Everyone knows a guacamole makes a moreish addition to your burritos and nachos. But avocado is so much more than a dip for your chip! For starters, they are a mini health hurricane! In today’s post we’re taking a look at what they have to offer in terms of health benefits, what to look out for when buying avocados, and how to store them… as well as how they can be part of your beauty regimen.
High fat content, but still healthy
The avocado is not a vegetable. It is a fruit belonging to the laurel family, alongside its cousins bay, cinnamon and camphor. Its high fat content might well have earned it the name “butter fruit”, but there’s no need to avoid these wonders. The fats in avocados are unsaturated and are very healthy. Avocados are good news for anyone with high cholesterol. If eaten when perfectly ripe, they can even help to reduce cholesterol levels. Avocados provide plenty of essential vitamins, such as A, B, C and E, and are rich in potassium, calcium and iron. So there’s very good reason to tuck in without delay – your body will thank you for it!
Avocado ripeness test
Anyone who has ever bought an avocado have wondered how to tell if it is already ripe and ready to eat. The easiest and foolproof way to figure out the ripeness of your avocado is by flicking off its stem. If the stem comes off easy and you see a yellowish tone underneath it, that means it’s ripe; if the skin is brownish in colour that means it’s overripe. If the stem doesn’t come off easy, then it’s not ready to be eaten yet.
How to store avocados
If an avocado is not ripe yet, you can store it at normal room temperature. This will encourage the ripening process. As soon as it is ripe, place it in your fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 12 days.
You should take your avocado out of the fridge about one hour before you need it. It will be easier to prepare.
Don’t want to use the whole avocado at once? Leave the seed in the second half and drizzle a little lemon juice over. This will prevent unappealing brown spots and stop it from spoiling too quickly. Cover the avocado half with cling wrap, put it back in the fridge. Make sure you use it without too much delay.
What’s inside really counts. Avocado seeds: A mine of healthy nutrients
Avocado seeds normally receive little or no attention; the majority of people don’t realize that, nutritionally, they have a whole lot to offer and that they can easily be put to good culinary use. Check out the following ideas and get inspired:
- Grate a little avocado seed into granola, salads or smoothies. Its abundant nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins help boost the immune system.
- Grate the seed and add hot water to make a terrific tea, which might well help with burning fat. The seed’s active components and amino acids are believed to stimulate metabolism.
- Want to give your skin or hair a boost? Stir some powdered avocado seed into water to form a paste. Apply the paste directly to your skin, or mix it with coconut oil to make a hair conditioner. (We have two avocado beauty recipes below, read along.)
Avocado: Versatility WAY beyond guacamole
There are many great ways to enjoy this versatile fruit: raw, as an ingredient to enliven a salad, as a delightful dip or in a healthy smoothie! Replace mayonnaise or your usual sauce in your sandwich or burger with an avocado – it’s healthier and adds flavour to your meal too. They can also be a surprisingly good addition to dessert dishes. When combined with lime, avocados make a delicious cheesecake.
Avocado can be part of your beauty regimen too
You might have left your avocado too ripe in the fridge, fret not for it will not go to waste.
Option 1: Use it as a facial mask. Yes, you read it right! Avocado can help moisturize your skin and it’s even easy to do by yourself. What you need: 1/2 ripe avocado, 2 tbs hot water and 1 tsp honey. Preparation and usage: Mash the avocado on a bowl with fork or wear plastic gloves and mash it by hand. Dissolve the honey into the water and add it to the bowl mixture. Apply on your face using your clean fingers, while avoiding the area of your eyes and mouth. Keep it on for 10 – 15 minutes and then wash accordingly.
Option 2: Use it as a hair mask. Just as it can do wonders to your skin so can it transform the life of your hair. What you need: 1 ripe avocado, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tbs lemon juice. Preparation and usage: Follow the same preparation as above. We think it’s easier to mash by your hand, basically just wear clean plastic gloves and you’re ready to go. Apply it all over your hair, from roots to tips and cover up with a clear shower cap. Wash as per usual, make sure that no avocado bits are left on your scalp…we wouldn’t want to attract the ants. Dry your hair and voila! a super soft and manageable hair without burning your wallet. 😉
If you have your own avocado specialty dish or other avocado beauty regimen, please share it with us! We really look forward to hear from you. Simply use the comment function below this post or start/join in a discussion with us on Facebook. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive latest articles from us.