How many carbs in avocado?

How many carbs in avocado

When my kids were babies I was majorly obsessed with their food (and some things haven’t changed at all).

I spent hours baking, boiling and pureeing every single drop of their baby food so that I knew they were getting what they needed and deserved.

I honestly loved it.

But some days, those days where you need to take a mom time out and hide in the bathroom, those days I needed a break.

When the dinner bell rang on those days, I had one rockstar go-to that I knew would give me a cooking break.

Avocado.

My kids loved them.  They would have easily gobbled up two at every meal if I allowed it.  I didn’t just serve these up when I was tired, but regularly as a means of adding so many good nutrients in their diet.

What’s an avocado?

An avocado is a fruit which is readily available in most commercial grocery stores. Depending on the time of year, they can be a very affordable and nutrient dense food. Avocados come in different shapes including pear-shaped, egg-shaped or spherical.  

They have a rough leathery skin and a smooth green, oily, and edible flesh which has more or less oil content depending on the variety.  They also contain a large pit in the center that you do not eat. One thing to keep in mind with avocados is that the flesh will turn brown on most varieties once cut open (but more on that later.)

Where Did They Come From

The avocado was thought to have originated from South Central Mexico.  Remains of the avocado plant have been found that date back to over 15,000 years ago. Today they are grown in tropical and Mediterranean climates because they do not tolerate freezing temperatures.  They grow on a tree that can reach up to 66 feet tall.

Variety of Avocados

There are many different varieties of avocados which are available depending on the time of year. I will just touch on a few of the common ones you see in the stores. However, all are delicious and worth trying any day, especially Taco Tuesday 🙂

Hass

This is one of the most common avocados you will find and is the leading California grown avocado. Many feel this is the best tasting one, and that’s probably why it’s the most popular.  This avocado has a very creamy flesh and a tough exterior which is usually dark green or brown in color. Because the flesh is so soft and easily mashed this is a popular avocado for making dips.

Choquette

This is a very popular avocado in Florida and they can be very large. Some weigh up to two pounds each. Much of the weight is due to the water inside the avocado and the flesh is very mild tasting. This type of avocado has a much lower oil content. The firm flesh works well when cutting up and adding to dishes where you want it to maintain its shape. These are great for adding to salads because they will hold up.    

Fuerte

This avocado has a smooth green skin and is more elongated than the other varieties. It is also grown in California but more heavily in Mexico and Central America. This variety has a much higher tolerance to grow in colder temperatures and is harvested in late fall and early spring. This avocado has lost popularity and is a bit harder to find these days.  

Reed

The Reed avocado is round and almost resembles a lime. This variety is a summertime fruit and has a green and slightly grainy skin. The best thing about this variety is the flesh does not turn brown after being cut. This variety is also environmentally friendly because it needs less water and produces fruit more densely. Many say it tastes very similar to the popular Hass variety.

Why Should I Eat Them?

Avocados are a nutrient powerhouse, and they contain lots of heart-healthy fats.  

Wait….you thought fat was bad for you?

Well, I am here to let you know your body needs healthy fats to survive. Fats like monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are where it’s at. They are a great source of energy and help your body absorb vitamins and minerals. These fats are needed to build cell membranes and are essential for blood clotting, muscle movement, inflammation, and brain health.   

Avocados contain a healthy dose of monounsaturated fat and a bit less of polyunsaturated fat.  One medium avocado contains 15 grams of monounsaturated fat and 3 grams of polyunsaturated fat. They are also very low in carbohydrates with a medium avocado coming in at only 12 grams. As a bonus, they are naturally sodium, sugar, and cholesterol free. But wait there’s more! A medium avocado contains 9 grams of filling fiber. They also pack so much micronutrient power including magnesium, potassium, folate, vitamin K, B6, E, C and much more. Get this, an avocado contains more potassium than a banana! Eat them with other fruits and vegetables and they will help you absorb more fat-soluble nutrients.

An avocado is a very filling food with the high satiety of both fat and fiber. It is also low carb as mentioned before with only 12 grams of naturally occurring carbohydrates (also known as complex carbohydrates) per medium avocado.

You can join my FREE 7 Day Feel Amazing Naked Challenge to learn more about your balancing your food and mood.

What are naturally occurring or complex carbohydrates you ask?  

Complex carbohydrates are found in whole foods such as peas, beans, whole grains, and vegetables. On the other hand are simple carbohydrates which are found in many processed foods. Both are turned into glucose (sugar) in the body.

The difference is that complex carbohydrates bring with them vitamins, minerals, and fiber.  They are absorbed more slowly into the system and generally do not cause a spike in blood sugar. Many times, simple carbohydrates are considered empty calories because they are just simply processed sugar that brings nothing else to the table. Your body usually processes them quickly and they don’t keep you full for longer.

So, how many carbs in avocado?

It’s true, an avocado is considered a low carb fruit with only 12 grams of complex carbohydrates. As a comparison, a typical medium banana has 27 grams of carbohydrates and a medium apple has 25 grams. Both the banana and the apple are great sources of complex carbohydrates. Due to the avocado’s high fat and fiber, the carbohydrate content is much lower than typical fruit.

Ready to enjoy an Avocado?     

These little green machines are on my weekly shopping list.  When shopping, Hass avocados are most likely what you’ll find. When selecting an avocado, you can purchase them ripe and ready to eat or less ripe and let them get soft at home.  

You will know an avocado is ready to eat when there is a little give when you press on the flesh.  If they give a lot to pressure then they are probably overripe and no longer good to eat. Also look for the color of the skin. A darker skin generally means they are ready to eat. You can store the ones that are not quite ripe on the counter. Those that are ready to eat are best kept in the refrigerator.

Avocado Tips

Here’s a big avocado life hack — When selecting a ripe avocado, take a look at the dried stem. If it comes off easily then it’s probably ready to go. The color under the stem is another way to check. If it is bright green you are good, but if it’s brown then the avocado is probably overripe.  

Stem not coming off? There are a few quick tips to help ripen an avocado. Place them in a paper or plastic bag with an apple or a banana overnight. You’ll be able to wake up and have a nice ripe avocado for breakfast. Don’t have all night? Then you can wrap them in a piece of foil and put them in a baking dish. Then, bake at 200 degrees for about 10 minutes. That should do the trick if you are in a pinch. However, the best way is to be patient and wait for them to ripen on their own.

Another avocado tip is to buy lots of avocados when they are on sale and in season. Get them home and freeze them for later use. You can cut them in half, dice them, or mash them. Just make sure to spritz them with a bit of lemon juice before freezing so they don’t turn brown.  

You also want to make sure that when you freeze the avocados in bags, you get as much of the air out of the bag as possible. When you’re ready to enjoy, just pull out your desired quantity, let them thaw and you are ready to eat! They can also be mashed and frozen in ice cube trays.  Add those frozen nuggets of avocado to your next smoothie for a nutritional boost (I did this often when my babies were little).

How Do I Eat Them?

Because avocados have a large pit in the middle you have to be very careful when preparing them. The best way to cut them is to use a knife and cut them in half lengthwise. Then, twist each half in the opposite direction to break them apart. The pit will stick in one of the halves.  

There are a few ways to remove the pit. You can dig it out with a spoon or hit it with a knife so the knife sticks, then you’ll twist the knife, dislodging the pit. If you want to keep the half intact you can use a large spoon to scoop the flesh out. If you want avocado slices or squares simply use a small knife to make the desired cuts while it’s still in the skin. Then, use a large spoon to scoop out the already cut up flesh.

I make fresh guacamole often (you can find my slimmed down recipe here). Once I discovered this simple little avocado masher, my avocado world changed. It makes mashing avocados (and potatoes too) so much more simple and fast!

Beware of Browning

There is an enzyme in avocados that causes the flesh to oxidize and turn brown when exposed to air. One solution to avoid this is to cut your avocado right before you plan to eat it.  However, I know that is not always possible. You can put plastic wrap on the uneaten part but that does not always do a great job.  

Another option is to put lemon juice on the exposed flesh. When adding avocado to salads, using a lemon based dressing and tossing the salad with the avocado will stop it from turning brown. I have one of these avocado savers and they work great for storing in the refrigerator.  

It has also been found that if you store an avocado in an airtight container with an onion it will not go brown for a few days. If your avocado happens to turn brown have no fear. Even though it is not recommended that you eat the brown part, you can just scrape off the brown layer and enjoy!

Avocado recipe ideas

You can eat this fruit any time of the day. Avocados are perfect for a filling breakfast, in addition to a hearty salad, or even dessert. Check out these recipe ideas and have some fun with avocados!

Breakfast of Champions

Avocado Egg Cups

Blueberry Avocado Smoothie

Spinach Avocado Breakfast Quesadilla

Lunch, Dinner and Beyond

Easy Avocado Egg Salad

Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Avocado Pesto

Quinoa Avocado Spinach Power Salad

Avocado Cilantro Dressing

Crispy Baked Avocado Fries

Sweet Treats

Avocado Coconut Popsicles

Dark Chocolate Avocado Brownies

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Peanut Butter Avocado Cookies

Healthify your next baked good by replacing the butter or oil with mashed avocado. This can work for brownies, cakes, muffins or cookies. Just experiment first before you plan to serve to guests!

Avocado products

Avocado oil is another great avocado product. You can purchase avocado oil at most grocery stores. It is made by pressing the inside flesh of the avocado and extracting the oil. Avocado oil is one of the few edible oils not extracted from a seed. It can be used both for uncooked items like salad dressings and dips, but it’s also great for cooking.

Avocado oil has a high smoke point which means it can get up to 400 degrees before the oil starts to visibly smoke. Once an oil reaches its smoke point it begins to break down, nutrients are lost, and dangerous compounds can be created that are bad for your health.

When purchasing avocado oil it is best to find one that is organic, extra-virgin, unrefined and cold pressed. You want to store it in a cool place and use within 6 months of opening.

Still Want More?

Avocados can also be a great addition to your beauty regimen. The oil is easily absorbed and penetrates the skin nicely. It can also be put in your hair as a great conditioner adding moisture back into your hair follicles. Both your skin and hair will be soft and hydrated after applying avocado. You can directly put avocado flesh or oil on your skin for lasting hydration. I have included a few recipes for you as well.

DIY Whipped Body Butter  

DIY Avocado Soap

Easy DIY Avocado Hair Mask For Dry Hair

DIY Avocado and Honey Mask For Dry Skin

And that my friends, is just a few of the many recipes and ways you can use the avocado. Or just simply add it to any meal or snack. They make a great addition to salads, sandwiches, scrambled eggs…the possibilities are endless.

These green machines are a superfood that can add so much nutrition and diversity to your day!

Do you enjoy eating avocados?

 

Ready to start your journey towards feeling amazing naked? Join my FREE 7 Day Feel Amazing Naked Challenge HERE.

Work Hard Be Kind,

Amanda

 

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.