite creamy tofu recipe to give it an extra richness and beautiful green color.

Serve it plain as hors d'oeuvre by slicing chunks and inserting toothpicks.

Mix into vegetable soups-- either blend in to make a creamy texture or serve in little chunks. It tastes great in a black bean soup.

Spread ripe avocados on bread as a healthy replacement for mayonnaise when making a sandwich.

Note: For optimum digestion, eat avocado alone or with any non-sweet-non-starchy fruit or any non-starchy vegetable food. Eating avocado with leafy greens, celery and/or cucumber will enhance the digestive process as additional digestive.

Avocado leaves

Both fresh and dried are used in the cuisine's of the South Central part of Mexico.

Avoid avocados If you are trying to lose weight because avocados are high in calories and fats (good fats but, still fattening) you may still eat them but, don't eat them all of the time.

Sometimes people have allergic reactions to avocados because they contain enzymes called chitinases that can cause allergic reactions in people with sensitivity to latex. Therefore, individuals with latex sensitivity should avoid eating or touching avocados.

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Broccoli and Cheddar-Stuffed Potato Skins with Avocado Cream

Ingredients

8 small Idaho potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds total), scrubbed and dried

4 teaspoons canola oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 ounces broccoli florets, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)

Cooking spray

3 pieces Canadian bacon, finely diced (about 3 ounces)

3/4 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 3 ounces)

Avocado Creme:

2 scallions, thinly sliced, greens reserved

1 medium avocado

2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

1 clove garlic

1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Pierce potatoes several times with a fork and wrap in paper towels. Microwave on high for 13 to 15 minutes, until potatoes are cooked through. Remove from microwave and cool until potatoes are easy to handle. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop all but 1/8 inch of the inside of the potato, leaving skin intact. Reserve scooped potato flesh for another use.

Brush both inside and outside of potatoes with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place potatoes, skin-side down, on a baking sheet and bake until skins are crisp and edges are golden brown, about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the filling. Steam the broccoli until crisp-tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and set aside. Spray a nonstick pan with cooking spray and preheat over medium-high heat. Add the Canadian bacon and cook until crisp stirring often, about 3 to 4 minutes. Reserve.

To make avocado cream, combine scallion whites, avocado, sour cream lime juice, cilantro, garlic and salt in the small bowl of a food processor and process on high until smooth. About 30 seconds.

Toss the broccoli with cheese and spoon filling evenly among potatoes. Lower oven to 400 degrees F and return potatoes to oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the avocado cream on top of broccoli-filled potatoes, then top with scallion greens and 1 teaspoon crisped bacon bits.

Yield: 8 servings (1 serving equals 2 potato halves, 1 tablespoon avocado cream, 1/2 teaspoon scallions and 1 teaspoon bacon bits)

Per Serving:

Calories 180; Total Fat 10 g; (Sat Fat 3.5 g, Mono Fat 2 g, Poly Fat 1 g) ; Protein 8 g; Carb 15 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 20 mg; Sodium 380 mg

2007, Ellie Krieger All rights reserved

Show: Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger Episode: Happy Hour

Avocado From Mexico Breakfast Burrito Recipe

How to make Avocado From Mexico Breakfast Burrito

Preparation:

In bowl, beat eggs with salt and pepper. In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter; add eggs; cook and stir until set. On each tortilla place one slice each of ham and cheese; top with eggs, avocado slices and salsa, dividing evenly. Roll up and serve immediately.

*To warm tortillas: Place tortillas on a plate; cover with a dampened paper towel. Microwave on high until warm, about 1 minute. Discard paper towel; wrap tortillas in cloth napkin to keep warm.

Ingredients

6 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas, warmed*

4 slices ham (about 4 ounces)

4 slices sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)

1 fully-ripened avocado from Mexico, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup salsa

recipe from:

Avocado From Mexico Breakfast Burrito Recipe

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Chipotle Shrimp Taco with Avocado Salsa Verde

Ingredients

Avocado Salsa:

1 small onion, quartered

1 jalapeño, quartered, seeds optional

1 garlic clove, smashed

4 medium tomatillos, (about 8 ounces) husked, rinsed, and coarsely chopped

1/2 Haas avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

Shrimp:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon chipotle or blended chili powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 pound medium shrimp (about 20), peeled and deveined

8 corn tortillas

8 sprigs cilantro for garnish

2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions

Put the onion, jalapeño, and garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Add the tomatillos, avocado, and salt and pulse until chopped but still chunky. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the cilantro.

Heat a stovetop or outdoor grill to medium-high. Mix the olive oil, chipotle or chili powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Grill the shrimp until translucent, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side.

Grill tortillas, until slightly charred and pliable, about 20 seconds per side. (Alternatively, wrap in a damp paper towel and heat in a microwave.) Spoon sauce on the tortilla, then top with about 2 or 3 shrimp and a sprig of cilantro. Serve 2 tacos per person, with a lime wedge on the side.

From Food Network Kitchens

Avocado Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Gwen Avocado -similar , taste and texture to Hass, but slightly larger.Hass Avocado - The skin varies from green to purplish-black when ripe, the Hass is the leading variety of California Avocado and has a long shelf life.
Gwen Avocado -similar , taste and texture to Hass, but slightly larger.
Gwen Avocado -similar , taste and texture to Hass, but slightly larger.
Hass Avocado - The skin varies from green to purplish-black when ripe, the Hass is the leading variety of California Avocado and has a long shelf life.
Hass Avocado - The skin varies from green to purplish-black when ripe, the Hass is the leading variety of California Avocado and has a long shelf life.

Buying and Storing Avocados

How to Buy An Avocado

When you buy avocados make sure that you buy the ones that are well shaped without any bruises or blemishes.

For ready to eat buy the avocados that yield when pressed around the neck. Ripe fruit will be firm yet will yield to gentle pressure.

Hass avocados will turn dark green or black as it ripens, but other varieties retain their light-green skin even when ripe.

Storing Avocados:

Ripe fruit can be stored in the refrigerator uncut for two to three days.

To store cut fruit, sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar and place in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. If refrigerated guacamole turns brown during storage, discard the top layer.

If you have a large quantity of fresh avocados, it's a good idea to freeze them. Pureed avocados freeze very well and can be used in salads, sandwiches and dips.

Wash, seed and peel the fruit .Puree the flesh, adding one tablespoon of lemon juice for each two pureed avocados. Pack the puree into an air-tight container, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Freeze and use within four to five months.

How to ripen an avocado:

If you plan to serve the fruit in a few days, stock up on hard, unripened fruit and then store them with a banana in side a paper bag for a few days for ripening at room temperature until ready to eat (usually two to five days). Including a banana in the bag accelerates the process because these fruits give off ethylene gas, a ripening reagent.

How to eat avocado:

While preparing the avocado cut in halves along the length of the avocado then twist to separate the halves and remove the stone. Then it can either be served in the skin or scoop out to be added to soups, dips or cubed and added to salads.

An avocado is closer to a berry in botanical terms. In some respects it is a tropical fruit akin to a banana, but its oily content and nutty flavor reminds one of an olive. It should be quite soft before opening and eating. It is a fruit with a leathery skin and soft, buttery flesh; it yields to light pressure when ripe. Avocado is also known as the "alligator pear" because of the rough skin that some varieties have.

How avocados are grown:

The avocado is a dense, evergreen tree, shedding many leaves in early spring. It is fast growing and is known to reach upto 80 feet. It generally branches to form a broad tree. Growth is usually during warm weather in southern regions with only one long flush per year in cooler areas.

Avocados do well in the mild-winter areas of California, Florida and Hawaii. Some hardier varieties can be grown in the cooler parts of northern California and along the Gulf Coast.

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    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 3 years ago

      Avocado is my most favorite fruit. Can't get enough of it but we don't have it all year round where I'm from. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Fantastic lens! Sundae ;-)

    • glenbrook profile image

      glenbrook 4 years ago

      Great on sandwich - turkey, havarti cheese, and avocado on sour dough and grilled.

    • fotolady49 lm profile image

      fotolady49 lm 6 years ago

      I love avocados too. Nice lens and thanks for the good recipes!

    • betsuzlap profile image
      Author

      betsuzlap 6 years ago

      @DianaJillian: Yes, they are great in vegetarian dishes and just for a snack. You know what I'm hungry. LOL!

    • profile image

      DianaJillian 6 years ago

      Since I've stopped eating meat, I've learned to like avocados.

    • betsuzlap profile image
      Author

      betsuzlap 6 years ago

      @gregprince: Thank you Greg. Yes, I guess not everyone likes them. I agree that they are one of natures perfect foods. :)

    • profile image

      gregprince 6 years ago

      I wish I liked avacados. I have tried several times to make myself like them, but I can't. They are one of nature's perfect foods though. Good lens.

    • profile image

      maxnic11 6 years ago

      Avacados are great!