Ode to the Alligator Pear

Did you know that the Alligator Pear (oh, alright, the Avocado) is a FRUIT? Boy am I dumb. I always thought of it as, oh wait, I never really thought about it!  Avocados have always been one of those greeeen foods that was never seen at the table when I was a child. In fact I had never even heard about it until I moved to New York in my early 20′s and, it was not love at first sight. I remember being “introduced” at a lunch one day as I was preparing to discuss my next promotion with my boss; that greenish thing was displayed on my salad…all bold and greeen, sitting proudly on top. What the heck? I remember not knowing what it was and really not wanting to find out either. And my first taste didn’t sell me on it. I ate it quickly then shoveled in bits of the more familiar iceberg lettuce to try to forget I had eaten a foreign, mushy food.

It was years before I revisited that fruit (whodathunk?) and honestly it was even a long time before I realized what I had eaten that day in the restaurant with my boss was an alligator pear (it sounds so much more exotic than avocado don’t you think?). And before I forget, it is also called a Butter Fruit, but I prefer Alligator Pear!

I had no idea it was so darn good for you either. Did you know that it aids digestion and is very good for your skin care, heals psoriasis, atherosclerosis, and reduces bad breath? It’s a great baby food too.

The Avocado has a high fat content (about 23%) as well as a high calorie  count (approx. 220), which is why many diets don’t sport them in their lists of ingredients to buy. But that is a mistake because this fruit is extremely low in cholesterol, especially when compared to say, butter (!) and soooo much better for you. Avocado contains dietary fibers and is rich in minerals such as copper, magnesium, manganese,  and also contains iron, calcium, iodine, selenium, zinc and phosphorus.
The Alligator Pear is also well known for its high content of both vitamin K and A as well as Vitamin B, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Biotin, and Folate.

Avocado is most beneficial when eaten raw. The health benefits of avocado include:

  • Digestion: Avocado is soothing for the intestine and aids in digestion.
  • Dental Care: Since avocado cleans the intestine, bad breath, which is primarily caused due to indigestion, is removed.
  • Atherosclerosis: Since avocado helps in reducing cholesterol levels, it is useful in treating atherosclerosis. It also helps in preventing strokes.
  • Skin Care: Avocado oil is added in a variety of cosmetics due to its ability to nourish the skin with essential vitamins and make it glow. It also helps in treating psoriasis.
  • Weight: Avocado is one of the few fruits that have more than 200 calories per 100g. Normally fruits have about 60-80 calories per 100g. Avocado, due to its high calorie content, is good for those who want to increase their weight but don’t shy away from it if you are trying to lose weight, just don’t eat more than one a day. These babies will help curb your appetite too; other (less nutritional) fatty foods such as chips, heavy gravies, and high fat and calorie salad dressings won’t have the same pull.

Now when I go to a restaurant and there isn’t any green Alligator Pear  proudly perched on the top of my salad I am disappointed. If you haven’t been introduced or reintroduced to it since your teens, give them another try. Spread some on your bread instead of mayo or include them in your salad or make a cool sauce for your pasta (I’ve included a recipe below).

Have fun with them, get creative in how you sneak them into your diet. And please don’t be afraid of the calories. It’s a fact that we shy away from healthy foods because they contain too many calories or fat or both…but then we gorge on chips, candy, chocolate, and ice cream …yeah, me too. So eat your Alligator Pear will ya?! Start HERE:

Simple Avocado Pasta Sauce

Ingredients (Makes about one cup and goes along way! )

  • 1 ripe medium-sized avocado
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1, 2 or 3 garlic cloves (your taste)
  • 1 tsp lemon )or juice 1/2 lemon squeezed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil – or to taste
  • cracked black pepper to taste
  • fresh parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. In a food proccessor, blend all ingredients except for black pepper until mixture is smooth.
  2. Spoon over pasta- a little goes a long way. I usually put about 2 tbsp over 1 lb of tortellini. Add it to the pasta while pasta is hot and over low heat so dish will be served hot but the sauce will not be burned.
  3. Top with plenty of fresh cracked black pepper and grated parmesan cheese.

After you’ve tried an avocado plain (or in this recipe) drop me a comment to let me know if you liked it or not. And if you changed the recipe for the better, send that to me too. Happy eating this new fruit!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Arline
    Mar 05, 2012 @ 19:11:30

    I love “Alligator Pear” sprinkled with a little sea salt. Soooo good!!!

    Reply

    • shakeupyourlife
      Mar 05, 2012 @ 20:29:09

      I know, right?! I don’t even need the salt! How are you doing? I start Fit Management 101 on March 21! I wish you were closer! I was thinking of turning it into a webinar so maybe you can catch the talking part at least. I’ll keep you posted.

      Reply

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