What’s So Good About… Avocado?

Note: this has been reposted based on an original entry called ‘Avocados are Yum’

Avocado (Persea americana)

About
Oh man, I really love avocados! They are an awesome gift from mother nature. You can do all sorts of stuff with them and they’re really good for you.

Appearance
Avocado trees grow to 20 m  high. The flowers are inconspicuous because they’re greenish-yellow in colour. The pear-shaped fruit can grown anywhere between 7cm to 20cm long, depending on the species of tree.

History
Avocados are thought to have originated in the state of Puebla in Mexico.  The avocado tree also has a long history of cultivation in Central and South America. The plant was introduced to Indonesia in 1750, Brazil in 1809, the Levant in 1908, and South Africa and Australia in the late 19th century.

How does it help?
Avocados…
> are rich in Vitamin C and also contain Vitamin A, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin and Magnesium.
> contain monounsaturated fats, which help contribute to good health.
> are full of fibre and help to lower cholesterol.
> contain amino acid, especially one called Glutathione which is also a powerful antioxidant.
> help to protect your liver as they contain Vitamin K (yes, there’s such a thing).

Other uses
While not particularly popular, the avocado tree can be grown domestically and used as a (decorative) houseplant. Avocado is also used in skin care and beauty products and can be mixed with yoghurt as a face mask.

Please note
Avocado leaves, bark, skin, or pit are documented to be harmful to animals; cats, dogs, cattle, goats, rabbits, rats, birds, fish, and horses.

Handy tip
A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. The flesh is prone to enzymatic browning; it turns brown quickly after exposure to air. To prevent this, lime or lemon juice can be added to avocados after they are peeled.

Recipes
Vegematarian recipes that include avocado (use the ‘search’ tool to find more):
Dairy-Free, Yet Creamy, Vegan Guacamole
Soba Noodle Salad
Sushi… with Chutney
Mexican Corn Salad
Mango and Tofu Salad

Recipes from other sites:
ifood.tv Vegetarian Avocado Recipes
Veg Web Avocado Recipes

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Kirstie says:

    I love this post!! Avocados ARE awesome!! I have always loved them and can never understand people who say they don’t like them. How is this possible??
    I have one particularly fond memory of an “avocado experience”. When on our honeymoon in Hawaii we noticed a roadside fruit stall. You know the kind, fruit on a cart with a box for your “donations”. Ben chose the largest avocado he could see – it was HUGE! The size of my head is not an understatement. And OH. MY. GOD. It was the BEST EVER, like butter, but better. One of the strongest taste memories I have….drool….
    X

    1. vegematarian says:

      Oh my! What an awesome story, Kirstie. I’m off to Hawaii right now… avocados the size of ones head should not be denied! When I used to live in Byron Bay, we had five avocado trees and I used to get up in the morning, pick one, and have it on toast with salt and pepper. Bliss!

  2. Adrian Lupsa says:

    So nice. I just wrote this Friday about some of the benefits of avocados. They are so important for us, but unfortunately not everyone knows that. A great post that summarize perfectly the information about avocados.
    You can check my post about growing your own avocado tree if you’re interested: http://adrianlupsa.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/grow-your-own-avocado-tree/

    1. vegematarian says:

      Hi Adrian. Thanks for your comment and link to growing avocado trees. Melbourne’s climate isn’t great for growing avocados but I know people who have pulled it off by creating a micro-climate in a warm courtyard. I also saw a great nectarine tree last week that was started from a pip – anything is possible eh? 🙂

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