By Liliana Usvat
Here is another tree that we can plant and care for it.
The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Mexico and Central America,classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit, botanically a large berry that contains a single seed.
The oldest evidence of avocado use was found in a cave located in Coxcatlán, Puebla, Mexico, that dates to around 10,000 BC. The avocado tree also has a long history of cultivation in Central and South America; a water jar shaped like an avocado, dating to AD 900, was discovered in the pre-Incan city of Chan Chan.
The earliest known written account of the avocado in Europe is that of Martín Fernández de Enciso (c.1470–c.1528) in 1518 or 1519 in his book, Suma De Geographia Que Trata De Todas Las Partidas Y Provincias Del Mundo.
The first written record in English of the use of the word ‘avocado’ was by Hans Sloane in a 1696 index of Jamaican plants.
The plant was introduced to Indonesia in 1750, Brazil in 1809, the Levant in 1908, and South Africa and Australia in the late 19th century.
Harvest and Post harvest
Commercial orchards produce an average of seven tonnes per hectare each year, with some orchards achieving 20 tonnes per hectare.Biennial bearing can be a problem, with heavy crops in one year being followed by poor yields the next. The avocado tree does not tolerate freezing temperatures, and can be grown only in subtropical or tropical climates.
There are several cold-hardy varieties planted in the region of Gainesville, Florida, which survive temperatures as low as −6.5 °C (20 °F) with only minor leaf damage.
The fruit of horticultural cultivars has a markedly higher fat content than most other fruit, mostly monounsaturated fat, and as such serves as an important staple in the diet of various groups where access to other fatty foods (high-fat meats and fish, dairy products, etc.) is limited.
The avocado is very popular in vegetarian cuisine, as substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content.
It is used as the base for the Mexican dip known as guacamole, as well as a spread on corn tortillas or toast, served with spices.
In the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam, and southern India (especially the coastal Kerala and Karnataka region), avocados are frequently used for milkshakes and occasionally added to ice cream and other desserts.
In Brazil, Vietnam, the Philippinesand Indonesia, a dessert drink is made with sugar, milk or water, and pureed avocado. Chocolate syrup is sometimes added.
In Morocco, there is a similar chilled avocado and milk drink, that is sweetened with confectioner’s sugar and hinted with orange flower water.
In Ethiopia, avocados are made into juice by mixing them with sugar and milk or water, usually served with Vimto and a slice of lemon. It is also very common to serve layered multiple fruit juices in a glass (locally called Spris) made of avocados, mangoes, bananas, guavas and papayas. Avocados are also used to make salads.
In Australia and New Zealand, it is commonly served in sandwiches, sushi, on toast, or with chicken. In Ghana, it is often eaten alone in sliced bread as a sandwich. In Sri Lanka, well ripened flesh, thoroughly mashed with sugar and milk, or treacle (a syrup made from the nectar of a particular palm flower) was once a popular dessert. In Haiti it is often consumed with cassava or regular bread for breakfast.
In Mexico and Central America, avocados are served mixed with white rice, in soups, salads, or on the side of chicken and meat.
In Peru, they are consumed with tequeños as mayonnaise, served as a side dish with parrillas, used in salads and sandwiches, or as a whole dish when filled with tuna, shrimp, or chicken.
In Chile, it is used as a puree with chicken, hamburgers, and hot dogs; and in slices for celery or lettuce salads. The Chilean version of Caesar salad contains large slices of mature avocado.
In Kenya and Nigeria, the avocado is often eaten as a fruit, and is eaten alone, or mixed with other fruits in a fruit salad, or as part of a vegetable salad. In Iran, it is used as a rejuvenating facial cream.
Avocado slices are frequently added to hamburgers, tortas, hot dogs, and carne asada. Avocado can be combined with eggs (in scrambled eggs, tortillas or omelettes), and is a key ingredient in California rolls and other makizushi (“maki”, or rolled sushi).
In southern Africa, Avocado Ritz is a common dish.
In the United Kingdom, the avocado became widely available in the 1960s when it was introduced by Sainsbury’s under the name ‘avocado pear’.
- The ability of avocado to help prevent the occurrence of cancers in the mouth, skin, and prostate gland has been studied in a preliminary way by health researchers, mostly through the use of lab studies on cancer cells or lab studies involving animals and their consumption of avocado extracts.
- One of the most fascinating areas of avocado research—and one that may turn out to be the most unique for health support—involves carbohydrates and blood sugar regulation. Avocado is relatively low-carb food, with about 19% of its calories coming from carbs. It’s also a low-sugar food, containing less than 2 grams of total sugar per cup, and falls very low on the glycemic index.
- Avocado’s support for heart and blood vessels. From a research standpoint, however, many metabolic aspects of heart health – including levels of inflammatory risk factors, levels of oxidative risk factors, and blood fat levels (including level of total cholesterol) – are improved by avocado. In addition, we know that heart health is improved by intake of oleic acid (the primary fatty acid in avocado) and by intake of omega-3 fatty acids (provided by avocado in the form of alpha-linolenic acid and in the amount of 160 milligrams per cup). Since elevated levels of homocysteine form a key risk factor for heart disease, and since B vitamins are very important for healthy regulation of homocysteine levels, avocado’s significant amounts of vitamin B-6 and folic acid provide another channel of heart support.
- The ability of avocado to help prevent unwanted inflammation is absolutely unquestionable in the world of health research. The term “anti-inflammatory” is a term that truly applies to this delicious food.
- Arthritis—including both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis—are health problems that have received special research attention with respect to dietary intake of avocado.
- Avocado consumers were also determined to be lower in weight and lower in body mass index than non-consumers.
Receipt – Avocado and Tomato Appetizer
- 6 anchovy fillets, or 1/3 cup (75 mL) chopped pitted olives
- 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped Spanish onion or sweet onion
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) minced fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) drained capers
- 2 avocados
- In small bowl, cover anchovies with cold water and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry; finely chop and place in bowl. Add tomatoes, onion, parsley, lemon juice, oil and capers.Peel, pit and cut avocados into chunks; arrange on serving plates. Mound tomato mixture over avocados.
- 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) diced tomatoes
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced red onions
- 2 tsp (10 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp (10 mL) lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 tsp (5 mL) minced fresh jalapeño peppers or pickled jalapeño peppers, (optional)
In bowl, mix together avocado, tomato, onion, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and jalapeño pepper (if using).
Avocado Green Salad
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) extra-virgin olive_oil
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) lime juice
- Pinch each salt, pepper and granulated_sugar
- 2 cups (500 mL) torn romaine_lettuce
- 1/3 cup (75 mL) thinly sliced red onion
Half avocado, peeled and sliced
Preparation: In salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper and sugar. Add lettuce, onion and avocado. Toss to coat.
- The Good Fats: Benefits of Eating Avocado (weightloss.answers.com)
- Ingredient Spotlight: Avocado (williams-sonoma.com)
- Avocado Recipes (mademan.com)
- 5 Ways to Use Heart Healthy Avocados In Your Diet (weightloss.answers.com)
- Avocado or Alligator Pear (blackstew23.wordpress.com)
- Tex-mex Chopped Salad Recipe (kraftrecipes.com)
- Fiesta Chopped Salad Recipe (kraftrecipes.com)
- 5 Easy Thanksgiving Brunch Recipes (mademan.com)
- Amazing Avocados (wholefoodsmarket.com)
- Avocados (morningmistnutra.wordpress.com)