Avocado ice cream anyone?
If your first thought for using an avocado is guacamole –not ice cream – we’re not surprised. That widely popular south-of-the-border creation has long been a featured showpiece for the fruit. And who can resist the opportunity to scoop up the dip with crispy chips.
But avocados are also amazingly versatile. They can be used for dips, sauces, smoothies, salads, sandwiches, as a butter or fat substitute, in baked goods, mashed for baby food, and, yes, even made into ice cream. And no matter how you enjoy them, you’ll also be adding healthy nutrients to your diet.
A nutrient-rich super food.
Avocados provide nearly 20 essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. They’re naturally sodium and cholesterol free and virtually the only fruit that contains monounsaturated fat – good fat! They are also low in calories: one-fifth of a medium avocado (1oz) has only 50 calories.
Peeling is better than scooping for the most nutrition
To get the more of the avocado’s nutritious offerings, it is recommended that you peel the skin away from the fruit rather than scoop the fruit out. A little more effort, but worth it, because the avocado’s greatest concentration of beneficial plant pigments is in the dark green fruit closest to the skin.
How to ripen an avocado
- To speed up the ripening process, place the avocado in a plain brown paper bag and store at room temperature 65-75° until ready to eat (usually two to five days)
- Include an apple or kiwifruit in the bag to accelerate the process, as these fruits give off natural ethylene gas, which will help ripen your avocados organically. Adding more apples or kiwifruit will hasten the process even more.
- Soft ripe fruit can be refrigerated until it is eaten, and should last for at least two more days. Refrigerate only ripe or soft avocados.