Avocados are one of my families most favourite “fruit vegetables” join us in our deep dive into this delicious superfood and discover our favourite 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 with over 500 varieties but we are featuring our favourites which are readily available.
- HASS - pretty much all year-round
- SHEPARD - Autumn/Fall
- FUERTE - Autumn/Fall & Winter
- REED - Spring
Not only are avocados delicious but they are extremely nutritious they are rich in energy and healthy fats as well as a good source of vitamin B, E, A and potassium.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF AVOCADOS
- Contain Vitamins C (used for growth and repair of tissues) and K (helps your blood to clot) and folate (helps produces and maintains new cells.
- Contain the minerals potassium (helps to regulate blood pressure) and manganese (helps to regulate of brain and nerve function).
- High in are high in monounsaturated fats, that helps lower bad cholesterol.
- Also, contain dietary fibre for a healthy bowel.
Hass -The most popular avocado variety they have a classic oval shape with a small stone and pebbly texture. They have a creamy texture and the only variety that darkens when ripe, and they keep very well
Shepard – 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 - 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 – 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.
SELECTION & STORAGE
- The majority of avocados are sold 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 pit. To choose a ripe avocado gently press around the stem and if it yields then the fruit is ripe. Hass are the only varieties that change colour from green to black when they are ripe, all other types are green when ripe.
- Avocados should be stored at room temperature until they are ripe, you may be able to speed up the avocado ripening process we 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 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.
For detailed preparation instruction see our detailed guide.
BEST PAIRINGS - chili's, citrus, butter, cream, bacon, roasted meat, seafood, fresh herbs such as coriander/cilantro, basil, mint & parsley
SURPRISE PAIRINGS - tequila, cocoa, apple, eggplant
SUBSTITUTIONS - chayotes/chokos, artichokes, mashed peas or beans