Everything You Ever Needed to Know About Avocados

Avocados, or alligator pears as they are sometimes known, are considered the darling of the produce aisle. The fruit (yes, fruit) offers “nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), lutein (which is good for your eyes), and folate (which is crucial for cell repair and during pregnancy)” (1). They also help fight off disease and infection, prevent cancer, are low in sugar, and contain fiber, “which makes you feel full longer” (1).

Avocados aren’t only used as food. They can also be used to moisturize dry skin, repair damaged hair, reduce puffy eyes, and treat sunburns. The antioxidants, amino acids, and essential oils found inside an avocado work wonders to promote healthy hair and skin. Here are some ideas for skin and hair treatments you can do at home with an avocado or two.

There are tons of ways to prepare avocados, including guacamole, eating them raw, and throwing some into a milkshake or smoothie. The easiest (and cheapest) way to prepare avocado is by splitting it in half, removing the pit, and sprinkling some salt and pepper or lemon juice over each half. Scoop the avocado meat out using a spoon. Another easy way is spreading mashed avocado on a piece of toast and sprinkling salt and pepper over it.

Here are some easy recipes containing avocados:

Copycat Chipotle Guacamole

Mash avocados with lemon and lime juices, add cilantro leaves, red onion, jalapeño peppers (optional), and salt, and refrigerate until use. I tried this without jalapeño peppers and it tasted almost exactly like the guacamole you have to pay extra for at Chipotle.

Trevor’s Salad

This recipe combines carrots, mashed up avocado, steak, and Grasshopper Spit dressing (which is more appetizing than it sounds) into a delicious and filling salad.

Avocado and Green Apple Salad

This is the perfect solution to a hot, sweaty summer lunch. It only requires diced avocado, onion, and green apples, and a couple of spices.

Crispy Baked Avocado Fries

Avocados? And fries? What a great combination! These don’t take very long to make, but they’re super tasty!

Avocado Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe calls for more ingredients than you may have in your pantry, but next time you’re home (and have your parents’ kitchen to take advantage of), try this out.

Chocolate Avocado Popsicles

It may sound weird, but chocolate and avocado are actually a good combination. There are only five ingredients in this recipe, so why not just try it?

Avocado Smoothies

Here are four awesome breakfast smoothies including avocados. Remember, there are so many health benefits to avocados – add one to your breakfast for the perfect kick-start to your day!

Fun facts about avocados:

  • “An avocado has more potassium than a banana” (4).
  • They’re easy to judge whether they’re ripe or not! When they’re heavier than their size suggests, soft-ish (not too soft!) to the touch, and their skin is dark, they’re perfect to eat.
  • They ripen more easily when a banana or apple is around. (4)
  • Avocado trees don’t self-pollinate. (3)
  • Avocados will not ripen on the tree. They need to be plucked before they start ripening.
  • They were originally a fruit only enjoyed by royalty. (2)
  • You can swap butter with avocados in recipes for a healthier alternative. (4)

In my opinion, avocados are the best food on earth. There’s so much that can be done with them that they’re hard to get bored of. Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up an avocado or two and try out some of these recipes for a fun twist on healthy food.

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Image Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5