Everyone loves to receive a gift, an offering, I am no exception, and if it comes in the guise of food even better. My bounty this week was huge bag of Avocados, scrumped ! no picked by a local for me.
The perfect avocado season, but like when all fruits and vegetables are at their prime, glut always springs to mind, so I set myself up on a challenge...gosh my New Year is full of these..and decided to investigate the not so humble, but luxuriously rich Avocado.
- An average avocado tree produces about1200 avocados annually.
- The avocado is a climatericfruit (the bananais another), which means that it matures on the tree but ripens offthe tree Once picked, avocados ripen in a few days at room temperature (faster if stored with other fruits such as apples orbananas).
- A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palmof the hand and squeezed. The flesh is prone to turning brown quickly after exposure to air. Toprevent this, lemon juice canbe added to avocados after they are peeled and if you keep the stone from the avocado with the pulp in a dish this help too.
Thought this was a funny anecdote; oh how much more we know about food now !!
In the UK, the avocado became widely available in the 1960s when itwas introduced by M & S under the name ‘avocado pear’. However, manycustomers tried to use it as a dessert ingredient like other pears(e.g. with custard), and complained to the store that it wasinedible. As a result, Marks and Spencer dropped the word ‘pear’ and labelled it simply ‘avocado’.
The healthy part :
Avocados are high in valuable fats and appear to have a beneficialeffect on blood serum levels. For a typical avocado:
- About 75% of an avocado’s calories come from fat, most of which is good fat, which can significantly lower cholesterol monounsaturated fat.
- Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas.
- They are rich in vitamins B, E & K.
So forget the calories…these little babies are good for you.
The yummy part
Obviously there many dishes we all know using avocados, Guacamole, Avocado and prawns, salsas to name a few but I have come across an unusual Avocado and Lime soup, hopefully you may enjoy .
Avocado Lime Soup
- 1 Cup Onion, finely chopped
- 2 sticks Cup Celery, finely chopped
- 1 Leek (white only), finely chopped
- 1 clove of Garlic, finely chopped
- 25g Unsalted butter
- ¼ Cup Flour
- 2 Pints Chicken stock
- 3 – 4 ripe Avocados, pureed
- Juice of 1 lime.
- Handful of fresh coriander , chopped
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper – to taste
- Creme fraiche or sour cream – as needed for garnish
- Roasted pimiento or red pepper, julienned – as needed for garnish
Sauté the onion, celery, leek and garlic in butter untiltranslucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour; cook over low heat,stirring constantly 3 or 4 minutes. Whisk in the stock; simmer untilvegetables are very soft, about 20 minutes. Stir in the avocado;simmer for 10 minutes. Finally, stir in the lime juice, coriander,salt and pepper.
To serve chilled or hot, garnish 1-1/2 cup soup with a dollop ofcrème fraiche / or natural yog and a few strips of pimiento.and some nachos or baked tortillas or perhaps add chopped toms and red onions..
The fun part
You can also quite easily grow your own avocado tree, a great fun thing for kids to do, you can find instructions for this on my sitemini chefs.
The ME part
So as I’ve ventured on my new healthy eating plan,thanks to www.familyinspain.com I’ll enjoy the goodness of these lush fruit, what with these and my other new detox recipes, my body will believe its a temple, next thing you’ll know is that I’ve started chanting 😉