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Fuel Your Body

The Alligator Pear aka The Avocado

By Katharine Harris | April 06, 2011

Photo by j_silla via Flickr (cc)

An avocado is that round-oval green-black thing you’ll find in the produce section of your local grocery store. And while most of us are familiar with guacamole, one of the many things avocados can be made into, it is in fact a very versatile fruit that can be made into sweet and savoury meals, as well as beverages.

The avocado is the berry fruit of the avocado tree. Like the banana, it is picked while still maturing and must ripen off the tree. So what’s the big deal about this fruit?

Deemed the most nutritious fruit out of all the fruits by food writer Gaylord Hauser, the avocado is not only tasty; it is a good source of protein, fat, and vitamins. Besides being delicious, an avocado is full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Foods high in fat tend to be easily dismissed as unhealthy but that’s not the case.

Unsaturated fats are good fats, and are essential for a healthy body. Fats help in the absorption of nutrients, in nerve transmission and cell maintenance. Unsaturated fats, like the kinds in an avocado, lower LDL cholesterol levels (the bad kind of cholesterol) while increasing HDL, or good cholesterol.

The avocado is also a great source of vitamins B, E and K. It’s high in fibre and folate and contains more potassium than a banana!

Besides guacamole, avocados can be used in baking, to sub for dairy in vegan recipes and can be blended with sugar and other fruit juices to create a frothy beverage.

Here are a few of our picks:

Avocado Milkshake
Blend together a ripe avocado, milk and honey, and you’re in for a refreshing drink!

Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes and Avocado Buttercream
Looking to have a sweet chocolate treat without the guilt? Try this recipe!

Avocado Salsa

If you’re not a fan of cilantro, enjoy avocado in this spicy salsa!

For more recipe ideas, check this website out.