How to buy and store avocados

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How many times you buy an avocado and you get this face after you cut it in half??

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You had on mind to get a nice slice of avocado and is ALL BLACK!!! I do hate that! I wish we could have a laser of any type of sofisticated glasses to look through them and check them to see if they are good. Well but there are a few tips we definetively can use to increase our chances of picking the good ones.

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I found this article very helpful too.
http://www.avocadocentral.com/how-to/how-to-store-how-to-ripen-avocados

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Avocado trees

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The flowers of avocado trees are perfect, because they have both male and female parts, but both of these parts are not accessible at all times for pollination. The flowers only open for two days. On the first day, the female part opens for two to four hours and during this time, it can receive pollen. On the second day, the male parts of the flower open for a short time to release pollen. Since both parts are not open at the same time, it is very difficult for an avocado flower to pollinate itself.

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A or B

The flowers are divided into two types, A and B. The type of flowers on a tree is determined by the variety of avocado you are growing. A type flowers open their female parts during the morning of the first day and their male parts on the second day’s afternoon. Type B flowers wait until the afternoon of the first day to open the female parts and open their male parts the following morning.No Matches Found. Please try your search again.

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Pollination

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Pollination occurs when the pollen released from one set of flowers is received by the flowers from another tree with their female parts open and ready to receive the pollen. In most instances, bees carry the pollen from a type A tree to a type B tree. Avocados are usually not self-pollinated, because the male and female parts are not open at the same time. In some climates, avocados may self pollinate from the wind. This can happen in the conditions found in south Florida or south Texas, but usually do not occur in California.

Avocado plants grown indoors from seed often have to be discarded after two or three years because they outgrow their space. If you grow them indoors from seed, they may take more than 20 years to bear avocados or they may not bear fruit at all.

Time Needed to Sprout
If you are iterested
Example of “A” flower avocados
HassLittle

B flower avocados
Mexicola Stewart
BaconLittle Cado (has A flowers and B flowers)Zutano  

If you are interested in how to plant an avocado tree, you can check this link. 

Avocado cookies.

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Avocado can be also cooked. I found this delicious recipe for cookies. It is wordy to give it a try.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
8 oz Chunky Avocado
1 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup walnuts
1 tbsp ground flax seed (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat in softened butter until flour mixture crumbles. Add egg and Avocado. Using a hand mixer beat until egg and avocado is mixed well. Add in vanilla extract.Fold in oats, ground flax seed, chocolate chips, and walnuts.Drop by rounded spoonful onto cookie sheets.Bake for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

Their web site has more recipes, you can substitute the ” product” for regular fresh avocado.

Nutritional facts about avocado

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HEALTH BENEFITS:

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*Promote heart health
*Anti inflammatory benefits
*Contains a significant number of                antioxidants.
*Has Omega 3
*Supports blood vessels
*Promotes blood sugar regulations
*Contains anticancer benefits
* It is loaded with fiber
*Helps to low the cholesterol and triglycerides levels

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Avocados Nutrient Profile:
Avocados contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, including 4% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for vitamin E, 4% vitamin C, 6% folate, 8% fiber, 2% iron, 4% potassium, with 81 micrograms oflutein and 19 micrograms of beta-carotene.

Nutrient Benefit or Health Benefits

Amount per serving (1-oz)
2-3 thin slices

Dietary Fiber

Dietary fiber is the non-digestible form of carbohydrates and lignin. Dietary fiber naturally occurs in plants, helps provide a feeling of fullness, and is important in promoting healthy laxation. Dietary fiber that occurs naturally in foods may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Children and adults should consume foods naturally high in dietary fiber in order to increase nutrient density, promote healthy lipid profiles and glucose tolerance, and ensure normal gastrointestinal function.

Folate/Folic Acid

Folate helps produce and maintain new cells. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is needed to make DNA and RNA, the building blocks of cells. Both adults and children need folate to make normal red blood cells and prevent anemia. Folate is also essential for the metabolism of homocysteine, and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.

Iron

Iron carries oxygen throughout your body so cells can produce energy. When levels of iron are low, fatigue, weakness and poor tolerance to temperature extremes often result.

Magnesium

Magnesium in the body serves several important functions: contraction and relaxation of muscles, function of certain enzymes in the body, production and transport of energy, production of protein.

Potassium

Dietary potassium can lower blood pressure by blunting the adverse effects of sodium on blood pressure. Other possible benefits of an eating pattern rich in potassium include a reduced risk of developing kidney stones and decreased bone loss.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Niacin, is a B-vitamin, it helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function. It is also important for converting food to energy.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) works with the other B vitamins. It is important for body growth and red blood cell production and helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates.

Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)

Pantothenic acid, is a B-vitamin and is essential for growth. Along with biotin, it helps the body break down and use food. Pantothenic acid also plays a role in the production of hormones and cholesterol.

Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)

Pyridoxine (vitamin B6), also a B-vitamin, helps the body to: make antibodies (antibodies are needed to fight many diseases), maintain normal nerve function, make hemoglobin (hemoglobin carries oxygen in the red blood cells to the tissues), break down proteins and keep blood sugar (glucose) in normal ranges.
Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

Thiamin (vitamin B1), also one of the B-vitamins, helps the body’s cells convert carbohydrates into energy. It is also essential for the functioning of the heart, muscles, and nervous system.

Vitamin E

The body also needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them. In addition, cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and to carry out many important functions.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

Vitamin C is important for your skin, bones, and connective tissue. It promotes healing and helps the body absorb iron.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K helps your body by making proteins for healthy bones and tissues. It also makes proteins for blood clotting. If you don’t have enough vitamin K, you may bleed too much.

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Salmon ceviche with avocado

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Ceviche is easy to prepare, and you can serve it on smaller portion as hors d’oeuvres. The combination of avocado and salmon are really balanced.

Ingredientes

1 cup of Fresh Salmon diced.
1 ripe avocado
1tbs mustard
2 tbs olive oil. ( spicy oil)
1 tbs chopped parsley. ( I prefer cilantro instead)
1 lemon zest (finely cut)
1 tsp sesame seeds
Salt to taste
1 slice of toast.

Spicy oil.
500 ml of olive oil
3 bay leaves
2 cloves of peeled garlic
5 dried Chile de arbol ( you can use Chinese red chilli pepper as a substitute)

Preparation

Mix the diced Salmon and Avocado, the lemon zest and the cilantro. After add to the mixture the mustard and the olive oil.   Try to be gentle when you are mixing the ingredients you don’t want the avocado to get mushy. Cover it with a plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 20 minutes, this will allow the lemon zest to cook the salmon, so it will not be completely raw.

Hope you like it !

Avocado types

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Did you know that there are more than 500 avocado varieties? I will explain a bit  about the most common.

Let me tell you a story when I was a child. I was 6 years old then and I didn’t like visiting my uncle’s house for one reason only: I was afraid of avocados. One time when visiting his house, he asked me to bring something from the shed.

In order to get what he asked me for, I needed to go to the end of this huge backyard. When crossing, I got hit on my shoulder.  This massive thing came down from a 40 feet tall tree; it was a huge avocado, the largest I have seen in my life, a 2 pound avocado left me with a big bruise on my shoulder and sore for a whole week.

Very interesting that farmers have developed so many types of avocados, bigger than that one avocado that almost ruined my childhood 😀

The top 5:

HASS
High-fat flesh, a nutty taste, and almond butter texture. Season: All year-round.
Largest commercially produced with excellent flavor and oil content. Green fruit turns black when ripe. Distinctive for skin that turns from green to purplish-black when ripe. The Hass is the leading variety of California and has an excellent shelf life.
Known by an oval-shape small to medium, 5 to 12 oz.

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BACON
Popular variety in most areas of low winter temperature. Tasty green fruit with medium thin skin. Available late fall into spring.
It has an oval shape with an easy peeling seed. Medium size ranging from 6 to 12 oz.
You know it is ripe when Fruit yields to gentle pressure skin remains green, may darken slightly.

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FUERTE
Excellent fruit quality. Green fruit, medium-thin skin.  Does not produce
near the coast. Fruit size 10-12 oz. Ripens December -May. Frost tolerant to 30*F.  Harvested late fall through spring, the Fuerte is the original high quality California Avocado. It is also known because its pear-shape.
Fruit yields to gentle pressure skin and  remains green when ripe.

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LAMB HASS.
This variety has exceptional flavor and a large robust size.
Known for a pebbly skin with pale
green flesh smooth, creamy, nutty taste. It ranges in size from 11.75 oz to 18.75 oz.
Similar appearance
to a Hass avocado oval shape medium maize seed. You will know it is rape when the fruit yields to gentle pressure skin, may darken slightly.

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GWEN
Gwen is similar in appearance, taste and texture to Hass, but slightly larger.
Known for a plump oval fruit small to medium easy peeling seed and great taste. Medium to large, ranging from 6 to 15 oz. It has a plebby appereance, thick but pliable green skin creamy, gold-green flesh. Fruit yields to gentle pressure green skin turns dull when ripe.

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In the links you will find even more information about them too.

History of avocado

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The most common English name for this fruit is avocado, its scientific name  is Persea Americana. Avocados come from Mexico and central America sometime between 7,000 and 5,000 B.C

The Aztecs first called it aoacatl, which was later translated into ahuacatl, meaning “testicle tree”.

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They grow on a tree and avocado is a fruit  (not a velgetable). It is actually a member of the berry family.