Forget keen-wah (yes, that IS how you pronounce quinoa) – it’s oh so 2018. Today’s superfood is the humble avocado – idolised by vegans and Millennials – and responsible for so many injuries that the UK medical profession has coined the term ‘Avocado Hand’.
If you want to benefit from avocado’s superfood qualities while keeping your hand in one piece, take a moment to listen to advice from Jamie Oliver on how to come through unscathed.
So, now we know how to manage the interaction between knife and fruit, while avoiding a visit to our local ER, what to do with this super-fruit – and why?
Let’s put all the nutritional stuff aside just for now and look first at the practical reasons for getting to grips with avocados.
If you’re vegan or a Millennial – or both – you probably need read no further; you’ll already know the avocado from top to bottom. But if, like me, you were ignorant of the raw power of the avocado as a stand-in for… well almost everything, then read on.
It serves as a sweet or savoury dairy alternative, a mayonnaise substitute, a creamy-textured ingredient in almost anything – such as smoothies, puddings, mashed spuds, mousses, pastas, dips of course and… and… and... Even avocado brownies (yes, really!) and other baked delights could be in your future.
And, of course, we should not forget that old favourite, guacamole, not to mention today’s trendy breakfast item, avocado toast, which (sorry Millennials) was actually popularised 60+ years ago in California.
But why is it that the avocado can add all that texture and firmness to this incredible list of dishes? Well, it’s all about fat. Like olives, they are loaded with good old monounsaturated fat which some say (although the jury will always be out on this one) is good for your heart, reduces cholesterol and might even help prevent cancer.
So, finally, let’s get back to the nutrition thing. It really is hard to believe that this simple, slightly gunky fruit is quite so damned good for you! But there it is – amazingly low in carbs and sugar but high in that most elusive of minerals, potassium; a 100-gram portion gives you an unbelievable 14 percent of your daily needs – even more than that old darling, the banana.
And the list goes on: Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV), Folate: 20% of DV, Vitamin C: 17% of DV, Potassium: 14% of DV, Vitamin B5: 14% of DV, Vitamin B6: 13% of DV and Vitamin E: 10% of DV. Added to all that is the fact that your 100 grams of avocado burden you with only 160 calories and a measly two net grams of carbs. So there you go. It’s rich in vitamins and minerals, low-carb and loaded with ‘healthy’ fats.
What’s not to love?
Speaking of which, recent research into the habits of Tinder-using Millennials revealed that food is one of the most commonly mentioned things in a hopeful’s profile; and the most popular food leading to swipe right is… guacamole. It seems that those who mention this beloved smashed avocado dish are almost 150 percent more likely to receive messages from would-be mates than the losers who don’t. It’s worth noting, while we’re here, that keen-wah does not even get you to first base.
So go for it, while minding your fingers. Or, how about seeing if you can get hold of one of those new, pit-less, avocados being grown in Spain. No downside at all… and a great online chat topic to gauge pre-swipe compatibility. They are, after all, the result of unpollinated avocado blossom…