Maybe you’re a guacamole aficionado, or you love putting sliced avocados on sandwiches. Whatever the case is, you love avocados. There’s no reason not to! Not only are they tasty and versatile, but they’re healthy too. You might be aware of some facts about avocados–like they contain healthy fats and plant-based protein. Despite your love of this delicious food and its increasing popularity, there are some interesting facts about it that you might not know. Check out the list below before you eat another one!
You’re Eating Berries
You might already be a berry fan. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries–they’re good by themselves, on desserts, or in a smoothie. But did you know that avocados are in the berry family? Yep, it’s true. That avocado you’re about to eat is a single-seeded berry. It might not taste or look like other berries you’re familiar with, but it contains all the botanical characteristics to be classified as one. It works out because avocados actually taste great added in a smoothie–so throw one in with the rest of your berries!
Wash Them Before You Cut Them
It only makes sense that most people don’t think of washing their avocados. The skin is tough and keeps harmful chemicals out, right? Well, yes, but as soon as you cut an avocado open, your knife can drag pesticides and bacteria into the flesh of the fruit. This means you are at risk of consuming harmful bacteria and getting food poisoning. Play it safe by gently scrubbing the surface of your avocados under lukewarm water before cutting them open. Washing your avocados will keep you safe from consuming chemicals and bacteria.
They’re Full of Potassium
Not only are avocados rich in several types of vitamins, unsaturated fats, and protein, but they’re also a great source of potassium. A single avocado touts 975 milligrams of it. You might be wondering why this is on the list with bananas being the king of potassium and all. Well, that’s the thing–bananas only have 487 milligrams per fruit.
They Make a Great Substitution for Butter
Do you love baking delicious treats but don’t want to endure the adverse health effects of butter? No need to reach for the margarine. Use an avocado instead! The healthy fats and creamy texture make this surprisingly easy. With the right ratios, you’ll be making healthier cookies, muffins, brownies, and banana bread. Avocados really can do anything.Related: 15 Clean Foods You Don’t Need To Buy Organic
Ripen Them Faster with This Trick
If you get avocados frequently, you probably know the frustration of them never getting ripe on time. Some ripen faster, while others seem to take forever. Don’t you wish there was some way to make sure they’re always ripe right when you need them? There’s actually a quite simple way to hack the ripening process. All you have to do is store them with other fruits, like bananas and apples. These fruits contain ethylene gas, which makes avocados ripen faster. Stick your avocados in a bag along with bananas and apples to try it out!Related: 7 Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Potassium
It’s Easy to Tell When Your Avocados are Ripe
Speaking of ripening your avocados, the previous tip isn’t helpful if you’re not sure how to tell they’re ready! Contrary to popular belief, squeezing doesn’t tell you very much. When you’re at the store, simply peel away the small stem. If it comes off easily and you can see green where the stem was, then the avocado is ready to eat. Say goodbye to cutting into an avocado only to find a slimy, brown mess inside.
Avocados Don’t Ripen Until They’re Picked
Just like bananas, avocados grow and mature on trees. Unlike other fruits such as lemons or apples, they don’t have to be picked as strategically–any time after they’re matured is fine. This means growers can leave the fruit on the tree for months at a time. If they’re unpicked for too long, however, they fall to the ground and can ripen there before being sold. Once they are hardened and green, avocados are picked and usually ripen within one or two weeks.Related: 18 Foods You Don’t Need to Refrigerate
You Can Freeze Them
Did you go crazy on your most recent shopping trip and fill your cart with avocados? Worried about them going bad before you can finish them? You don’t have to let them go to waste! You can freeze avocados and keep them fresh if you do it right. All you have to do is cut them lengthwise, remove the seed, scoop out the flesh, sprinkle it lemon juice, and store in a glass container that’s freezer-safe. When you’re ready to eat it, just put it in a bowl of cool water for about 30 minutes to defrost it.Related: Keep Your Avocados Fresh with These Storage/Serving Tips
There Is a Shortage
It might sound like a sick nightmare, but it’s true. As of 2016, there has been a shortage of avocados, leading to heightened prices. This problem has two main causes–Mexican growers striking because of low payment and California’s drought. Thanks to recent rain in California, the shortage has been helped a little, but it hasn’t completely rebounded. Prices are still high and we’re unlikely to see a quick turnaround. Cherish every last bite of your avocado.
Never Eat the Seed
Okay, this might be obvious for some readers, but the internet is full of crazy suggestions and it’s necessary to put the myth to rest. A rumor has been floating around for a few years that you shouldn’t throw away the seed because it’s full of important nutrients. The suggestion was to cut it up and grind it up in a blender. The truth is, there’s no nutritional benefit to this. Don’t put yourself through the torture. Keep throwing your seeds away and enjoying the good part.Related: How To Cut An Avocado Right Every Time
Eating Them May Lower Cholesterol
We just can’t get enough of the health benefits. The Journal of the American Hearst Association studied avocados and found that people who ate them daily had lower levels of bad cholesterol. Now you don’t have to feel bad about the price tag at all. Keep being an avid avocado consumer–it’s good for your health!Related: 20 Foods That Help Lower Cholesterol