My goal with Live Simply Natural is that it be a resource to help you feel empowered when making nourishing lifestyle choices. I’m a big believer that eating a well-balanced diet is the foundation for feeling good from the inside out. So I’m breaking down everything you need to know to unlocking the nutritional powerhouse of the most common whole food ingredients. Today I’m sharing one of my absolute spring and summer time favorites – AVOCADO!
Produce Guide: Avocado
Avocados are truly an amazing super food for many reasons, but a few years ago you wouldn’t of know it because so many where pushed away from fat-containing foods like avocados. Not anymore! Silky, rich and with a nice nutty flavor, Avocados are a great addition to just about any healthy recipe. Thanks to our neighboring countries (Mexico) crop being pretty consistent, these beauties can be found all year long. However locally they aren’t in season till late February through September (peaking through the summer). These are fruits actually ripen or “soften” after they have been harvested. And although there are many varieties, the most common and the type that’s probably in your kitchen right now, is the Hass avocado. Not just for guacamole, avocados lend a buttery texture and delicious flavor to sandwiches, salads, toast and even desserts. Their mild flavor, texture and creamy consistency make avocados a fantastic ingredient in some of my favorite treats.
Avocados are generally known for having high amounts of monounsaturated fat, these fats are actually good for you and help the heart and brain. Loaded with fiber, Avocados contain more soluble fiber than most foods and help stabilize blood sugar levels, facilitate proper bowel regularity and maintain proper weight control. They contains 36% of the daily requirement of vitamin K, 30% of the folate, and 20% each of the daily requirements of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5, needed to break down carbohydrates), vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium – more than twice the potassium of a banana. Eaten with other foods, your body is better able to absorb the nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, which is a type of carotenoid that protects eyes and preserves healthy, youthful looking skin and hair. Avocados are also high in protein, having the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit, this offer a unique balance to building lean muscle and burning fat.
NUTRIENT BREAKDOWN OF AVOCADO
*per 1 medium raw avocado (source)
- Fiber | 9.2 g (37% DV)
- Protein | 2.7 g (5% DV)
- Carbohydrates | 11.8 g (4% DV)
- Fat | 21g (32% DV)
- Vitamin C | 12 mg (20% DV)
- Vitamin E | 2.7 mg (13% DV)
- Vitamin A | 200 IU (4% DV)
- Vitamin K | 28.6 mg (36% DV)
- Folate | 121 mg (30% DV)
- Magnesium | 39.4 mg (10% DV)
- Potassium | 689 g (20 % DV)
- Calcium | 17.7 mg (2 % DV)
- Iron | 0.8 mg (5% DV)
HOW TO BUY
When shopping for avocados, you should always look for the same things: Look for any large indentations as this may be a sign that the fruit has been bruised. Place the avocado in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising. If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it’s ripe and ready-to-eat. If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it is considered still “firm” and will be ripe in a couple of days. If the avocado feels mushy or very soft to the touch it may be very ripe to overripe. Also pick avocados with the stem
HOW TO STORE
While leaving avocados on the counter is still perfectly fine for avocados that are either ripening or will be eaten in a day or two. You can also store them in the refrigerator it halt the ripening process thus, allowing you to keep them for longer. Nothing is as sad as a spoiled avocado and it’s great to know that they’ll keep for longer when stored in the fridge.
HOW TO PREPARE
When your ready to slice into a perfectly ripe avocado, start by splitting it in half. Set the avocado down lengthwise on a cutting board. With your kitchen knife parallel to the board, slice straight through the middle till you hit the pit. Then spin the fruit around. Then hold the avocado in the palm of one hand and use the other hand to twist and rotate the halves apart. Carefully hold the avocado half in your hand, and gently tap the pit with the knife until the knife sticks into the avocado pit. Rotate the knife by twisting your wrist, and the pit pop out. Then gently slice and use for whatever your hearts desires.
Looking for more recipes with avocado? Check out our favorite here!
WHAT’S YOUR FAV?
What ingredient do you guys want to learn more about? And if you have a favorite way to eat avocado, tag @livesimplynatural or #livesimplynatural so the LSN community can get inspired by your dish too :)