By: Judy Davie - The Food Coach
In the past 10 years avocado production has increased by 60% and the industry's goal is to increase avocado consumption from 3.5kg to 5 kg a year.
It's a goal in which if achieved we all win: The producers get wealthier and we get healthier.
There's only one reason that I can think of why some people don't buy avocados, unless they don't like them and it's this. For those on their own, catering for one, it's hard to prevent them from going brown once they are cut into.
It's a legitimate reason given that the general guide to how much avocado an average person should eat in a day is 50 g. That's about a 1/3 of a small or a 1/4 of a large avocado and a whole avocado is used when you are catering to a family of three of four. Feeding one and a whole avocado needs to last three days.
Avocados and not an easy crop to grow and consequently they generally cost around $2.50, or more depending on where you shop. Unless there's a way of storing them to prevent them from becoming brown and slimy, a single person risk of throwing out more than they can eat. And that means they only get about 80 cents of value.
Buy small avocadoes, the smaller the better. Ideal if they are small enough to eat half one day and the other half the day after.
Once cut, keep the stone inside the unused part.
Brush a thin layer of olive oil over the surface of the avocado to create a natural barrier against oxidation.
Rub lemon or lime juice over the unused piece of avocado
Wrap the cut avocado and the stone tightly in plastic wrap or beeswax food wraps
A BETTER WAY POSSIBLY?
Another method, which many people swear by, is to store the cut avocado in a container with a chopped onion. Onions contain sulphur which prevents the enzyme, polyphenol oxidase, interacting with oxygen and turning the avocado brown. Simply place some onion chunks in a plastic container. Place the avocado with its stone face up in the container and cover with a lid. This method should keep the avocado fresh for up to 3 days.
And if you are wondering whether you could be bothered to go to such trouble, here is a reminder about why we should ALL be eating more avocadoes.
The wide range of nutrients makes avocado an excellent plant based whole food, and an important addition to a healthy diet. Avocado eaters consume significantly more of several key nutrients including dietary fibre, vitamin E vitamin K, potassium and magnesium.
Avocado helps to lower cholesterol
The addition of 75-300 g of avocado to a variety of healthy diets has been shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol while maintaining HDL cholesterol
Avocado protects against heart disease
The nutrients found in avocado include vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, and polyphenols. These compounds have antioxidant effects which help to protect cells from free radical damage. These compounds also have anti-inflammatory effects that may help prevent atheroschlerosis or the thickening and hardening of arteries associated with heart disease.
Avocados and eye health
Research has revealed that adding 75 g - 150 g of monounsaturated fat-rich avocados helps to significantly increase the absorption of carotenoids from other vegetables and aids in their conversion to vitamin A, a nutrient essential for healthy eyes.
Avocados and weight management
Initial studies indicate a role for 75 - 200 g of avocado a day in promoting satiety and as an alternative to other dietary fats in energy-restricted diets. People who eat avocado may weigh less, have a lower BMI and waist circumference.
Avocados and diabetes
For people with type 2 diabetes, consuming avocado as part of a healthy diet may help manage blood glucose levels as well as lower cholesterol and triglycerides without compromising blood glucose control.
Avocado and pregnancy
Avocados also are an important dietary source of folate, which is essential during pregnancy for healthy foetal development.
If you have another great way to preserve avocados please let us know by adding your comments at the foot of this article.