Super-Powered Avocado

Catherine tells us all about this fantastic fruit, synonymous with Mexico  

The Green Giant, Hornet, and Lantern have nothing on this fruit’s antioxidant super powers. Native to Mexico and originally cultivated in Puebla as early as 10,000 BC, it is actually considered a berry with a large seed, and a great and easy addition to any meal.

While living in Florida, we had a tremendous Hass avocado tree in our back yard that produced fruit in alternating years. One year it would yield only a dozen, while the following year we would be inundated, and end up gifting dozens daily to neighbors, friends, and acquaintances. We would also freeze some to use in purees, guacs and spreads at a later date, always remembering to add lime to the slices before sealing in a plastic bag and freezing.

We are fortunate to be able to pick up this versatile fruit from local grocery stores here in the Yucatan for a quarter of the price back home. Mexico is considered one of the largest producers of avocado, specifically in Oaxaca, followed by the Dominican Republic and Peru. Although we are all familiar with the typical green-hued pear shape, there are varieties that are as small as your thumb. Others are purple or yellow-colored, black-skinned, oval, round, glossy, leathery or rough-skinned, and even some weighing as much as a kilo.

Remember that as soon as you peel avocados, like apples they are prone to enzymatic browning, so add a touch of citrus juice once the flesh is exposed to the air. This fruit is replete with vitamins B, C, E and K, potassium, carotenoids, iron, and calcium. They’re rich in monounsaturated fats and may contribute to lowering your cholesterol. It is the perfect addition to your next dinner.

Want to use avocado in something other than the usual guacamole? Check out our recipes in this edition. Want a beauty tip and a reason to use some leftover avocado? Simply mash ½ ripe avocado, ½ banana and 1 tablespoon of plain yogurt and voila! You have now created an inexpensive and moisturizing face mask that would even make Jim Carrey jealous.


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