It won’t take much convincing to get folks out and buying avocados. The merits of guacamole are not really up for debate: delicious, dippy, and delightful. The “good fat” tag is widely associated with the curious fruit and this quality can be utilized in a myriad of dishes, from salad dressings to pasta sauces to “ice cream.” Avocados are so diverse that they even spotlight in beauty products. One author (i.e. yours truly….) enjoys avos to such an extent that he currently lives on an avocado farm and couldn’t make it through this paragraph without grabbing one for a bit of mid-article snacking. That’s just how it goes when it comes to avocados.
Another thing that happens far too often is that we slice into the fresh fruit, knife the seed out, and toss it. It’s habitual. It feels right. We just want to get down to that delicious flesh, green and cool and creamy, perfect on sandwiches or atop salads or in the deeps of a smoothie. Even so, the seed is actually the most nutrient dense part of an avocado and it’s completely edible. We’ve been flippantly tossing away healthy goodness!
That’s right. Pick up your jaws, buckle in, and let’s take a look at the virtuousness that is an avocado seed and how we might take advantage of it.
What’s In An Avocado Seed?
Avocados are well known health promoters that are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that do wonders for our skin, blood, tissue and organs. But the seed is actually where most of the fruit’s nutritional potential resides. The seed holds 70 percent of the avocado’s antioxidants, including the well-respected polyphenols associated with green tea.
But … that’s not it! Avocado seeds have more soluble fiber than even top tier fiber providers. It has antioxidants that help regulate intestinal function and have even been shown to prevent tumor growth. Additionally, the oil within ups the amount of collagen in our skin, keeping it young and wrinkle-free, as well as shining up the hair so that we remain good-looking, too.
Why would we throw all of that amazingness in the trash?
Planting a Seed in Your Belly
Most of us have, at some point in life, attempted to grow an avocado tree using the seed from our homemade guacamole, but we never thought of how else we might make use of the seed. Upon hearing it’s edible, it’s easy to assume that getting the seed fit for eating might be an ordeal, but dealing with avocado seeds, as an edible, isn’t actually all that complicated.
Simply take the seed from the avocado like normal and then knife it into quarters. This is much easier than it would seem. After that, the bits of seed can be thrown into a food processor, grinder or powerful blender to make powder. (Be sure the machine is up to the task). The resulting powder will be bitter and full of tannins, so it’s best use with other strong flavors, say in a green smoothie or juice, that’ll mask it a bit. About a half a seed is enough for one solid serving, and the other half can be saved for next time.
For a powder with a longer shelf life, the seeds can be dried prior to grinding. This can be done in a dehydrator or by setting the seeds on a sunny windowsill for a few days.
Some Good Recipes for Seed Experimentation
Since avocado seeds are exceptionally bitter, it’s best to pair them with strong flavors that’ll overtake the seed’s tannins. Luckily, One Green Planet has plenty of great recipes to which avocado seeds can blend in seamlessly for an even healthier concoction. Check out these choices: Coconut Chocolate Chip Smoothie, Raw Avocado and Cacao Smoothie Shake, Basic Beginner Green Smoothie, Green Juice Detox or any of these.
Lead image source: samantha celera/Flickr