The Indian vs International Variety and the Health Benefits of the Fruit

Today is World Avocado Day, so let’s go beyond ‘guacamole on toast’ to this nutrient-rich fruit and its myriad benefits. Yes, it’s often mistaken for a vegetable, but it’s technically a single-seeded berry.

This creamy-textured fruit grows in a tropical climate and, once harvested, is allowed to ripen naturally. When buying, it is recommended not to be fooled by its outward appearance. A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado will have a rough, dark green skin. “You can tell when an avocado is ripe if, with a light squeeze, it feels soft inside. Avocados are often assumed to be fattening as they are high in calories. But the truth is that they contain healthy fats known as monounsaturated fatty acids. [MUFA’s]. They are also rich in many other vitamins and minerals”, says Ritu Gupta, functional nutritionist, founder of NUTRIQUEBYRITU.

Indian vs International

It is not a commercial fruit crop in India and is produced on a limited scale. Available in two varieties: the inexpensive Indian variety and the more expensive Hass range of avocados (grown and sold in Southern California). According to Miral and Rushabh Parikh, co-founders of the avocado oil company Black and Green, “Hass avocados have a slightly bumpy skin, are creamier on the inside and have a higher percentage of oil. The Indians have a smooth skin with a more fibrous pulp but with less percentage of oil”.

Rakshak Kumar, Marketing Director of Avomexicano, adds: “Hass avocados are typically around 18 per cent oil, which makes for a creamier texture and is therefore considered the preferred variety. Indian berries, on the other hand, are about 12 percent, which makes for a slightly less creamy texture but slightly more nutty flavor.” Both are equally nutritious and delicious, especially when opened in the right moment.

health angle

Avocado and its oil are warriors against cancer as well as being packed with nutrients, powerful antioxidants, vitamins, healthy fats and minerals. Its anti-inflammatory compounds reduce the risk of joint damage in osteoarthritis.

Rushabh Parikh states: “Avocado is a rich source of oleic acid that tolerates higher temperatures without burning and losing its health benefits compared to other oils. Its dense, consistent viscosity contributes to the rich consistency required in soups and sauces.” The oil and butter from this fleshy fruit are just as healthy.

“Pressed from fresh avocado pulp, avocado oil has the highest smoke point of all vegetable-based cooking oils (510 to 520°F). Its high smoke point makes it a viable option for high-temperature cooking such as sautéing, grilling and browning for all types of cooking,” says Rakshak Kumar. All types of cuisine work wonders with avocado oil, especially Italian, Mexican, and Indian.

Ritu Gupta warns: “Excessive consumption of avocados/avocado oil may lead to allergic reactions, digestion problems, or other serious health conditions.” Therefore, always consume in moderation and do not overdo it.

Avocado oil promises to be a diverse and supportive fat that promotes and sustains your life in countless ways. “In addition to consumption in daily cooking, it is also beneficial for hair and skin,” says Rakshak Kumar.

The downside of this true fruit and its oil is its exclusive reach to the elite due to its high price, a result of high overhead coupled with its high production/import costs.

Despite this, it has seen a slow but steady demand, as Rushabh Parikh states: “Our main consumers are well-experienced and conscientious eaters who respond to the various benefits and uses of the world’s safest cooking oil.”

innovative dishes

Aside from the popular guacamole dip, smoothie and sushi, the fruit is gaining popularity with chefs for its innovative and healthy options. Kanika Nanda, co-founder of Millettude, shares: “Vegetable burgers can be made healthier with avocado buns using their oil, butter and mayonnaise. Blended with coconut milk and lemon juice and enhanced with rich dark chocolate, avocados can be made into creamy ice cream. They can be combined in pesto sauce or used as a puree with cooked rice.”


Chickpea and soy spaghetti in avocado pesto


100 g spaghetti or chickpea and soy fettuccine

Vegetables of your choice (cut)

For the pesto sauce

1 large bunch of fresh basil

2 ripe avocados

half a cup of walnuts

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 garlic cloves

Half a teaspoon of fine sea salt

Half a cup of extra virgin olive oil

ground pepper to taste

Method: Boil the spaghetti. In a little olive oil, sauté the vegetables until fully cooked. Remove basil leaves from stems and add to a food processor along with avocados, walnuts, lemon juice, garlic, and salt; pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and process to form a thick paste. Season with pepper. Add the cooked pasta and pesto sauce as desired to the sautéed vegetables and toss!

(Pink Harvest Farms Recipe)

Bruschettas with Avocado Oil and Butter


4 baguette toasts

Half a cup of basil leaves

2 cups of cherry tomatoes

3 pods of finely chopped garlic

1 tablespoon avocado oil

Avocado butter to spread on toast

salt, pepper to taste

Method: Lightly sauté basil, tomatoes, and garlic in avocado oil. Add salt and pepper. Spread avocado butter on toast. Top each baguette with sauteed vegetables. Munch on crispy and delicious bruschettas.

(Recipe by Rushabh Parikh, Co-Founder, Black & Green Products)

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