Cortney Huneycutt: The Extension Corner — Avocado be kidding me
Summer is rapidly coming to an end, however, one special fruit is still in season and can still be enjoyed: the avocado.
Avocado is a pear-shaped fruit that is green on the inside. Avocados’ peak season usually lasts from February to September, however, most grocery stores get avocados from Mexico, where they grow all year.
The benefits from adding avocados to your daily menu are undeniable. One major benefit from this fruit is how heart healthy it is. This is important considering Stanly County rates above the national ranking for heart disease.
Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat which can help lower the chances of cardiovascular disease and the risk of a stroke.
According to a study completed by the National Center for Health Statistics, avocados not only helped lower body weight and waist circumference, but they also helped consumers increase their vegetable intake.
Avocados contain fats which help with nutrient intake absorption as well. This pear-shaped fruit is packed with many beneficial nutrients and are easy to add into your diet.
Avocados are high in calories and in fat, but remember all fats are not bad fats. Most grocery stores even have a helpful information sheet near the avocados to help you determine how ripe the avocados are.
One way to make an avocado ripen quickly is to place the avocado in a brown bag for a couple of days at room temperature. After you cut an avocado if you only want to use a portion of it at the time, you can store the left over in an air tight container and sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice.
Don’t be afraid of this nutrient dense fruit.
Below is a healthy and easy avocado recipe from USDA.gov.
Avocado, Rice and Beans Bowl
1 can low-sodium black beans
½ cup brown rice
1) Bring 1 cup of water to a boil with ½ tsp. salt (optional). Stir in rice. Cover and cook on low heat until water is absorbed about 45 minutes or cook rice in a rice cooker. You can also use a quick cook brown rice.
2) Meanwhile, rinse and drain beans.
3) Cook and heat beans over low heat in a small saucepan, or in the microwave. Add black pepper, ground cumin or other spices if desired.
4) Cut avocado into slices or dice into small pieces. Serve rice with beans on top, and garnish with avocado pieces.
Nutrition Info and more:
Serving size: 2 cups
Total calories: 550
Total fat: 16.6 g
Saturated fat: 2.6 g
Fiber: 24.9 g
Sodium: 930 mg
You can find this recipe and many others at USDA.gov.
Cortney Huneycutt is an extension agent with the Stanly County office of North Carolina Cooperative Extension. Call 704-983-3987