The Humble Haas
When it comes to a healthy vegan fat, it’s hard to beat the avocado. But it is a fat, so does that mean that we should be avoiding this fruit in our intake of plant-based foods?
Not at all. The avocado brings so much to the table that is good for us. It is a fat, yes, but it is mostly monounsaturated fat (20g) as opposed to having a lot of unhealthy, saturated fat. It is also an excellent source of fibre (13g) which keeps us fuller longer. It’s not high in protein (4g) although it can certainly be added to one’s daily count toward their protein goal. They don’t have a lot of sugar and contain a variety of vitamins and minerals.
And as with most things, it is a matter of portion. If you are watching your weight, you don’t want to be hoovering down a large avocado a day.
The following information is for ½ an avocado (100 g):
Vitamin C: 10mg
Vitamin E: 2.1mg
Vitamin K: 21µg*
When choosing an avocado, if you are going to be using it right away, you want one with a dark green skin and when you gently squeeze it, it will give a little. If you are going to hold onto it for a while before using it, look for harder avocadoes as they will ripen when you take them home. A good test of what an avocado looks like inside is to remove the small stem – if it is bright green under the stem, the avocado is good, but if it is brown, the fruit has seen better days and be overripe. And speaking of ripening, if you want your avocado to ripen quickly just place it beside a banana and let it do its thing!
To get into the creamy goodness of an avocado, you run a knife around the fruit from the stem around the piece and back again, then give it a slight twist in opposite directions – one side will contain the pit and the other will be pit-free.
To remove the pit there is a nifty approach that has been going around social media circles for a while – place your thumb on the backside of the avocado with your index and middle finger taking position on either side of the pit; press your thumb into the back of the fruit and the pit will pop out – I’ve tried it – it works!
From there, to remove the flesh from the skin, I cut cubes into the avocado (if I’m going to be mashing it) or I cut slices into it (if I’m going to be using it for slices) and then I use a large spoon to scoop it all out.
Once you have opened an avocado, if you don’t use it right away, it will go brown due to the flesh coming into contact with oxygen. To help some people use lemon/lime juice to coat the flesh and wrap it in plastic wrap or a zip lock bag.
One of the best ways to slow down the oxidizing process is to blanch the fruit. Boil the whole fruit in water for exactly 10 seconds then removing it from the boiling water, plunge it into ice water until it cools down. This process helps to kill the enzyme that causes the oxidization. **
Avocadoes can be used as a substitute for butter on sandwiches, as an ingredient in salads, as guacamole dip, as a healthy food additive to smoothies, as an ingredient in veggie sushi, to whatever your imagination can come up with.
Did you know?
ª The Haas variety of avocado makes up about 95% of the type of avocado eaten in North America.
ª Avocado oil is great to use in cooking as it has a very high smoke point.
ª It is botanically classified as a berry with a very large seed.
ª An avocado doesn’t ripen until it’s picked from the tree.
ª Also known as an “alligator pear” or “butter fruit”.
Just sayin’ is all!
For more information on my online course for new and/or struggling vegans entitled, “The Vegan Journey: A Beginner’s Pathway (tips/tools/support)”, please go to the menu item Vegan Support Pathway.
*Info from verywellfit.com
**Info from thespruceeats.com
***photo by Disiana Caballero from unsplash