The Avocado – Our Favourite Green Berry
Did you know that the avocado belongs to the berry family? No? Here's some more information on the greenest of berries plus my delicious guacamole recipe...
The avocado is native to the south of Mexico where it was already cultivated by the Aztecs hundreds of years ago. Today, it is native to countries as varied as the US (California, Florida) Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Italy and India.
Avocados are harvested before they are ripe. They ripe while in transit and on store shelves. An avocado is ripe when the skin yields to moderate pressure. The flesh turns brown very quickly after cutting but you can delay this by sprinkling a few drops of lemon juice on it. If your avocados are too hard when you buy them, you can accelerate the ripening process by storing them at room temperature in a paper bag together with an apple.
Avocados have the highest fat content of all known types of fruit or vegetable. Their molecular structure however turns them into a veritable health food. Avocados can lower cholesterol, protect the heart and blood vessels and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
They are also rich in potassium, calcium, iron, unsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, beta-carotene, biotin and vitamin E.
And finally, here is one of my favourite avocado recipes: guacamole. My brother brought this over from Mexico and at this point, I am addicted.
(c) Illustration/Eva Fischer
- 2 soft and ripe avocados
- 120g cherry tomatoes
- 1 chilli pepper or some chilli powder
- olive oil
- ½ lemon
- 2 shallots
- Juice the lemon. Wash and finely dice the cherry tomatoes. Peel and dice the shallots. Wash, de-seed and finely chop the chilli pepper. Halve and de-seed the avocados. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon and put in a small bowl.
- Mash the avocado with a fork and mix with lemon juice and olive oil until you have a creamy paste. Add the tomatoes, onions and chilli (or chilli powder) and season with salt and pepper to taste.