Like the slogan goes, “Avocados [are] from Mexico!” They were made a staple food in their native region. Americans began consuming them as an ingredient in salads in the 1950s and had their resurgence in the 2000s once the low-fat diet fad ended. Avocados have a rich and creamy flesh that is also cold pressed into a high-heat cooking oil. Avocados are eaten uncooked in guacamole and salads, but they make an even better topping to tacos, toast, eggs, burgers, sandwiches, and more.
In most baking recipes, you can substitute butter for ripe avocado due to its creamy consistency.
- Fiber important for digestive health and keeps you feeling full
- Vitamin K important for blood clotting
- Folate important for preventing neural tube defects and may help prevent cancer
- Vitamin C important for the immune system, healthy skin, and wound healing
- Potassium helps lower blood pressure and helps muscles contract
- Vitamin E supports immune function, vision, and skin health.
How to Shop
If you want a ready-to-eat avocado, choose an avocado with brown skin that is soft in your palm. Avoid skins that feel “loose” from the flesh. If you want an avocado in a week, choose one that is solid green and allow it to ripen on the windowsill.
How to Grow
Avocados need full sun access with proper water drainage and wind protection. You can plant a washed avocado seed in a container of water with it half-immersed in front of a windowsill for 2-6 weeks. Once roots have emerged, Plant the sprouted seed into an outdoor pot and transfer to soil once it has grown. Harvest occurs between 4-7 years, once the fruit is on the tree and is full-sized.
How to Store
If you want to ripen your avocado naturally, store in a room temperature kitchen. Storing it in the fridge will extend the life of an avocado.