Avocados have proved themselves to be more than just an ingredient in guacamole. Combining its long, rich history with numerous nutritional benefits, it’s no wonder that so many of us love to incorporate avocados into our daily lives.
Basic Avocado Facts
Contrary to popular belief, avocados are actually a fruit because they grow on flowering trees. They also have the most protein out of any other fruit. But the fun facts don’t stop there! We’ve outlined more information about these delicious fruits below.
Avocados were an integral part of Aztec culture and their recipes, meaning that avocados have been around for over 7,000 years! We can also thank the Aztecs for using avocados to invent guacamole. When Europeans began traveling to Mexico and the surrounding countries, they referred to avocados as “alligator pears.”
Avocados weren’t introduced to Florida until 1833. Today, Florida is among the top three states for avocado production in the United States, along with California and Hawaii. As for global production, Mexico is the number one producer of avocados in the world.
There are many different varieties of avocados that exist today. They can be smooth or textured, green or black, and come in different shapes and sizes. The most popular are Hass avocados. These avocados are characterized by a bumpy dark-green exterior and a circular pit.
Avocados are a staple of many diets because they contain many different vitamins and are a source of healthy fat. They have large amounts of vitamin C and B vitamins and also contain more potassium than a banana. Avocados are a great source of protein. Because of their healthy fat make-up, they are a staple of the keto diet.
Now that you understand what makes avocados so amazing, we’ve outlined some handy avocado hacks to make sure you get the most out of these delicious fruits!
Avocados have been known to quickly ripen. If you are purchasing avocados to eat the same day, ripe avocados will be soft when you gently press them and have a dark exterior. Almost-ripe avocados will have green or speckled skin. You can keep ripe avocados in the fridge for up to a week to preserve them.
If you need to ripen avocados fast, simply place them in a paper bag with a banana. Bananas release ethylene gas which speeds up the ripening process.
Avocados can be used in so many different dishes, not just for guacamole or on toast. They make a great side with fries and can even be used as a substitute for butter! Mash them, fry them, spread them, or enjoy as a snack!
For delicious ideas for your next avocado meal, check out these avocado recipes.
Shopping for Avocados
Avocados can take up to 5 days to ripen after you purchase them. For unripe avocados, it’ll take 4-5 days to ripen (unless you use the banana method). If you choose unripened avocados, they will be extremely firm. The more ripe the avocado is, the more gentle it will feel when pressed. Overripe avocados will feel mushy.
Fortunately, avocados do not ripen when they are on trees. They can actually remain on a tree for up to 7 months before being harvested. This allows avocados to be available year-round.
Find Delicious Avocados at Ward’s Supermarket
However you like to incorporate avocados into your daily meals, Ward’s has delicious avocados available in our produce department. Stop by to pick some up on your next visit!