Are you an avid avocado aficionado? I certainly am!!
Lately avocado has become the hippiest from all veggies/fruit, don’t you think?
Any café with a smidgen of self-respect has the smashed avo on their breakfast menu (and they are not afraid to charge an arm and leg for it…).
But what really is an avocado and what are its origins, do you know? Is it a veggie? Is it a fruit?
Well, none of the above! Are you surprised yet?
Believe it or not, it’s a berry. Very unusual, big berry with a large stone. (For the sake of this post I will refer to the avocado as a fruit).
Avocado tree originated in South America and was called there (wait for it)….a testicle tree, because of the resemblance of avocado fruit to that part of human anatomy. It gives all new dimension to smashed avocado, don’t you think?
The name also likely referred to the fact that Mesoamerican tribes like the Inca, the Olmec and the Maya believed the avocado to be an aphrodisiac.
In the 16th century, Spanish explorers became the first Europeans to eat avocados. It also was the Spanish Conquistadors who brought avocado back to Europe. The European monks started growing it but the avocado was banned from being cultivated for a while due to its name!
Thank God it came back to favour because it is incredibly healthy and delicious fruit.
So what makes avocado so healthy?
- Avocado contains around 20 vitamins and minerals making it a nutrient dense food choice.
- It is high in the heart-healthy fats, and because of these fats it is also a “nutrient booster”, helping absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
- Avocados are loaded with fibre. About 25% of the fibre in avocado is soluble, 75% is insoluble. We need both kinds of fibre in our diet, they contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and are strongly linked to a lower risk of many diseases including bowel cancer.
- Avocado lowers LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol by up to 22% and increases HDL (the “good”) cholesterol by up to 11%.
- It contains twice the amount of potassium than bananas.
- Because avocados help you become fuller faster and keep you sated for longer, avocados can contribute to a healthy weight loss.
There are many ways to enjoy avo:
- smashed on genuine sough dough with a few drops of lemon juice and crumbled goat cheese,
- in a salsa,
- guacamole, of course
- in place of butter,
- In raw desserts like chocolate mousse,
- On its own with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and sprinkle of sea salt,
- And my favourite: in ice creams.
Avocado Ice Cream Recipe:
- 3 ripe avocados (skinned and stones removed).
- 1 cup coconut full fat cream
- 1/2 cup honey (or less if you are like me and like it less sweet)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt