5 Things to Know About Avocados

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Guacamole is only the beginning.  Avocados are prized for their creamy, hearty, mild deliciousness by omnivores and vegans alike.  Do you know enough about them?  Here are 5 things to know.

  1. Avocados are seriously good for you. The health benefits of avocados are
    1. Avocados are seriously good for you. The health benefits of avocados are many.  Savvy eaters know that the fat in avocados is good fat (much more digestible than animal fat), and that their rich creaminess can help stave off cravings of dairy and other rich foods.  An average avocado also has 4 grams of valuable protein, which is much more than most other fruits.
    2. The best way to tell if an avocado is ripe is to hold it in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze it, or to press it very carefully near the stem tip.  If it gives a little, it’s perfectly ripe.  If it doesn’t yield to gentle pressure, it will ripen in a few days.  It’s best to buy avocados when they are still a little hard so that they ripen at home.   If an avocado yields to firm gentle pressure, it’s ripe and ready to eat.  If the avocado is firm and does not yield to pressure, it will ripen in a couple of days.  If the avocado feels soft or mushy when you press it, it is likely overripe.  Overripe avocados turn brown in the flesh, and the flavor changes (not for the better).
    3. Store unripe avocados at room temperature (approximately 65-75F, out of direct sunlight).To speed up the ripening process, store in a brown paper bag with an apple or a banana.  Store cut ripeavocados in the refrigerator.  Sprinkle cut, mashed, or sliced avocado with lemon or lime juice and wrap tightly in clear plastic wrap and place in an airtight container.  The avocado will last up to a day.
    4. Hass avocados account for 80% of cultivated avocados worldwide. The Hass avocado, a hybrid of the Mexican and Guatemalan avocados, patented byRudolph Hass in California in 1935, is the most widely available commercial variety in the world.  Hass avocados do not ripen on the tree, but ripen or soften once they have been harvested.  Unlike some other varieties of avocados, Hass avocados turn color as they ripen in addition to softening.   When Hass avocados are not ripe, they have a bright or dark green color. This color changes from green to a deep purplish color when ripe.  Remember that color alone doesn’t tell the whole story (see #2).
    5. Avocado has been compared to butter for centuries.  Fun Fact:  In the 17th and 18th centuries, the avocado was commonly known as the “butter pear,” and is still known as “butter fruit” in parts of India. Hip Vegan Parlance:  Mashed or smeared avocado is known among enthusiasts as “avo butter.”  Some also use “avo butter” to describe compound butter using avocado.

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