Tiny #Kitchen, #Culinary Mission: #Avocados! Pt 2

The continued story of geeking out about the uses, powers, and secrets of avocados…

Storing

You can prevent the natural darkening or browning of the avocado flesh that occurs with exposure to air by sprinkling with a little lemon juice or vinegar.  If its already ripe, make sure to then seal any leftovers in a plastic bag or plastic wrap and put in the fridge, where it will keep for up to a week.  Don’t refrigerate any avocados before they’re ripe though!

SCIENCE!!!

If you’d like to know about the reason behind avocados dietary benefits, we’re going to get a bit geeky.  First off, despite their green complexion, avocados are technically a fruit, not a vegetable – they have a massive pit and grow from avocado trees.

However, they are an incredibly unique fruit in the amount of protein and array of nutrients they provide, as well as improving the absorption of particular nutrients from itself and other foods!  Besides potassium, B vitamins, several anti-inflammatory fatty acids, and other necessary nutrients, avocados have a high proportion of oleic acid (healthy monounsaturated fats also from olives and olive oil).  Oleic acid helps the digestive system form transport molecules that absorb and distribute carotenoid nutrients.  Nine major carotenoids (yes that’s right, the most commonly known source is carrots and other orange/red vegetables) are also found in abundance in avocados, concentrated in the darker green flesh just under the leathery outer skin.  What a great combo to have wrapped up in one fruit!  You may have heard carrots are good for your eyes, but most carotenoids are also antioxidants, known to give further anti-inflammatory benefits and thus help prevent arthritis and lower the risk of heart disease.  The same effect applies to other fruits and vegetables (also high in carotenoids) consumed around the same time – adding a small amount of avocado to a veggie salad or salsa will actually multiply carotenoid absorption from the salad or salsa 2 to 4 times over!  You’re missing out on so much without it!

Hope you’ve found this as interesting as I did.  What dishes do you use avocados for?

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