A: Avocados are a nutrition powerhouse as they contain 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including vitamin K, folate, potassium and vitamin E. One-fifth of a medium avocado or three thin slices contains 50 calories and two grams fiber. Of the fat in avocados, 75 percent is unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat) — the healthy fat that helps with satiety (the feeling of fullness) and is also good for heart health.
Did you know there is a new way to cut and peel avocados? Simply cut the avocado in quarters; nick and peel the skin from the avocado to get the nutrient-rich, dark green fruit under the peel. This dark green layer contains the greatest concentration of carotenoids. The best way to test for ripeness is to gently squeeze the avocado in the palm of your hand. Avocados are ready to eat when they will yield to gentle pressure. To speed the ripening of avocados, they can be stored in a brown paper sack at room temperature for two to five days. Adding a banana or apple to the sack will help ripen avocados even faster, as these fruits give off ethylene gas which quickens the ripening process.
Avocados are not just for guacamole. They can be used in a variety of ways. Mash for a spread for sandwiches, wraps or bagels. Dice for salads, pasta, tacos, omelets and pizza. Slice for burgers or BLT sandwiches. Cube and combine with fresh fruit, drizzle with honey. Splash with balsamic vinegar or fresh lime juice, add black pepper and salt. Serve with whole-grain crackers. Toss into fruit smoothies to add creaminess. Add diced avocado to omelets. Add avocado to your favorite homemade salsa.
This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.
Information provided by Jenny Norgaard, RD, LD, registered dietitian, Ankeny Hy-Vee, firstname.lastname@example.org, 515-964-0900.