Avocados are berries.  Did that just blow your mind?  It’s true… While avocados are known as “alligator pears” due to their shape and outer texture, they are considered berries.  And just like the other berries we know, avocados are also packed full of nutrition and health benefits.  One half of a medium avocado has over 6 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein, making it a filling food!  And while the fat count is high, avocados have “healthy fats.”  Their monounsaturated fat has been shown to help reduce bad cholesterol when eaten in moderation.  There are also over 20 vitamins and minerals present in an avocado, thus creating its “superfood” status.  Here are a couple of extra fun facts about avocados:

  • Avocados contain more potassium than bananas!  High-potassium foods are essential to any balanced diet and can contribute to reduced blood pressure in those with hypertension, may lower the risk for stroke, helps regulate the body’s fluid levels, aids in muscular function and waste removal, and so much more!
  • Avocados are loaded with powerful antioxidants that can protect your eyes!  AND they can help you absorb antioxidants from other foods, too.  Those who consume avocados regularly have a decreased risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

So, between their potential to reduce the risk for a variety of health challenges and their ability to add a fun and versatile flavor and texture to your diet, the avocado is to be celebrated!  Mark your calendar for July 31st, as it’s National Avocado Day.  Use this “holiday” as an opportunity to try an avocado, use an avocado in a new way, or simply share this “superfood” with your friends and family.  Let’s prepare!

How to Pick an Avocado:

In theory you will be able to find the perfect level of avocado ripeness for your needs—certain times of the year, however, the store can only provide those that haven’t quite “made it to ripe” yet.  So, now what?!  Whether you can’t find the perfect avocado OR you thought you had one and you realize it’s not quite ready after cutting it open, you still have options!  Check out the 7 Ways to Use Unripe Avocados and learn how to ripen an avocado and even prepare and enjoy an unripe avocado.  The fried avocado option sounds amazing and can probably be done in an air fryer, as well!

How to Cut an Avocado:

There is more than one way to cut an avocado.  Here is a super quick video on how to cut an avocado with safety AND nutrition in mind!

How to Use an Avocado:

So many recipes – so little time!  As the popularity of the avocado has risen over the last decade, so has the number of ways you can use them!  You may have already tried avocado toast, scrambled eggs with avocado, or surely, guacamole.  Let’s think outside the box a bit and investigate more unique ways we can use this “superfood.”

  • As an ice cream!  A fun and unique way to get that “junk food” in while continuing to add nutrition.
  • As a substitute for sour cream!  Mix an avocado with a few more ingredients, and you have a plant-based, nutritious sour cream!
  • As a gut healthy, fermented topping for salads and soups!  Avocados can be pickled and added to your gut health regimen!

The point is, there are many ways to utilize the avocado and all its nutrition and flavor!  (For even more ideas, visit Healthline’s article on the popular berry.)  Will you try something new on July 31st?

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