Fall in Love with Avocados

Avocados used to be on the no-go list for dieters because of their high calories and fat content, but now we know that the reason avocados are so calorie dense is because they are incredibly nutrient dense—making them an awesome option for healthy diets everywhere.

What do they look like?

Avocados are about the size of a softball, but oblong shaped. They have a rough, bumpy, dark green skin, and inside is a large, dark pit surrounded by bright green, very soft flesh. The flesh is light-colored near the pit and gradually it becomes darker toward the skin. Scoop out as much of the dark green flesh as possible— it has the highest concentration of nutrients.

What do they taste like?

The flesh of an avocado is creamy and smooth, which makes it a great substitute for mayo and sour cream in recipes and on sandwiches. The flavor is mild on its own, but becomes really pronounced with a little bit of salt and pepper.

Why are they good for me?

Don’t fear the fat! Avocados are packed with super healthy fats that help keep all your systems functioning and help keep you feeling fuller longer. The specific kinds of fats found in avocados can help lower the risk of heart disease, help keep your digestive track running smoothly, and provide you with powerful antioxidants that help keep away many cancers.

When and where do I get them?

Unless you live in a warm climate, you’ll have a hard time tracking down local avocados. Luckily, most major grocery stores across the country carry both organic and conventionally-grown varieties. When choosing avocados, all you have to do is give ’em a little squeeze. Look for avocados that are firm with a little give. Fruits that are too soft may be overripe.

How do I prepare avocados?

Avocados are best served raw—both tastewise and from a nutritional standpoint. Use mashed avocado as a spread for toast, sandwiches, or bagels. Place sliced avocado on top of burgers or salads. Use diced avocado in side dishes, salsas, and guacamole. Because of its mild flavor, avocado also makes a great addition to smoothies; it adds healthy fat and makes the smoothie creamy and rich, without adding much flavor.

What are some good recipes?

What’s your favorite way to eat avocado?

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Cassie Johnston is an award-winning food writer and recipe developer living and working in Southern Indiana. Her work has been feature in national publications such as Gourmet Magazine and The Huffington Post. Cassie’s a big fan of strenuous hikes, cheese, watching sports, Brussels sprouts, and craft beer, and she’ll talk your ear off about her love of local food and seasonal eating. She’s obsessed with social media and loves connecting with new friends!