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What is creamy and buttery but good for you too? An avocado! In Spanish, mashed avocados are sometimes called “mantequilla de pobre,” or poor man’s butter. Avocados get their creaminess from healthy fats, which can help reduce cholesterol and decrease risk of heart disease when eaten in moderation.

Avocados can easily substitute for ingredients in recipes with these “bad fats” such as cream cheese, mayonnaise, butter, and sour cream. They add richness to dishes without the regret: avocados are also loaded with potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.

Smashed, sliced, cubed, or halved, they bring vibrant color to the table. Squeeze lemon or lime juice over them to prevent them from turning brown. If they do, it’s no big deal – they are still delicious!

  • The Aztecs believed avocados were aphrodisiacs due to their likeness to a certain male body part.
  • Think avocado toast is a recent trend? Think again. European sailors in the 1700s called avocados “midshipman’s butter” and spread them on their biscuits.
  • You can grow an avocado plant from seed at home! Take the pit out of a ripe, unrefrigerated avocado, and stab it with some toothpicks to hold it partially-submerged in a glass of water. In 4-6 weeks it will grow roots and sprout!
  • If you just can’t wait to eat your unripe avocado, speed up the ripening process by wrapping it in newspapers and putting it in a paper bag in a warm part of the kitchen.
  • There are around 400 varieties of avocados. Hass, named after a postal worker who bought the seeds in the 1920s, are the most popular.
  • Avocados have the most protein of any fruit.
  • In the early 1900s, avocados were called “alligator pears” because of their bumpy dark skin. California avocado growers complained that they were impossible to sell in the U.S. and the fruit was given a friendlier name. The rebranding effort has paid off: the average American now eats about five pounds of avocados a year.

And without further ado here are Oldways’ ideas for 12 Great Ways to use Avocados!

 

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