Vegucation: Avocados

holding avocado

Avocados may be one of the current trendiest foods, but there’s a good reason for its popularity. Read on to find out why.

About Avocados

Many people consider avocados a vegetable, but they are actually a fruit.  Avocados are low in sugar and are the fruit with the highest amount of protein with 4 grams per avocado. Their ripening process is also unique. Usually we want produce that is not picked before maturity, but avocados only ripen once picked.

Why are they beneficial?avocado sliced

Avocados are often called a superfood because they have so many benefits. They are most known for being a source of “good” fat. This fat is beneficial for the heart because of its omega-3 fatty acids. Avocados are also known for their beauty benefits because of its vitamin C and E levels. These vitamins promote healthy skin and hair. Avocados also have plenty of fiber which helps keep you full longer, making them the perfect addition to any meal. They are 73% water, so they are great at keeping your body hydrated too!

When are they in season?

Avocados are native to Mexico and Central America where the weather is hot and dry, which means it is difficult to find local avocados in Tennessee. When you do find them, it will be during the peak of summer and the season will most likely be very short.

avocado in bowlHow long will they keep?

An unripe avocado will take a few days to ripen if left out on the counter. Put in a paper bag to speed up the ripening process or refrigerate to slow it down. Once ripe, avocados only last a day or two. Use the whole avocado at one time for best results. You’ll know your avocado is ripe when it feels heavy and it gives a little when you press on the skin lightly. You can also peel the stem off and if the color underneath is light green, it’s ripe!

How can I use avocados?

Besides your traditional guacamole recipe, there are endless ways to use avocados. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:

  • Eat them for breakfast. I love southwestern toast with whole grain bread, a fried egg, mashed avocado, and salsa or hot sauce on top. Or bake the egg inside the avocado where the pit used to be.
  • Add them to smoothies. The texture makes it creamier and the flavor goes great with your favorite green smoothie recipe.
  • Add them to your dessert. Avocados and chocolate don’t sound like the go together, but trust me they do. I like this healthy chocolate pudding recipe. It’s quick and simple and made with real ingredients.

You can add avocado to anything you want. That’s the beauty of it. And it’s versatility is probably what makes the avocado so popular.


Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods.

Meet the Author


Rachel Howard

Rachel is studying to become a registered dietician at UTC. She believes eating real food is the key to a healthy lifestyle, and loves to teach others about nutrition. Rachel enjoys planning healthy and tasty meals and experimenting in the kitchen with new recipes. She likes the challenge of trying to make classic family recipes healthier or learning new cooking techniques.