What day of the year would you imagine sees the highest sales of avocado? Cinco de Mayo? Fourth of July? Those would be my guess, but I read somewhere that it’s actually Super Bowl Sunday. I couldn’t find a definitive source to confirm that statistic but it makes perfect sense. Watching football and scooping up guacamole with corn chips do go hand and hand. Not that I actually watch a lot of football, but I do eat my fair share of guac.
I wasn’t much of an avocado eater until we moved to California in 2012. Since then I’ve definitely done my due diligence to support our local avocado farmers—at times averaging one avocado a day. They are truly a superfood (and technically a fruit!) and full of healthy fats and nutrients that will help you glow from the inside out.
The Curated Kitchen
WHY YOU NEED ‘EM //
Because they’re AMAZING. Really. I dare you to find one thing wrong with these perfect fruits (yep, a fruit!). They are a superior source of monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E (potent antioxidant that protects our body from free radicals and needs the presence of fat for optimal absorption), B vitamins (important for converting food to energy), and fiber.
I know it’s weird to think of something so smooth and creamy as fibrous. Avocados are high in soluble fiber and contain about 6 grams per serving, which is roughly half of a medium sized one (that’s nearly the same as a bowl of oats). Avocados also contain high levels of lutein, which helps eyesight, and exceptionally high amounts of enzymes, which is rare for fruit. The enzymes makes them easy to digest. They are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, and phosphorus.
The fat is really where it’s at though. Like I said, the fat content helps with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins and simply adding a few slices of avocado to your salad can dramatically increase the amount of beta-carotene and lutein you absorb from greens. It can increase absorption by as much as 1,500 percent—so yeah, major!
In Chinese medicine the avocado is considered a cooling food and is used to support the health of the large intestine, liver, lung, and spleen meridians. Eating too many foods high in MUFAs may acerbate liver Qi stagnation, which is kind of like a rush hour traffic jam for your Qi (the physiological life force within the body). So like all things, try to mix up your diet and include different sources of fats!
NUTRITION HIGHLIGHTS //
Serving size: 1/2 medium avocado
Calories: 109 kcals
Protein: 1.4 g
Fat: 10 g
Carbohydrates: 5.8 g
Fiber: 4.6 g
Sugars: 0.5 g
HOW TO PREPARE //
Cut into the top with a chef’s knife until you feel the pit. Holding the knife against the pit, slowly move it around the center lengthwise until you reach the other side. Gently pull the two halves apart. They should easily pull apart; if it doesn’t, it usually means the avocado wasn’t ripe. To remove the pit, carefully (VERY carefully) whack the pit with the knife and pluck it out. Voila!
If any of this was confusing, check out this tutorial.
WAYS TO EAT ‘EM //
Oh man. I could go on and on about this (couldn’t you?), but I’ll try to stick to my all-time favorites…
Avocado Toast. Does this need much more explanation? I will add that my favorite way to eat avocado toast is on a nice slice of locally baked gluten-free bread (try Bread Srsly, seriously) with red chili pepper flakes, a drizzle of raw local honey, and Maldon sea salt. Thank me later.
Salads + Salad Dressing. Avocados are lovely sliced and added to any type of salad and they can also be blended up to make a creamy, healthy dressing.
Guacamole + Tacos. The easiest way to make guacamole is to mash a few ripe avocados and combine with diced onion, a pressed garlic clove, lots of fresh lime juice, sea salt, and black pepper. There are infinite variations on that simple recipes so have fun with it!
Smoothies + Smoothie Bowls. For the creamiest, dreamiest smoothie texture ever, add an avocado and don’t ask questions. Try it in my favorite low sugar green smoothie bowl!
Brownies + Muffins + Cookies. For an alternative to butter, avocados work surprisingly well in a lot of baked goods. Give it a try and report back!
Straight Up. Half an avocado makes a nutritious and satisfying snack. Try sprinkling with sea salt and topping with pine nuts and pomegranate seeds, or simply with salt and pepper.
Hummus + Other Spreads. Gucamole may be the go-to dip for avocados but try adding one to hummus or another spread like baba ganoush to boost the nutrients it it.
Eggs. I love pairing avocado with scrambled eggs—or any kind really. You can even baked you egg in the avocado if you’re feeling super fancy. I like to blend a bit of avocado in with the yolks when making devilled eggs. Mmmm.
Avocado Fries. Simply slice a newly ripe avocado (it works best if it’s still slightly firm), coat with an egg wash and gluten-free breadcrumbs seasoned with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Bake at 400-degrees Fahrenheit for 10–12 minutes. AMAZE.
Chocolate Mousse. Believe or not, whirl a few avocados up in a blender or food processor with raw cacao powder, a bit of honey or maple syrup, and sea salt and you’ll fool everyone with this healthy, vegan spin on dessert.
Grill ‘Em. I will admit that this isn’t my favorite way to enjoy them but some people are crazy about it. Whatever it takes to get you to eat them works for me!
What else? What are your favorite ways to eat this superfood? Share below in the comments!
SHOP SMART: HOW TO SELECT A PERFECTLY RIPE AVOCADO //
Avocados are finicky. We’ve all probably seen that cartoon with a spectrum of avocados, where most are labeled “not ripe,” one is labeled “ripe,” and then the very next one is “overripe.” It’s true that the window of a perfectly ripe avocado is small so be choosy when selecting them at the store.
- I like to buy at least 3–4 in varying degrees of ripeness, so one really firm, a firm-ish, and a ripe one.
- Look for avocados that have a slight give when pressed. I always feel so strange squeezing all the avocados in the produce section but it’s the best way to do it.
- You can also twist off the little brown stem/nub at the top. If the flesh revealed is green or yellow, it’s ripe! If it’s dark black or brown, it’s overripe.
- For the Haas avocado, the ripest ones will have a darker, nearly black skin. Green skin indicates that it will still be about a week before it’s ready to eat.
TIPS + ADVICE //
- Store unripe avocados on the counter in a cool dry place. Once ripe, pop in the fridge to prolong their life and try to use within 1–2 days.
- To speed the ripening process, place the avocado in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple. The ethylene gas released by them will accelerate the ripening process.
- Keep cut avocado from browning by squirting with lemon or lime juice and storing a covered container in the fridge.
Have a great weekend everyone! Check back next Tuesday for a super simple and nourishing fall recipe!
PS: What are your favorite ways to eat avocado?
Share below in the comments!