I’ve often been asked what kind of snack I recommend to a) obtain a sufficiently large boost of energy and b) not to compromise any weight loss efforts.
Sometimes the solution is a lot simpler than we think!
As an example, I drive a 15-year old Chevy Tahoe truck. I find there is hardly a more reliable car. However, the sun bleached plastic- and metal parts have been bothering me for quite some time.
My neighbor had the best insider’s tip for a new shine. And the best part? 100% natural, everyone knows the product, and yet hardly anyone uses it for refreshing plastic parts: ordinary olive oil!
Much like my neighbor could help me, I have a smart and simple snack solution for you:
It’s a safe bet to assume that regular fitness magazine readers will now say “Stop! Don’t avocados contain more fat like no other plant product!?”
Correct, and that’s exactly why it IS the perfect snack. What has not yet reached many of these mass media publications, is what modern research studies have been telling us for quite a while now. Fat does not make you fat, but carbohydrates do.
The avocado is a sure contender for the podium of the 3 best snacks: the healthy fats give you a stable boost over hours and because little carbohydrate are at play, it also eliminates the common fatigue some time after eating.
So if you replace the classic sandwich or energy bar with an avocado, you will spare your body a fattening blood sugar attack and receive clean energy with no hidden side effects.
In addition to being a great source of energy and having a slimming effect, an avocado also offers an impressive range of nutrients:
- Fiber (supports a good digestion)
- Potassium (important for fluid balance and nerve function)
- Vitamin E (protects cells from harmful substances)
- B vitamins (optimize the function of nerves, skin, hair and blood)
- Folic acid (helps cell regeneration)
- as well as magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, vitamin A and vitamin C
Does it have to be organic?
The rough, alligator-like skin (hence the nickname “alligator pear”) protects the fruit perfectly from chemicals used. Thus, it is not absolutely necessary to buy organic quality. On the other hand, organic is definitely more environmentally friendly.
How can you tell if an avocado is ripe?
There are basically two ways to test the ripeness when shopping: the professional hand grip test for chefs and the ‘undercover method’ for the rebels among us.
1. Hand grip test
Place the avocado in the palm of your hand. Now gently squeeze (without using your fingertips). It is ripe if it yields to gentle pressure. If the avocado does not yield it is considered not quite ready. If you see dents, then it is overripe and no longer belongs in your shopping cart
2. Undercover quick test
Make sure that you are unobserved. If the coast is clear, remove the small stem or cap at the top of the avocado. It is ready-to-eat if the color underneath the stem appears to be bright yellow and the surrounding skin is slightly shriveled. If you see a dark color, then steer clear, it will be overripe. If the stem doesn’t come off, the fruit is not yet ripe enough.Image: www.foodcurious.com
By the way, it takes about four to five days until an unripe avocado has developed its ideal eating ripeness.
How to store avocados
You can store ripe avocados at room temperature if you eat them within a day or two. To add a few more days just store them in the fridge.
Speed up ripening
My tip for speeding up the ripening process: wrap unripe avocados with an apple or a banana in newspaper (or simply use a paper bag). At room temperature, this will cut down the ripening to 1-3 days.
If you really need immediate results:
How to ripen an avocado in minutes
Use this ‘biohack’ whenever you want fresh guacamole but all you have are unripe avocados: preheat oven to 240°F (120°C). Wrap avocados in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. ‘Quick-ripe’ in oven between 10 and 20 minutes. Do a first hand grip test after 10 minutes (caution hot!) to check if they are soft enough. That’s it.
Hot to cut and slice an avocado the right way
Cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed. Use both hands to twist and rotate the two halves apart.
To remove the pit, gently tap it with a knife using enough force so that the blade wedges into the pit. Using the knife you can now twist the pit out of the avocado. Or simply cut the piece with the pit in half once again and repeat the twist and rotate with your hands.
Scoop out the flesh with a spoon. If you slice the avocado in a cross-hatch pattern before scooping out, you’ll get small avocado cubes very easily.
How to keep fresh avocados from turning brown after cutting
The general rule is to always store the half with the intact pit.
Squirt the avocado with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and tightly cover it with clear plastic wrap. Or use an air-tight container. The fruit then has to be stored in the refrigerator. A downside of this method is that over time this can make for a slimy avocado. Here’s another method for those who do not like that.
Place the avocado with a piece of cut up onion in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator. In my experience, the taste of the onion does not carry over to the avocado, but I’m not overly sensitive to onions so you better give it a try for yourself.
Research confirms a slimmer waistline
The avocado as hunger killer. In a study published by the “Nutrition Journal”, the participants reported a 40 percent reduction of hunger even hours after eating half an avocado.
A second study published in the journal “Diabetes Care” concludes: Consuming monounsaturated fat (the main fat of an avocado) can prevent accumulation of fat in the abdominal region by suppressing particular fat genes.
Probably the best-known avocado dish is the “guacamole” from the Mexican cuisine. Guacamole is the perfect side dish for any meat or makes a delicious dip for raw vegetable sticks. I personally eat guacamole often by itself. As a creamy-tuned up snack so to speak.
Here’s what I want you to do next:
- On your next grocery shopping trip, hunt one ripe and one unripe avocado using either the hand grip or underground method.
- Eat the ripe avocado the same or the next day and find out how many hours you feel satiated.
- Ripen the avocado at room temperature and repeat the satiety experiment when it is ready to eat a few days later.
If you like what you experienced, print out my drawing below and magnetize it to your refrigerator door. According to behavioral scientists it can take up to 6 weeks until the avocado snack idea has taken a permanent place in your shopping planning.
Thanks for reading,