Get the real scoop on your favourite green superfood
Avocados have been having 'a moment' for so long, it's safe to assume they won't be disappearing from our plates any time soon. Once rather misunderstood, this green goddess is now a mainstay on menus, from breakfasts to dinner.
Although avos are routinely understood to be a vegetable, they are in fact a fruit. Who knew, huh? These tasty lovelies work equally well in sweet and savoury dishes, thanks to their oh-so-creamy and versatile texture. Here's the lowdown on the bumpy-skinned beauties...
1. THE MYTH: they’re fattening
THE TRUTH: it’s all good
Avos may be relatively high in fat (15 per cent) and calories, but not all fats are created equal. These green beauties are one of very few fruits to contain monounsaturated or ‘good’ fats – good for a healthier diet.
2. THE MYTH: you should save them for salads
THE TRUTH: green is the new cream
These creamy beauties are brilliant for baking sumptuous treats like brownies or whipping into a velvety mousse, as a healthier substitute for cream or butter. In fact, a just-ripe avocado smeared on wholemeal bread or a crunchy crispbread makes butter seem almost obsolete. Almost.
3. THE MYTH: they’re a useful ingredient when baking
THE TRUTH: they can really take the cake
You know they lend a buttery, creamy texture to your baking, but they can also be the star of the show – as deliciously demonstrated by this glorious avocado cake.
4. THE MYTH: you shouldn’t eat them every day
THE TRUTH: they do more good than harm
If you love them like we do, you might crave avos for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And that’s fine. Try them in your breakfast smoothie to add a luxe texture and balance out sweeter fruits like berries.
5. THE MYTH: you can’t freeze them
THE TRUTH: chill out!
Yes, you can freeze avocados – simply peel halved avocados, remove the stones and freeze in a sealable bag. Or, for extra smug points, mash up with a little lime or lemon juice before bagging up. Then you can make guacamole for this eggs Benedict dish with an avo twist.
6. THE MYTH: they’ll go brown once you cut ’em
THE TRUTH: there is a way...
Cut avocados can quickly turn brown and slimy, which doesn’t affect the taste so much as their natural beauty. A squeeze of citrus can help, as can storing in water. Or try this nifty trick – keep cut avocado in an airtight container with a cut onion. Sulphur compounds from the onion act as a preservative. Might not be best if you’re using the avo for baking something sweet, though.
7. THE MYTH: you should keep them on the counter
THE TRUTH: the fridge is your friend
Storing avocados in the fridge will halt the ripening process, so it isn’t ideal if you want to dig straight in with a spoon. But it’s great if you’re not planning to use the fruits for a few days. Just put them on the counter a day or so before use to finish ripening, or store in a paper bag to speed up the process. Slightly under-ripe avocados are perfect for baking with eggs. Simply scoop a bit of avo out, crack an egg in the dip and bake at 200°C for 15 minutes or until the egg whites have set. Yum.