While the avocado was only available a few years ago in selected shops or from the well-stocked greengrocer, it is now one of the most common assortment in almost every supermarket. But what exactly is the avocado? A fruit or vegetables? Or is not she one of the healthy foods because of her high fat content? How can you tell by the hard, rough skin whether the avocado is ripe? And how do you prepare them?
Avocado - healthy despite many calories
Although avocado fruit is widely spoken, avocado belongs to the berry family. In Europe, however, avocados are treated more like vegetables and prefer to be consumed in salty foods such as spreads, lettuce or salmon. However, in South America and Asia avocado is also used for sweet foods such as milkshakes or ice cream.
Compared to the other fruits, the avocado contains hardly any sugar or fruit acids, and at the same time has a much higher nutrient content. In addition to carbohydrates, the avocado also provides:
- vitamin C
On the other hand, the pulp of the so-called Butterbirne also by far the highest fat content of all known fruits and vegetables. For example, 100 grams of avocado pulp make up a good 200 calories and about 25 grams of fat. However, these are mostly unsaturated fatty acids, making the avocado a valuable, healthy food despite the calories.
Avocado in diabetes
It is often read that people with diabetes should better avocados from the diet. The reason for this is the ingredient mannoheptulose, which inhibits insulin secretion. In professional circles, however, this is considered positive, as many diabetics have a relative insulin surplus, which can increase insulin resistance. When eating the fruit, the blood sugar level is also hardly increased - avocado is therefore recommended for diabetes.
Avocado is also said to be good for the heart and, thanks to its minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium, helps combat high blood pressure. Furthermore, according to a study, the fruit lowers the level of "bad" LDL cholesterol.
5 facts about avocados - © Silke Hamann
Recipes with avocado
While the shell and core of the avocado are inedible, the pulp is very healthy. With its pleasant, nutty flavor and a soft, almost creamy consistency, the flesh of avocado is proposed in a variety of recipes. In the simplest form, the pulp is simply spread on a buttered bread and salted.
The avocado is also popular in pureed form, as so-called guacamole, which is refined with garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper and is a welcome dip at parties. This recipe for avocado cream comes from the Mexican cuisine, but is also becoming increasingly popular in Germany.
Also as soup, salad or in Japanese sushi the avocado spoils with its gentle taste the palate. As the pulp quickly turns brown in the air, you should add a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar to the avocado. In addition, avocados should only be consumed raw, as when heated, a bitter taste develops that makes the whole dish inedible.
Avocado - origin and cultivation
Originally from southern Mexico, the avocado is now grown in almost all tropical and subtropical areas. It grows on the shrubby avocado tree, which can grow up to 20 meters. The green, pear-shaped fruits naturally fall from the tree before they are ripe. Therefore, they are also picked in the cultivation, as soon as they have reached the market size.
Even in the supermarket or the greengrocer avocados are usually not immediately edible. Only after a few days do they reach the perfect maturity, which can be recognized by the fact that the skin easily yields at the touch of a finger. To speed up the ripening process, wrap the avocado in newspaper or store with apples.
Avocado oil for dry skin
However, avocados are grown not only because of the fruits, but also because of the oil extracted from them, which was already used by the Aztecs. The avocado oil pressed from the overripe fruits is relatively expensive and less important than edible oil, but more important in cosmetics.
The valuable fats and vitamins contained in avocado make avocado oil particularly suitable for dry, brittle skin. It also absorbs quickly and spreads well on the skin. Therefore, avocado oil is used in many high quality lotions, soaps and creams. Even in shampoos against dry hair is occasionally avocado.