Avocados are considered a healthy fat. I think of them as a vegetable when I’m cooking, but technically they are a fruit with their seed in the middle. I’ve also read that they are related to berries, because they grow on trees and have the flesh around a single seed.
As a child and young adult, I never ate avocados. I don’t even remember seeing them in the store when I was young. But at that point in my life, I probably ate the same things, maybe on only about 8 or 10 different vegetables each week. Certainly not eating a variety of 30 different plant-based foods each week (including vegetables, fruits, seeds and nuts.)
I love eating avocados and they keep me full for a long time. I have to remind myself to not go too wild on them, because even though they are a healthy fat, avocados pack a lot of calories.
I’ve tried growing the seed as a houseplant into an avocado tree, but usually give up because we don’t have a lot of sunshine here in Ohio. I believe it takes between 5-7 years before the seed turns into a tree big enough to bear fruit.
A whole medium sized avocado has 240 calories (I think they weigh avocado’s without the seed but with the skin still on. Of course you don’t eat the skin!) When I look up the avocado’s nutrition on the internet, it seems every example has a different weight for their sample, so it’s hard to actually compare.
Avocado, the healthy fat, has 22 grams fat (15 grams monounsaturated, 4 grams polyunsaturated, 3 grams saturated) Eating avocado may help with managing cholesterol, by increasing the HDL and lower the LDL cholesterol.
10 grams fiber
11 milligrams sodium
13 grams carbohydrate
3 grams protein
Avocados are considered a nutrient dense food. They are high in antioxidants and vitamin C, E, B6, potassium, magnesium and folate, as well as riboflavin, niacin and vitamin K. One medium avocado actually contains more potassium than a medium banana. (708 mg in My Fitness Pal for the avocado compared to 422 mg for the banana!)
When they are ripe, the skin is dark and the fleshy fruit on the inside is yellowish. They are packed with vitamins and the healthy fat helps you stay full between meals. I tend to like avocados the best with my breakfast because I think that they taste great with eggs. I don’t like when they get too ripe because the yellow green center starts to turn brown.
How to Open
When I cut avocados, I typically slice it with a knife starting from where the tip attaches to the tree down to the full bottom, turning it over again and back to the tip. A ripe avocado will separate easily from the other half, leaving the large seed in the center. I use a knife to saw a little on the seed and then twist to remove the seed. A few slices into each half, usually four, makes it easy to scoop the fruit out with a spoon or a knife.
My most favorite way to eat it is in place of butter on a piece of toast and my second favorite way to use avocado the healthy fat, is to mix the avocado as part of the dressing into a veggie salad, replacing the oil. Jill has a delicious recipe using an avocado for her salmon veggie patties!
How do you like your avocado? Do you cut yours in the same way that I do?