In recent years, avocados have become the ultimate superfood. They went from being considered an intimidating green mush, to being the favored brunch ingredient of the decade. From avocado toast to avocado smoothies, people cannot get enough. For all their popularity however, there is a lot that people don’t know about the fruit (yes, avocados are a fruit!). We're answering some of the most asked questions (and everything else) about the humble avo that we just cannot get enough of.
Avocado Taste and Texture
Avocados are creamy, buttery, and a tad bit grassy. Avocados taste like earthy soft butter, but there is a lot more to them than their overall taste.
Types of Avocados
There are many kinds of avocados.
There are over 500 varieties of avocados, it turns out. These varieties include the familiar hass variety, as well as types like fuerte (the previous favorite) and the South African maluma.
Are Avocados a Fruit?
Avocados are a fruit. However, they are often confused for vegetables. Their fruit categorization was given to them thanks to their fleshiness and central pit or seed.
Are Avocados Good for You?
Avocados are a superfood for a reason. They are one of the only fruits that contain healthy unsaturated fats, which has been shown to lower harmful cholesterol. This also helps people remain full for longer, making them beneficial for those wanting to feel more satisfied after meals. They also happen to contain more potassium than bananas, which is extremely beneficial for lowering blood pressure to a healthy level, as well as overall heart health. Avocados also contain many other nutrients and vitamins such as vitamins B6, C, E, and K. They also have a healthy amount of riboflavin, folate, niacin, magnesium, beta carotene, lutein, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Can Dogs Eat Avocados?
According to health experts, dogs can consume a little avocado if they are medium-large sized animals. If they have one every so often, it should be okay. That said, avocados contain a toxin called persin, which can cause death in many animals. Dogs are more resistant to it than most others, but it’s best to air on the side of caution. Do not feed small dogs avocados or any dogs more than one in a single sitting.
Can Cats Eat Avocados?
Cats are affected by persin as well, and are less resistant to it than dogs. Some cats can handle a tablespoon of it, but it’s best not to risk it. Avoid feeding your cat any avocados, or speak to their vet before you do.
How to Preserve Avocados
As amazing as avocados are, they seem to spoil very quickly. Many people throw out their avocados when they become bruised or too ripe, which contributes greatly to the food waste crisis. Avocados are finicky, but if you know how to store them, they should last longer.
How to Store an Avocado
Unripe avocados can be stored at room temperature. This is best for retaining their amazingly buttery texture and earthy flavor. Once they start to soften and ripen however, it’s best to put it in the fridge if you don’t plan on eating it immediately. This slows the ripening process, and keeps it from going bad so quickly. If you’ve already cut the avocado, squirt lemon juice over the flesh, and wrap it in cling wrap or cover with a towel. Store it in the fridge, and it should keep it from going brown.
How to Cut an Avocado
In the last ten years, avocado knife injuries have increased nine times over. This dramatic uptick in cuts is a result of avocados not having been in the mainstream, and suddenly becoming a household staple. Few learned how to cut it, like they did other fruits and vegetables. If you’d like to avoid a trip to the emergency room for stitches, here’s how to properly cut an avocado: Slice the avocado lengthwise. You should feel the pit with the blade.
- On its side, slowly spin the avocado while cutting so that it cuts all the way through.
- Twist the two halves with your hands until they come apart.
- Gently hit the pit with your knife to remove it. It should be stuck in the pit, so you can pull it out safely.
- Discard the pit (or save it to regrow an avocado tree at home), and dice the avocado flesh carefully, flat side down.
Can You Freeze Avocados?
Avocados can be frozen, just like any other fruit. They can be mashed, pureed, diced, or halved, and stored in a container in the freezer. If you’d prefer to avoid browning, squirt it with lemon juice before transferring it to the freezer. It will be good for 4-6 months.
How to Tell if an Avocado is Bad
Avocados can be tricky to understand, thanks to their inherent softness. However, there are a few signs that an avocado has gone bad. If they are mushy when you squeeze them, smell sour, or have mold inside, they are not safe to eat. Many throw out the fruit if there is a little browning. This is perfectly fine, and simply means it’s extra ripe. Unless it displays any of the other signs mentioned, you should enjoy it!
How to Soften an Avocado
If your avocado won’t soften, and is rock-hard, there are a few ways to ripen avocados. Try putting it in a paper bag with apples or bananas. They should soften in a few days after that. If you don’t know how to ripen an avocado, and need something more immediate, try wrapping it in tinfoil. Put it in the oven at 200 degrees for ten minutes. If it is extra hard beforehand however, it could take up to an hour. Check it often, and take it out when the avocado is ripe, transferring it to the fridge for a few minutes to cool.
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