Truth be told – I never knew how wonderful the avocado really is. That is, not until I had an educational afternoon recently when Euro-Atlantic together with Agri-Science Queensland (Department of Employment, Economic Development & Innovation) in partnership with The Avocado Export Company organized a session to introduce this nutritious fruit. The event was held at the Berjaya University College of Hospitality.
The avocado is one of the most nutrient-rich energy-dense fruit available. It is rich in Vitamins C, K and A, riboflavin, niacin and thiamin, among others. It helps lower cholesterol and maintain a healthy weight, is great for your skin and helps protect your liver. You would have seen this fruit in our supermarkets – but did you know that there are 2 types of Australian avocados? There’s the Hass variety, with the signature “pebbly” green skin which turns dark and purplish when ripe. The flesh has a creamy texture and slightly nutty taste. Then there’s the Shepard variety which is “pearish” in shape – the skin is greenish, waxy and peels easily from the soft creamy flesh when it’s ripe.
I learned all these amazing facts, and more, from Jodie Campbell, who has over 20 years experience in research, development, extension and marketing in Australian and International Horticulture. I liked how she explained the various tips in choosing the best avocados, how to detect if they are ripe enough for eating and if not, how you can ripen them at home.
Besides eating the avocado fresh on its own, there are really so many ways to cook them or add them to a variety of recipes. Right from the very start, we were treated to Avocado Guacamole at the foyer – a smooth slightly tangy concoction of creamy avocados with chopped tomatoes, onions, garlic and a dash of lemon juice. Chef Malcolm from the Berjaya University College of Hospitality also demonstrated an easy salad recipe – Avocado Zimbabui.
That afternoon, we had an opportunity to sample some really good salads and pasta featuring this wonderful fruit.
After this experience, I’m now looking at the avocado in a new light. It has so much goodness in it and it’s so versatile – use it on toast for breakfast, in salads, soups and stirfries and it pairs up so well with meat and seafood too. You can also add it to our local noodles, pizzas and burgers and make delicious smoothies, milkshakes and desserts!
My appreciation goes to Scribe Media for giving me this opportunity to learn so much about the amazing avocado!
Check out Nutrition Degree Online for classes that can expose you to other less common, yet healthy and delicious foods like the avocado.