Avocado, one of the most healthy and delicious foods
by Iulia Levada
This big exotic fruit, green and nourishing called avocado is a perfect food. With a deep green color, possessing a delicate aroma and smooth taste, the avocado grows in tropical climates. The flesh of the fruit is yellow-green, creamy and similar in taste with peanuts. The fruit contains on average 340 calories, and has a high nutritional density. Being a complete food, it can successfully replace a meal. Also avocado is a renowned aphrodisiac for both sexes and a great natural remedy used in the cosmetics industry.
The avocado tree called in Latin Persea americana is native from Mexico belonging to the flowering plants family Lauraceae like cinnamon, camphor and bay tree. Most avocado fruits are the size of a large potato and depending on the variety (there are over 400 varieties) they can be spherical, pear shape like or as an egg shell and they may have a smooth or rough peel.
Avocado is a climate influenced fruit like banana, meaning that it matures on the tree but ripens only after it is harvested or after it falls. Once they are picked, avocados ripen in a few days at room temperature, eventually wrapped in newspapers. The ripening process can be speeded up if the avocado is stored along with other fruits like bananas or apples, which emit ethylene, a gaseous organic substance that will accelerate the ripening process. Supermarkets are putting on sale unripe avocados treated with synthetic ethylene to speed up their ripening.
Archaeological evidence discovered on the Mexican territory mentions the use of avocados since 10,000 BC. The plant was introduced to Europe in the fifteenth century and in Brazil, Australia and South Africa in the nineteenth century.
A veritable panacea
The word avocado comes from the Aztec word ahuacatl meaning testicle. The ancestors of today’s Mexicans were eating avocados to be full of virility. Research shows that avocados protects against cancer, heart disease, arthritis and cataracts. Low in cholesterol and sodium, the avocado is useful in weight control, representing an important source of antioxidants, protein and fiber. Avocado contains all the 9 essential amino acids for the human body, nourishes, heals and remodels the connective tissue.
Olive oil producer Olivado, from New Zealand, introduced in 1999 to the consumer market the cold pressed avocado oil that can be used for cooking. According to research ran by Olivado, the avocado oil resembles to the olive oil. It has a high content of monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, enhancing food flavors instead of dominating them, as happens with other oils. Avocado oil is used in cosmetics because of its moisturizing, anti-wrinkle, healing, and antibacterial properties. It has emollient effects on inelastic and hardened tissues of the skin, being considered the perfect remedy for corns. Avocado oil penetrates the skin better than any other plant oil. It is also a great base for treating acne, dermatitis, and accelerating the healing process of the skin. It is suitable for all skin types, especially for the dry one.
Natural cosmetic remedies based on avocado
A very simple homemade mask is made of two tablespoons of ripe avocado paste plus two teaspoons of honey and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Apply on face and neck and wash it away with lukewarm water after 20 minutes. This mask nourishes dry skin in its depth.
Mask for mature skin
Mix one teaspoon avocado oil, three tablespoons of clay, one drop of geranium essential oil and one drop of palmarosa essential oil. Spread the mask on face and neck, leaving 15 minutes to work, and then remove it with warm water.
Soothing bath for dry skin or skin with eczema
Avocado is an ideal remedy for those who like to taste the delights of a relaxing bath in the tub. Mix 50 ml of avocado oil, 20 ml of Calendula oil (available at local herbal shops), 1 ml of Rosewood essential oil and 1 ml of Geranium essential oil; pour the mixture in the already prepared water for the bath. It is recommended that the water temperature to range from 34 to 36 °C.
Avocado hair mask
Crush a ripe avocado and then mix it with a tablespoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of sea salt and a tablespoon of aloe vera juice (you can put aloe vera gel or if you have an aloe vera plant you can tear a leaf and add the natural gel to the hair mask mixture). The composition is then rubbed on hair, which is then cover with a plastic foil and then a towel to keep on the heat that helps the mask penetrate the hair and scalp. Leave on for 20-30 minutes then rinse your hair abundantly with water, spread on the hair some shampoo as you usually do and then rinse again. The result is a bright and well hydrated hair.
Hair mask with avocado oil
Spread avocado oil throughout hair length insisting on the ends. The hair is then wrapped in a hot towel and leaved on for about 30 minutes. Preferably, it is better if it can be left over night. Then wash your hair as usual, insisting applying your shampoo twice if needed. Avocado oil can be purchased from your local stores.
Aphrodisiac recipes with avocado
In some parts of the world, avocado is eaten, especially as a dessert as it happens for example in Brazil, where it is mixed with lime (a type of scented lemon) and brown sugar. Mexicans on the other hand are using the fruit in many sauces and dishes, for them being unusual to consume it with honey or sugar.
Avocado can be prepared in many ways after your personal taste. Some preferred avocado chopped in pieces in conventional salad of vegetables or fruits, for others avocado paste is their choice. The easiest way to make this paste is by mixing one ripe and crushed avocado with olive oil, salt, lemon juice, onion or garlic and spices. Also, it can be added as desired yogurt, cream or cheese.
Guacamole (Mexican traditional food)
Mix in the blender (or with the fork) the pulp from an avocado, along with a peeled tomato, a chopped onion, two crushed garlic cloves, two tablespoons of lemon juice, a tablespoon of olive oil, Tabasco sauce (a sauce made of spicy red peppers and white vinegar), salt, pepper and finely ground spices: paprika, oregano, cumin, cloves. Keep it in the freezer for about an hour then serve with pita bread or toast.
Yin Yang Salad with mango and avocado
Cut the avocado into thin strips and the mango into cubes. Place on a platter, seasoning with a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of lemon juice, two tablespoons of olive oil, some seeds of black flax and a sprig of parsley. This is a fine salad, exotic and sensual very suitable for a culinary love declaration.
Cherry tomatoes stuffed with avocado paste
This recipe is for 30 cherry tomatoes (with the size of a cherry). Cut a thin slice from the top of each tomato and with a teaspoon empty its core. In a bowl, prepare a paste of avocado mixed with cream cheese (the type you have), pesto sauce, lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Use this composition to fill the cherry tomatoes and then serve them. This delicious recipe can be as well prepared with tomatoes in a classic size.
Buckwheat salad with avocado and seaweed
Boil 1 ½ cup of buckwheat, drain the water and mix with a ripe and sliced avocado, two shredded sheets of seaweed, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and spices to taste. This recipe is very tasty and nutritious.
Zucchini cream soup with avocado
Cook over low heat two green onions in two tablespoons of olive oil for three minutes. Add ginger and crushed garlic and stir for a minute. Add a cup of water, two finely chopped zucchinis, salt and pepper. Cover the pot, leaving it ten minutes to boil until the zucchinis are very soft; let it cool down and then add a crushed avocado. Place the mixture in the blender and then heat it gently again. Add lemon juice to taste, a tablespoon of diced red peppers and two green onions finely chopped.
Cold avocado soup
Mix thoroughly in a blender 2 ripe avocados, 2 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from one lime or lemon juice, a crushed clove of garlic, parsley, four leaves of spinach, lettuce and beet, if you have, spices to taste, and a pinch of salt. Pour the soup into the bowl, decorating with sliced tomatoes and parsley.
Chocolate mousse with avocado
Mix in a blender two ripe avocados with three four tablespoons of cocoa, three teaspoons of honey, a pinch of salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Pour the composition into cups and put in the refrigerator.
Mix avocado with brown sugar, sweet cream or whipped cream and lime juice. Allow to cool for an hour and serve with rose or mint syrup, or any other kind you have at hand. This recipe can be prepared in the form of a milkshake adding vanilla ice cream and milk.
March 24, 2014