The multiple culinary uses of avocado

19 Nov

I grew up eating avocados. At every “asado” bbq party, in “sopas” soups, or with salads, avocado was part of many meals. In North, Central and South America, we use avocado mainly in savory dishes, so I never imagined that avocado is also used in the preparation of milkshakes or sweet desserts in places such as Brazil, Philippines, Vietnam, and southern India. Occasionally people in these countries also add avocado to ice cream and other desserts!imagesCA4ZW1E6

Avocado, also called “alligator pear”, is a fruit. We may think of it as a vegetable, but it is actually a large berry that contains a single seed. The avocado is a climacteric fruit (the banana is another), which means it matures on the tree, but ripens off the tree.

If you are going to buy an avocado and don’t know what to look for, remember that the best avocados to use are those that gently yield to pressure and are free from dark blotches inside the fruit.

Nutritional value:

Avocados are rich in two monounsaturated fats (MUFAs). Studies show that eating foods rich in MUFAs improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. An avocado’s saturated fat content is very low with zero cholesterol.

Avocados provide 35% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in folic acid and vitamin K, and are also good dietary sources of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E and pantothenic acid.

Avocados have a high fiber content of 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fiber.

Try this recipe: Avocado milkshake

Yields: 2 servings imagesCAABLI20

Prep time: 5 min


1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

2 cups ice (16 to 20 ice cubes)

1/2 cup fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1/2 to 1 cup cold non-fat milk (depending on how thick you want the final product)


Scoop the avocado flesh into a blender. Add the ice cubes, condensed milk, the least amount of non-fat milk; puree until completely smooth. Taste and add additional milk if a thinner consistency is desired.

Pour into two (2) tall glasses and enjoy!

Other uses of avocado: Use it as a substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads. Avocado can be combined with eggs (in scrambled eggs, tortillas or omelettes), and as an ingredient in California rolls and sushi.

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