Hass Avocado

Background Info:

  • Fruit from a tree native to Mexico and Central America.
  • Pebbly, green-black skin

Health Benefits:

  • Has disease-fighting antioxidants
  • May protect against cancer
  • Contains the healthy fat, monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA)
    • Can decrease blood triglycerides, increase HDL cholesterol, decrease LDL cholesterol, and decrease high blood pressure, lowering the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke
    • May help burn stubborn belly fat
    • May boost memory and prevent mental decline
    • Help regulates blood sugar levels just as effectively as a conventional low-fat diet, reducing diabetes risk
  • Contains glutathione, an antioxidant that improves overall hormone function
  • Contains lutein, an antioxidant that promotes eye health and helps stave off macular degeneration

Nutrition Information (1/2 cup):

  • Calories – 117
  • Protein – 1.5 grams
  • Carbohydrate – 6.4 grams
  • Fat – 11 grams
  • Calcium – 9 mg
  • Cholesterol – 0
  • Folate – 59 mcg
  • Fiber – 5 grams
  • Potassium – 364 mg
  • Sodium – 5 mg
  • Sugar – 0 grams
  • Vitamin A – 110 IU
  • Vitamin K – 15.8 micrograms

Taste & Texture:

  • Creamy texture

Season:

  • Winter, Spring, and Summer

Choose:

  • Firm skin with no soft spots but yields to gentle pressure
  • Pull out the knob from the stem
    • See green underneath? It’s ripe and ready to eat
    • See brown underneath? It’s overripe
    • Hard to pull? Give it another day to ripen

Store:

  • If it’s too firm now but you don’t need it immediately, place it in a paper bag with an apple, banana, or pear and close tightly
    • Put the bag on the counter top, not the fridge, which will allow the fruits to emit ethylene gas and promote ripening.
  • If it’s ripe now but you don’t need to use it yet, store it whole in the fridge
    • Cold temps won’t prevent it from becoming overripe but it will slow the ripening process.
  • If you have half of an avocado, place in a container with half of an onion to keep the avocado green.

Prep:

  • If it’s a day or 2 away from being ripe but you need it now, bake it.
    • Peel, slice, and toss with the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt, put in a baking dish at 300°F for 10 minutes.
  • If your leftover avocado develops brown spots know that they are only cosmetic and you can cut away to get to the green. The brown spots are generally safe to eat but may be bitter.
  • Cut the fruit in half lengthwise around the pit and twist apart
    • Use a spoon to scoop out the seed and discard or hit the pit with a sharp knife and twist to free it
    • Scoop out the inner creamy portion and discard the skin

Cook:

  • Pairs perfectly with ahi tuna or in sushi rolls

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  • Just cut into chunks and drizzle with lime, salt, pepper or other seasoning you have around or add some other ingredients like mangos, beans, tomatoes, onions, etc for a hearty dip

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  • Make into a traditional guacamole or add some pomegranate seeds for some sweetness, perfect look for holiday parties

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  • Great addition to salads, tacos, omelets, or any dish for that matter!

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  • Healthy replacement for other fats such as mayonnaise or oils in baked goods & desserts
  • Try grilling it by brush the cut side of a peel half with olive oil & lemon or lime juice, grill cut side down for 10 minutes, turning once halfway through. Serve on its own or smash it to make a smoky guacamole.
  • Make stuffed avocados using ingredients such as chili, roasted sweet potatoes, or ham and eggs
  • Create a creamy pasta sauce by pureeing avocado, pasta water and lemon juice
  • Top your toast along with lox, strawberries, or peas & radishes
  • Use as a replacement for tomato sauce on your next BLT pizza along which includes bacon, lettuce, tomato, and ricotta for the cheese

Research:

  • People who ate 1/2 an avocado as part of their lunch felt 26% more satisfied 3 hours later than those who didn’t.
    • This may be related to fiber and MUFA content.
    • The sense of fullness lasted through the evening.
    • The avocado group consumed an average of 83 fewer calories throughout dinner & an evening snack.
    • Over time this deficit can add up to a significant weight loss.

References

  • “Fill Up Faster.” Shape. May 2014. 124.
  • Ansel, Karen. “25 Easy (Delicious!) Ways to Eat Healthy.” Self. June 2014. 102.
  • Bench, Tara and Petito, Anne. “The ultimate summer grilling guide.” Ladies’s Home Journal. July/August 2014. 76.
  • “Ocular Eats.” Prevention. August 2014. 37.
  • Taylor, Margaret. “Eat More Fat.” Prevention. August 2015. 123-133.
  • “Basic Report:  09037, Avocados, raw, all commercial varieties”. (May 2016). USDA Food Composition Database. Retrieved from https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2156?man=&lfacet=&count=&max=50&qlookup=09037&offset=&sort=default&format=Abridged&reportfmt=other&rptfrm=&ndbno=&nutrient1=&nutrient2=&nutrient3=&subset=&totCount=&measureby=&Qv=1&Q4057=0.5&Q4058=1&Q4059=1&Q4060=1&Qv=1&Q4057=1&Q4058=1&Q4059=1&Q4060=1
  • “Avocado”. (2017, May 10). USDA. Retrieved from https://snaped.fns.usda.gov/seasonal-produce-guide/avocado
  • “Avocado”. Retrieved from http://eatfresh.org/discover-foods/avocado
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