For delicious food and drinks: the avocado is a real all-rounder
Avocados are enjoying growing popularity, which is not only due to their special taste, but also to their reputation as a healthy super fruit. But what is actually behind it? Do the exotic fruits live up to their promises and are there risks associated with excessive consumption?
A few years ago, many Germans only knew the avocado from vacation. But today it is part of the trendy "superfood" that is available at any time in the supermarket. In Germany, the fruit is mostly used as a dip, for example in the form of guacamole, or as a bread topping. But avocados can do much more: they are suitable for salads and soups, they can be baked in the oven and serve as the basis for tempting desserts and delicious drinks. Thanks to the abundant vitamins and minerals, the "all-rounder" is also very healthy. It owes its nickname “Butterbirne” to its high fat content, which, however, largely consists of healthy, simply saturated fatty acids. However, the fruits should not land on the table too often.
Delicious and healthy
Avocados are often seen as extremely fat calorie bombs, which is why many avoid the delicious fruits.
But the unsaturated fatty acids it contains, which the body cannot manufacture itself, can even help you lose weight.
According to experts, the enzyme lipase plays a role in this, which controls fat burning during digestion and in the adipose tissue.
"In addition there are minerals such as magnesium and potassium, but also iron and vitamins B, E and K as well as provitamin A," said Heidrun Schubert of the Bavarian Consumer Agency in a message from the dpa news agency.
According to scientific research, avocados can help lower cholesterol and are good for blood formation. In addition, thanks to the potassium they contain, they are an important contribution to a healthy heart.
Canadian researchers even tested the use of an avocado fruit lipid - avocatin B - in the treatment of blood cancer a few years ago.
Furthermore, the fruits are said to help build muscle and are therefore very popular with many athletes.
Superfood with poor ecological balance
Avocados used to be exotic to many consumers, but are now available in almost every supermarket.
The fruits mostly come from South America, South Africa, Israel and Spain. The avocado is often a little hard when you buy it, but it ripens quickly at room temperature.
If you want to help, you should store them together with apples, for example. These emit the gas ethylene, which ensures that the avocado ripens faster.
Despite the health benefits, there is also a downside to the avocado boom: the fruits need a lot of water.
"For a kilogram of avocado, about 1000 liters of water are necessary," explained Sabine Hülsmann, nutrition expert at the Bavarian Consumer Center, in a message.
In dry growing regions, this is derived from rivers or pumped up from the groundwater. Organic avocados need the same amount of water, but they are recommended rather than conventional goods.
Environmentalists also criticize that avocados travel long distances before they land in our supermarket.
"If you value sustainability, you should use avocados as a stimulant and not put them on your daily menu," says Sabine Hülsmann.
The Stiftung Warentest also has a good tip on its website: “If you only eat half the fruit, drizzle lemon juice on the second half and do not remove the core. Wrapped in foil and cooled, the cut surface stays green. "
Wash fruit before preparation
Before preparing the fruits, they should always be cleaned with cold or lukewarm water and scrubbed lightly.
Bacteria and pesticides frolic on the chunky skin of the fruit, which can get into the flesh when cut with a knife.
And there is another health risk: Cutting and coring would "injure more and more people," as Vice President of the British Society for Hand Surgery Simon Eccles told The Times.
According to the clinic, such injuries are referred to as the “avocado hand”.
Avocados can be wonderfully combined
There are numerous options for processing the avocado. In the dpa report, ecotrophologist and cookbook author Martina Kittler refers to the mildly aromatic taste of avocado: "It can be wonderfully combined, both hearty and sweet."
The preparation is classic with tomatoes, onions and garlic. But spiciness also harmonizes with the mild fruit: "Chili peppers fit very well," says Kittler.
The cookbook author combines the avocado for a salad with raw pumpkin, apple and coriander and tops the whole thing with mixed seeds, which she previously roasts in honey and chili flakes.
For desserts and drinks
Avocados can also be baked well in the oven. Cookbook author and blogger Ulrike Göbl halves an avocado for the so-called eivocado, takes out some pulp with a spoon and puts an egg in each of the hollows.
The whole thing is then cooked in the oven at medium temperature until the egg has the desired hardness and then seasoned with pepper and salt.
Interesting not only for vegans: avocados can be used as a butter substitute for baking desserts. Göbl also uses the fruit for desserts, for example as the basis for a chocolate mousse.
Although an avocado is mixed with a little unsweetened cocoa powder and maple syrup, the mousse doesn't taste like avocado: "It is overlaid by the taste of the other ingredients, especially the cocoa."
Avocados are also suitable for the preparation of beverages, for example in combination with iced coffee.
“In addition to the building effect of caffeine, you also take a dose of vitamins and healthy fats. You can actually see the coffee as a full meal, and it is ideal for a quick breakfast, ”says Göbl.
To do this, she mixes half a cup of milk and half a crushed avocado on a cup of cold coffee.
Smoothies or milkshakes can also be prepared with the delicious fruits. There are many more great recipe ideas on Internet portals. (ad)