Avocados are packed with healthy vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (nutrients derived from plants). They provide nearly 20 essential vitamins and minerals including potassium, folic acid and other B-vitamins, as well as vitamins E and K.
This smooth and creamy fruit also provides a good amount of dietary fiber that is so important to a healthy digestive tract.
Some people stay away from avocados thinking that they are too fattening but actually they contain no saturated fat or cholesterol and are virtually the only fruit that provides “good-for-you” mono-unsaturated fat.
Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene as well as lutein (an antioxidant) and vitamins A, D, K and E.
Add avocados to smoothies, sauces, soups and salsas for creamy flavor and texture without the dairy!
Tips for buying and storing avocados:
- As an avocado ripens its skin becomes darker and they become softer. To judge ripeness, ever so gently press the broader “blossom” end with your thumb. If the fruit yields to the touch, it’s ready to use.
- If you are not using a ripe avocado within a day, refrigerate it and it will keep for up to two days.
- So you always have delicious avocados on hand, you can easily keep unripe avocados at home. If your avocados are hard when purchased, you can simply leave them on your kitchen counter to ripen naturally in a few days. You can also speed up the ripening process by placing them in a brown paper bag (never plastic) and loosely closing the top. Adding a banana with the avocados will speed up the ripening even further. Once ripe you can refrigerate them until you’re ready to use.
- Store unused peeled avocado by coating the flesh with lemon or lime juice or olive oil, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Without the juice, the exposed flesh turns brown due to a chemical reaction to the oxygen in the air; a process known as “oxidization” (as do other fruits like bananas and apples). Therefore, by creating a barrier between the flesh and the air you can prevent this discoloration.