Avocado

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Avocados might look like a vegetable with their green flesh and skin, but they’re actually a fruit. Avocados originated in Mexico. Native people here gathered avocados over 10,000 years ago and began growing them around 5,000 years ago. Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to eat avocados. They took them back to Europe. The Irish naturalist, Sir Hans Sloane called the plants “alligator pear tree.” He began to call them avocados around 1696.

Fun Facts

  • Avocados are becoming more and more popular. In 2014, people bought over 4.25 billion avocados in the U.S.
  • Avocados are still used widely in Mexican food, such as guacamole. People also put them in smoothies, add them to salads and sandwiches, or spread them on toast.
  • Football player Tim Tebow eats four avocados every day.
  • Avocados have more potassium than a banana. They’re also one of the few fruits that contain protein. And they’re loaded with healthy fats.
  • Avocados can be used as a replacement for butter and oil in baked goods.

Vocabulary

  1. Guacamole: a Mexican dip containing avocados, spices, and sometimes onion, lime, cilantro, corn, beans, or tomatoes
  2. Potassium: a mineral necessary for healthy cell function

Question and Answer

Question: What do avocados taste like in smoothies?

Answer: Avocados have a very mild flavor. When added to a fruit smoothie, they add nutrients and a creamy texture, but you probably won’t taste their flavor.

Learn More

Try growing your own avocado.

Watch a video about what it’s like to live on a family avocado farm.