In case you had not heard, avocados are good in other recipes besides guacamole. This chips and salsa accompaniment has taken life with many new recipes and an appreciation for its healthy fats.
Nutritionally, 1 medium avocado contains around 325 calories, 30g fat, 17g carbohydrate, 13g fiber, 2g protein, and is a source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, E, and K, folate, phosphorous, and potassium. Avocados contain almost no sodium.
That is a lot of calories and fat, but avocados contain mainly unsaturated fats, or as I like to call them, liquid fats. While these are heart-healthy, avocado is still high in calories, so be mindful of your portion.
By the way, you can plant the pit and it will grow into a plant. See directions from University of Nebraska–Lincoln.
- Buy: Look for firm and full avocados. Avoid those with soft spot and wrinkled skin. There are different varieties of avocado with darker and lighter skins, so buy what you prefer. When ripe, avocados will give to light pressure. If an avocado feels very soft, it is likely overripe and may have started to oxidize and discolor.
- Price: According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, fresh avocados cost around $2.24 per pound (or about $0.96 per 1 cup) on average. Since avocados are grown in different regions of the world, it is likely your store will carry them year-round.
- Store: Keep a whole avocado at room temperature until ready to use. If ripe, use within a day or two of purchase. If it still needs to ripen, wait a few days.
- Prepare: Wash avocados and cut just until you hit the pit. Keeping your knife still, turn the avocado around the pit and rotate to pull into two pieces, like you might a peach. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh (and pop out the pit), or cut into desired size pieces. Refrigerate any leftover avocado within 2 hours of cutting.
Since avocados turn brown (also called oxidizing), use them quickly in recipes to limit the color change. Adding acid, like lemon or lime juice, can reduce the amount of browning in a recipe or even on slices of avocado.
- Eat: Besides guacamole, avocado can be used in salsas, as part of desserts, as part of baked goods, added to soups, chili, and stews, and more. Eating on top of toast is rather popular right now.
- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Simply Good Food: AVOCADOS, 2014
- University of Illinois Extension, Plant Palate, Avocado, 2007
- University of Illinois Extension, Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious, Have You Tried an Avocado Lately?, 2012
- University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Awesome Avocado, 2010
- USDA, Agricultural Research Service, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27
Unforgettable Chocolate Mousse (Serves 9)
Will you be able to taste the avocado? The texture is very reminiscent of mousse. Most who use this recipe will taste chocolate and honey first.
3 ripe avocados
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 of 8-oz container fat-free whipped topping
1. Peel and pit avocados. Scoop out flesh into food processor or blender. Add honey, vanilla extract, cocoa powder and salt.
2. Blend until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Fold in whipped topping.
3. Divide into 9 containers. Cover and refrigerate before serving. Best if used in one day.
Nutrition analysis per serving: 180 calories, 8g fat, 65mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 2g proteinSource: Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious blog, University of Illinois Extension, 2015