How to buy and ripen them. How to prepare, combine and service them. Important considerations as an item of diet.
“The avocado is Nature’s butter!” I’ve heard this comment from several lovers of this fine food. And many of them use it just as if it were butter, spreading it on cooked potatoes, bread and other foods. Needless to say, cooked foods are less wholesome in the diet than unfired foods. Also, avocado does not combine well with all foods. Digestive problems and poor health result from eating a rich food like avocado in incompatible combinations.
Yes, avocado does have a consistency much like butter and is far more wholesome than butter. But it should be thought of as a food in itself and not as a butter substitute.
Many Hygienists/Life Scientists are confused about how to combine avocado with other foods. Some food combining charts show it as both a fat and a protein while other charts show it as a fruit of a very special character, a fruit in a category by itself. Some Hygienists combine avocados with other fruits. We’ll try to clear up this confusion.
How To Combine Avocados
The avocado is made up of the same basic elements as nuts. Both contain a large amount of fat and protein. Even though both are technically fruits, we treat them differently and separately from other fruits because their dietetic character is determined by their heavy protein/fat content. Therefore, avocados should be treated like nuts in food combinations.
The main difference between avocados and nuts is that avocados are about 75 percent water and nuts contain very little water, only three to five percent. For example, let’s compare the avocado with the pecan. Except for the difference in water content, these foods are almost identical in make-up. There are two other differences that are worth considering, too:
- Avocado is alkaline in metabolic reaction and the pecan acid. As you may know, no more than 10 to 20 percent of your diet should be acid-forming foods such as nuts and seeds. The remaining 80 to 90 percent should be alkaline foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables. The more alkaline and few acid foods in your diet, the better.
- The avocado has a broader range of nutrients than does the pecan. We are very tempted to tell you the number of calories, percentage of fat and carbohydrates, grams of protein, milligrams of Vitamin C, etc. of these two foods. We have these figures at our fingertips in the USDA’s book, Composition of Foods (Handbook No. 8). But Life Scientists eating an abundance of fresh whole fruits, vegetables and nuts don’t need to get bogged down in figures. We get as much as we need of everything we need because we don’t lose nutrients from cooking and otherwise processing our foods.
Despite its broader range of nutrients and its alkaline-forming character in the diet that make it preferable to nuts and seeds, avocado should not necessarily always be eaten in place of pecans and other nuts and seeds. It is good to eat a wide variety of foods over days, weeks and months. This assures a variety of nutrients as well as a more interesting diet.
We should eat nuts with green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumbers and other nonstarchy raw veggies. The same is true for avocados. We should eat them with lettuce, celery and such non-sugar fruits as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc.
How Much And How Often Should You Eat Avocados?
Avocados should not be eaten to excess because we would get too much fat and protein if we ate too many. One-half of one a day or one every two or three days is enough. They should be the only protein/fat food at the meal and the only protein meal of the day. It is not necessary for most people to eat a protein/fat meal every day. The high energy level and leanness that go along with a diet relatively low in fat and protein is desirable. However, we do require a small amount of the essential fatty acids that are abundant in avocados and nuts.
If you have nuts or seeds, three to four ounces is the most that should be eaten in a day. If you choose avocado, one average-size one is a reasonable serving portion. In fat and protein content, one medium avocado is equivalent to about one and a half to two ounces of nuts. Many people feel more satisfied after eating an avocado than such a small amount of nuts or seeds. This is very much in the avocado’s favor because we are better off healthwise with less fat and protein in our diet and more sugar-containing fruits. We should get most of the energy (calories) we need from sugar-containing fruits, not from nuts, seeds or avocados. This is true even if you do heavy labor. Our fuel requirements are best met from carbohydrates, namely sugar-containing fruits.
The Economics Of Avocado Eating
Avocados average about 69 cents each throughout their season, sometimes being a dollar each out of season (winter—December-February) and as little as 49 cents each at the height of the season. They are not the most economical food. Sunflower seeds are a much better buy. But I personally prefer avocados over nuts because taste and ultimate wholesomeness are my primary considerations in buying food.
How To Buy And Ripen Avocados
If you buy avocados on a weekly basis it is best to buy hard green ones. They will become somewhat soft to the touch and dark colored when they’re ripe. There will be no hard spots. They will ripen in about two to four days at room temperature. If too many become ripe at once, you may refrigerate them one to three days without much further ripening or deterioration. However, avocados do deteriorate rapidly once they’ve ripened. For this reason it isn’t wise to buy avocados that have already ripened in the store unless you plan to eat them the day of purchase.
Good avocados have a consistent yellow-green color throughout. If part of the flesh has turned grey, black or brown, cut out those portions. If the taste isn’t great, don’t eat it. In time you will become an expert at picking out good avocados and knowing how to ripen and store them.
Varieties Of Avocados
We have been describing the Hass avocado, which is the most popular type on the market. But there are other varieties, none of which compare well with the Hass in flavor. The Fuerte variety is probably second best to Hass avocados. Bacon avocados are also sometimes available. Bacon and Fuerte avocados have smoother skins than the Hass, much less flavor, usually, and a higher water content and less fat and protein. For instance, Hass has about 75 percent water content and other varieties may have around 83 percent.
How To Prepare And Serve Avocados
The avocado may be prepared and served in many ways. One of the favorite ways is to serve it on the half shell, spooning out the flesh. Just cut the avocado in half lengthwise, cutting around the pit. Then remove the pit with the point of your sharp knife.
Learn more about food
Another method for serving avocado is to quarter it around the pit and then twist off the quarters and remove the pit from the final quarter in the same way it is removed from a half. Next remove the skin from each quarter. The sections may be served on a platter along with other salad vegetables, or they may be cubed into a cut-up salad. Many people make cut-up salads and simply spoon the flesh of the avocado out of half-shells into the salad bowl.
Yet others make guacamole with avocado by mashing it and possibly adding tomatoes. Or they make a dressing by blending it with tomatoes and other veggies. Guacamole and salad dressings made with condiments such as garlic, cayenne, onions, etc. are not wholesome because of the irritating and poisonous nature of these seasonings.
Avocados are becoming a part of the diet of many Americans. This is good, as the avocado is a delicous, creamy-textured fruit that provides wholesome nutrition. If you’re not already an avid avo fan, try out this wonderful food!