Avocado: a special foodIf you’re looking for a real-life superhero, look no more. Avocado is very real and although it didn’t come from planet Krypton, it could as well have.
Its birthplace is believed to be in South-Central Mexico, but its deserved habitat is at the centre of every brunch table.
The avocado has now been promoted to the “Super Food” status: its creamy texture, healthy fats and subtly pleasant taste have upgraded it from the mere salad staple to the ‘must-have’ ingredient in hundreds of sophisticated recipes. And it’s highly Instagrammable! These days, guacamole – mashed avocado mixed with chopped onion, tomatoes and chillies – is a must-have at any Health Bar near you.
What’s the origin of the avocado?
Despite the fact that the avocado tree comes from subtropical areas of South America, it is now grown and produced in several areas of the world, from France to New Zealand. Nowadays there are enough avocado varieties to allow its production to happen year-round, whether it is Summer or Winter – and we are thankful, how hard would it be to have to wait months for this kitchen superhero.
Avocado benefits for your health
But what is the avocado superpower? Or, better yet, superpowers! Let’s see: avocado is rich in potassium, B-complex vitamins and unsaturated fats. As such, its rich nutrients can help reduce bad cholesterol and improve the levels of the good one. The latest studies claim that it might have an influence in decreasing the chances of having some specific types of cancer. Scientists have also found that the lutein in its composition improves eye health and reduces the growth of prostate cancer cells by 25%. If all this wasn’t enough, avocado also helps regulate blood pressure.
But the avocado – or should we call it super-avocado – isn’t just good for eating. Some use it in homemade hair and face masks, since it nourishes and repairs dry and damaged hair and skin.
You have probably seen avocados for sale, and you have probably noticed they’re not all the same: there are different varieties of colour and shape. However, avocados are normally split into two kinds – the green avocado, and the brown avocado also known as Hass.
It has a brownish, thick and bumpy skin that can turn purple when fully ripe. Its texture is buttery, and its pulp is creamy green. The Hass avocado is approximately oval and medium-sized.
With a shape that resembles a pear, the Fuerte avocado is medium to large-sized, and its skin is green, smooth and thin. The pulp is ranges from yellowish to greenish and the texture is creamy.
The Reed avocado is rounded and medium to large-sized. The skin is smooth, glossy and green, with a medium thickness. The pulp is creamy yellow with a slightly granulated texture. This is a summer variety.
The Bacon avocado has a glossy green, smooth and thin skin. Its pulp is yellow and slightly fibrous.
Pinkerton avocados are easily spotted by their dark-green smooth skin. The pulp is greenish yellow and delicious.
How to eat avocado
One of this hero’s “super” traits is that it can be enjoyed in various ways, and in all sort of dishes.
The most common way is, of course, in a yummy guacamole. But that’s not the only one, no. Some enjoy it as is, with just a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt, some others prefer avocado salads. The avocado toast – that has won our hearts and stomachs – has gone viral among millennials. Some people will swear on their lives that avocado spread on toast in the morning is the best breakfast one can have.
But don’t limit yourself to this: try avocado in a cold soup, bake some cake, make delicious vegan brownies, try a cheesecake or even an avocado-chocolate-mousse.
So next time you come across an avocado, enjoy its super-taste in a new recipe.