The avocado originated in Mexico. It is thought that this fruit was first cultivated there as early as 500 B.C. The first avocado trees made their way to the United States in the early 1870s. Today there are several popular varieties of avocado that are harvested during different seasons, making avocados available year round.
The name of this beloved creamy fruit has morphed over the years from the original Aztec word ahuacatl, to the Spanish variation of that word aguacate, to the English word we use today. Guacamole, originates from the Aztec word ahuacamolli, meaning “avocado soup or sauce.”
Avocados are excellent sources of vitamins C, K, B6, and folate. They are also a unique source of unsaturated fat, contributing to its anti-inflammatory and heart health properties.
Use avocado in a salad, atop toast sprinkled with salt and pepper, mashed into guacamole, or straight out of the peel for a healthy snack.
Avocados are also well suited for the sweeter side of life: there are recipes for avocado ice cream, cheesecake, even pound cake. Any raw food people out there are likely already familiar with avocado as an ingredient in raw chocolate pudding.
Ripe avocados can be stored in the refrigerator uncut for two to three days. After the fruit is cut, place it in an airtight container and sprinkle it with lemon juice or white vinegar to help preserve its color. The discoloration that sometimes occurs because of oxidation is harmless, just scrape off the darkened places and carry on as usual.
Freezing is a good solution for preserving avocados for future use in salads, sandwiches, dips, or smoothies. Puree the flesh of the avocado with a ½ tablespoon of lemon juice for each fruit, seal the puree into an airtight container and freeze for later.
There are two easy methods for seeding and peeling your avocados. One way is by inserting a knife to the seed and cutting the avocado in half lengthwise all the way around. Next, twist both halves in opposite directions and it should easily pop apart, leaving the seed in one half. Hold the half of the avocado firmly in one hand and strike the pit of the avocado with a sharp knife, twist the knife to loosen the pit and they should come off attached to the knife. Scoop the avocado pulp out with a spoon, making sure to get the dark green layer closest to the peel, because this is where the most nutrients are.
The second method is similar. Cut the avocado lengthwise, then turn it a half turn and cut it lengthwise again, effectively quartering the fruit. Twist the halves to loosen with your hands, and peel the pieces back away from the pit, then peel the skin away from each piece.
To speed up the ripening process, place avocados in a brown paper bag at room temperature for a few days, checking each day to see if they are ready. You’ll know they’re ripe when they yield to gentle pressure when squeezed.
Hass is the most popular variety of Avocado in the United States. Our farmers grow Hass, as well as several lesser known varieties