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Five Interesting Facts about Avocados

Update Date: Sep 17, 2014 03:24 PM EDT
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Avocados are extremely healthy fruits that can be used in so many different kinds of recipes. They offer a rich, creamy flavor that can be dressed up in a salad or used as an alternative to mayonnaise. For people who are just jumping onto the avocado wagon, here are five interesting facts about this fruit.

1. They are Healthy

Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fats, which are known as the "good" fat. When these fats are consumed in moderation, they can help reduce bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein -LDL- cholesterol), which lowers risk of stroke and heart disease. Avocados are also a good source of protein, dietary fiber and certain vitamins and minerals.

2. Check for Ripeness Near the Stem

Avocados can only be used when they are ripe. If you cut open an avocado before it ripens, the flesh will be hard instead of creamy. To check an avocado for its ripeness, gently push against the area near the stem. If it is firm, the avocado is not ripe yet. An overripe avocado will feel mushy and will be turning brown on the inside.

3. Store Unripe Avocados at Room Temperature

Do not put avocados into the fridge if they are not ripe. Leave the avocados in room temperature so that they can ripen on their own. If you want to speed up the process, you can put an avocado with an apple or banana inside of a brown paper bag and sit it on the counter. For ripen avocados that have been cut open, squeeze a little bit of lime or lemon juice on the flesh and wrap it tightly before putting it in an airtight container. Ripe avocados should be put in the fridge.

4. Hass Avocados are the most Abundant

The Hass avocado, which is the result of mixing the Mexican avocado with the Guatemalan avocado, was patented by Rudolph Hass in 1935. This type of avocado does not ripen when it is growing on the tree. Instead, the avocado will ripen once it is harvested. The Hass avocado makes up 80 percent of all cultivated avocados throughout the world.

5. Avocado has been repeatedly compared to Butter for Years

Due to its creaminess, the avocado has often been compared to butter. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the avocado's nickname was the "butter pear." This nickname has actually survived in certain parts of India.

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