There’s the strawberry, the blackberry, and the raspberry, but one of the best berries of all is the…avocado. Yep, the egg-shaped fruit is really a big ol’ berry with a single pit or stone seed. Most experts agree that the avocado tree originated in South Central Mexico, and is a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. It is a favorite fruit with many because of its rich creamy, buttery texture and smooth taste.
Since a majority of the fats in avocados are monounsaturated, these fats help with the absorption of carotenoids. Monounsaturated fats also help with regulation of sugar level, insulin sensitivity, and help with heart and brain function. Avocados make the list of top protein foods, having one of the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit. It is high in potassium, vitamin B-6, and vitamin C.
Selecting and storing avocados can be tricky but here are some tips.
- Look for organically certified avocados to avoid pesticides and contaminates.
- Ready-to-eat avocados will be soft but not too much ‘give’ when slightly squeezed.
- Buy firm avocados and leave them on the counter for 3 or 4 days until soft.
- When avocados are ripe they will turn from bright shiny green to dark green or black.
- Avocados do not need to be refrigerated unless they are ripe and you can not eat them for a few days.