Why eat avocado?

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Avo season is upon us and it’s a great time to get to know this “winter” fruit a little better. According to the home of the South African Avocado Growers Association, www.avocado.co.za, Avos are high in dietary fibre, a source of panthothenic acid, almost completely free of sodium, and are proudly heart smart (they carry the Heart Mark). Research reveals that they can potentially assist in reducing cholesterol levels (they are high in monounsaturated fat, which is associated with lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol levels). And, despite views to the contrary, avos may actually aid in healthy eating as they keep you feeling fuller for longer. There are a number of varieties available, with the season generally running from March to August.

Know your avo:

Fuerte: Pear shaped with a long thinner neck. Smooth skin stays green when ripe, but the flesh bruises easily. Season is mid to late February to early August, but “out of season” fruit is available all year round.

Hass: Round/egg-shaped fruit with a thick, green, pebbly skin that changes to purple/black when ready to eat. Once soft or shriveled, fruit is overripe. In season from late May until October, but “out of season” fruit is available year round.

Pinkerton: This has a definite “neck” compared to other varieties. Has a thick green-coloured skin that stays green when ripe. Thick skinned, so doesn’t dent or damage easily. Short season of two months (June and July).

Edranol: Oval/pear-shaped. Thick green skin with small corky type speckles. Stays green when ripe, but skin can shrivel at the stem if picked too early. Season runs from June to late September. Out of season fruit is available late in the year.

Ryan: Late season egg-shaped fruit. Slightly rough dark green skin that stays green when ripe. Short season of August to October, but late season fruit is generally available.