In the world of produce, avocados are an almost perfect food. They're high in protein and about 20 other important nutrients. They also contain good-for-you monounsaturated fats that can help reduce the amount of cholesterol in the body. Did we mention that avocados are also pretty darned delicious?
If they weren't so obviously green, it would be hard to group them with the likes of broccoli, spinach and other nutritious plant-based foods. Avocados are like the vegan version of butter. In fact, avocados have picked up some interesting nicknames over the years that reflect their status as the butter substitute of the plant world. Avocados have been called butter pears, vegetable butter, and our favorite, "midshipmen's butter" from their use on sailing ships headed back to the old world.
This native of Mexico is a real success story, too. It's now cultivated in South America, North America, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Where a decade ago you may have only seen avocados in the pricy, specialty section of the produce department, they're now as common as Brussels sprouts, and much more popular. As the main ingredient for guacamole, around Super Bowl time they may be the most popular item in the produce department.
Let's take a look at five scrumptious ways to use avocado. A couple of them are old favorites, but one or two are guaranteed to surprise you.