AVOCADOS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, NOT RIPE, ALMOST RIPE, READY TO EAT, PAST RIPE
Savvy beauty followers know that avocados are good for you, inside and out. Avocado oil is highly emollient and full of nutrients that soothe and moisture, skin. Avocado as an ingredient in your beauty products can help make hair soft and shiny, smooth your skin, help prevent wrinkles, and Avocados are alos rich with vitamin A which helps to remove dead skin cells from your body (exfoliation). They also contain an amino acid known as glutamine, which cleans and protects your skin from environmental damage.
But as a FOOD, avocados are one of my most favorite things to eat. Although they contain fat (about 85% of the calories are from fat), nutritionists consider it unique and healthy fat. Without going into too many tech-speak details, over half of the total fat in avocado is provided in the form of oleic acid—a situation very similar to the fat composition of olives and olive oil. Oleic acid helps the digestive tract form transport molecules for fat that can increase the body’s absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. As a monounsaturated fatty acid, it has also been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease. One cup of fresh avocado (150 grams) added to a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots increased absorption of carotenoids from this salad between 200-400%.The health benefit list is long. .Just done overdo it by eating too many at one time!!! A half of an avocado sliced into a salad, added to a sandwich, mashed into a dip, or just eating with a spoon, is a treat that helps make your diet better.
The key to enjoying an avocado is to pick a good one and use it when it’s ripe. Often, avocados are hard when you find them in the store, or so mushy you think your fingers might go through them. Here is how to select good avocados:
At the store, check the outside color of the skin of the avocados for any that are darker in color than the others. Color alone does not determine ripeness, so check the outer skin of the avocado for any large indentations as this may be a sign that the fruit has been bruised and should not be purchased. Firm means it’s not ripe and will take 4-5 days to ripen. If it’s almost ripe (see photo) you’ll be keeping your avocados around 1-2 days so plan ahead. Ready to eat, ripe avocados yield to firm, gentle pressure and you can eat them right away. To test whether or not an avocado is ripe, put it in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising. If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it’s ripe and ready to-eat but if not, it will need a few days to ripen. A mushy avocado may be brown inside. I’ve had instances where I wanted to make something like guacamole and all I could find were very unripe or very over-ripe. Your recipe may not look or have the consistency you’re going after. If all you can find are super unripe ones, you can speed up the ripening process by putting them in a brown paper bag with an apple of banana. Keep for two to three days at room temperature. You can help slow the ripening process by putting avocados in the refrigerator.
The nice folks at Haas Avocados have provided this “how-to” so you can get the most of out of your avocado!
How to cut an avocado: Wash your hands, then rinse the avocados thoroughly before cutting or slicing. Place the avocado on a secure surface; starting at the narrower end slice slowly down the center lengthwise around the seed. Holding the avocado in the palm of one hand, use your other hand to twist and rotate the two halves apart.
How to Remove the Seed or Pit of an Avocado: Slip a spoon between the seed and avocado and gently work the seed out of the fruit, or cut the avocado half into quarters around the seed and remove the seed by hand. *Advicesisters method: I take a knife tip and plunge it gently into the seed, twisting the knife, gently. The seed will twist out and you can discard it.
How to Peel an Avocado: Simply slice the avocado in half or cut into wedges, then grasp the outer dark layer or skin and pull it away from the inner green avocado. If some of the darker, almost black portions of the skin remain on the avocado, simply cut them away. *Advicesisters method: I slide the avocado halves in strips with a knife, then take a soup spoon and “spoon” the slices away from the peel.
How to store a cut avocado: Cut avocados will oxidize so you should put them in air-tight containers and press some plastic wrap right against the surface of the avocado, guacamole, etc.
There are so many ways to eat avocados, let alone make beauty masks and so forth out of them. But one recipe I think is great for Summer I tried at a recent health and beauty expo with mango. It makes a nice topper for fish or chicken, or eat it as a snack as-is. And it is super easy!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
- 2 ripe Hass Avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
- 1 cup seeded, diced tomato
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp. chopped red onion
- 1 Tbsp. minced jalapeño pepper
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl, combine mango, tomato, cilantro, onion, jalapeño, lime juice, salt, and pepper.
- Add avocado and toss gently.
Serve over grilled chicken or fish.
Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 118; Total Fat 8 g (Sat 1 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 1 g, Mono 5 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 172 mg; Potassium 404 mg; Total Carbohydrates 13 g; Dietary Fiber 4 g; Sugars 7 g; Protein 2 g; Vitamin A 854 IU; Vitamin C 27 mg; Calcium 16 mg; Iron .5 mg; Vitamin D 0 IU; Folate 70 mcg; Omega 3 Fatty Acid 1 g.
% Daily Value*: Vitamin A 17%; Vitamin C 13%; Calcium 45%; Iron 3%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
One serving=1/2 cup
For more information and recipes visit AvocadoCentral.com