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The Many Wonders of Hawai‘i’s Avocado

August 12, 2016, 7:31 AM HST
* Updated November 15, 3:13 PM
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Avocado. Darde Gamayo photo.

Avocado. Darde Gamayo photo.

Did you know that there are over 100 different types of avocados grown here in Hawai‘i?

First introduced to the islands in the early 1800s, their arrival here can be traced back to Mexico, Guatemala and the Caribbean.

While avocados were once a food reserved only for the royalty throughout the world, today avocados are readily available at your grocery store or farmers market year-round.

Summer avocados tend to have a thinner skin and are lower in oil content, while winter avocados have thicker skins and are higher oil content.

A rich source of fat, avocados are a great replacement for fats that come from animal sources, such as butter. Ripe avocado can be used as a substitute for butter in baking.

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Next time you make your favorite cupcake, bread or muffin, consider using avocado instead of butter.

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A local favorite is mashed avocado with a little bit of sugar and spread onto crackers or bread to make a sweet avocado treat.

I personally enjoy it best simply cubed and served over Portuguese bean soup.

One unique fact about Hawai‘i-grown avocados is that they have more polyunsaturated fatty acids—aka “good fats”—than imported avocados.

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Recent polls show that Hawai‘i-grown avocados are far better tasting, and have better texture and appearance than imported avocados.

More than just guacamole—try adding some avocado slices to your sandwich or salad. They are a great substitute for condiments—use them instead mayonnaise or salad dressings.

Many beauty treatments contain avocado, as it is said to help nourish and moisturize your skin. It is also a natural sunscreen.

Pureed avocado is said to aid in removing bags under your eyes and also makes a nice facial mask or scrub to help exfoliate your skin.

Hair products use avocado, as it is a great way to rejuvenate a dry scalp and hair as well.

Frustrated because you don’t know how to handle avocado correctly? Here are a few useful tips:

  • To ripen faster place them in a brown paper bag.
  • To speed up the ripening process even more, add a ripe banana or apple to the paper bag.
  • A ripe avocado should indent slightly when squeezed.
  • Squeeze a little bit of lemon or lime juice on the flesh of freshly cut avocado to prevent it from turning brown.
  • Wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and placing it in your refrigerator will keep it fresh for two to three days.

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