Avocados are one of my family's favourite “fruit vegetables”. Join us in our deep dive into this delicious superfood and discover our favourite avocado varieties, nutritional info and how to choose, store and prep them.
Technically avocados are a fruit because they have a seed inside and are also members of the laurel plant family, just like bay leaves.
They are native to Central America and the West Indies. There are over 500 avocado varieties, but we are featuring our favourites, which are readily available.
We can enjoy avocados throughout the year as their is always an avocado variety in season -
- Hass avocados are available all year round.
- Shepard and Fuerte avocados are in season in Autumn and Winter.
- Reed avocados are available in the Springtime.
So, no matter the season, you can find the perfect avocado!
Not only are avocados delicious, but they are extremely nutritious; they are rich in energy and healthy fats as well as an excellent source of vitamins B, E, A and potassium.
The Health Benefits of Avocados
- They contain Vitamin C (used for the growth and repair of tissues) and K (helps your blood to clot), and folate (helps produce and maintain new cells.
- Contain the minerals potassium (helps to regulate blood pressure) and manganese (helps to regulate brain and nerve function).
- High are high in monounsaturated fats that help lower bad cholesterol.
- Also, contain dietary fibre for a healthy bowel.
The Most Popular Avocado Varieties
Hass Avocados -The most popular avocado variety, they have a classic oval shape with a small stone and pebbly texture. They have a creamy texture and are the only variety that darkens when ripe, and they keep very well.
Shepard Avocados – are longer and more elongated with a thin skin and a smooth glossy green skin which stays green. They remain firm when ripe with a nutty flavour and buttery texture. The only Avocado that doesn’t turn brown when cut. Great for salads.
Fuerte Avocados – are similar in shape and size to a Hass with dark green skin that doesn’t darken when ripe but bruises easily. They are very buttery, marginally oily with a rich, creamy flavour and notes of hazelnut.
Reed Avocados - are easily recognisable because of their distinct round shape. They have a medium skin texture with pale flesh. Also, well known for remaining green even when fully ripened. Another one great for salads.
Avocado Selection and Storage
- They sell the majority of avocados unripe as they bruise less easily. Make sure that your avocados are firm, heavy, and on the large size, as this usually means that there is more flesh than the pit.
- To choose a ripe avocado, gently press around the stem, and if it yields, then the fruit is ripe.
- Hass is the only variety that changes colour from green to black when they are ripe; all other types are green when ripe.
- We should store avocados at room temperature until they are ripe; you may speed up the avocado ripening process by placing unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days.
- After an avocado has ripened, you may store it to extend its life in your fridge; otherwise, you may ruin its flavour.
- You can store cut avocados by squeezing lemon juice on the cut flesh and keeping them covered in your fridge.
How to Prepare Avocados
For detailed preparation instructions, see our detailed avocado prep guide.
Best Avocado Pairings
Avocados are best paired with chillies, citrus, butter, cream, bacon, roasted meat, seafood, and fresh herbs such as coriander/cilantro, basil, mint & parsley.
Surprisingly they also work well with tequila, cocoa, apple, and eggplant.
Some vegetable substitutions to try with a similar texture you could try chayotes/chokos, artichokes, mashed peas or beans.