Have you ever wondered, is avocado a fruit or a vegetable? We often think of fruit as sweet and vegetables as savory, but botanically speaking it’s not that simple. Here’s an easy way to tell the difference between fruits and vegetables.  Plus I’ve provided you with 20 recipes with avocado.

A bowl of mashed guacamole.

There are many different types of avocados and countless ways to use them. I’ve listed 20 recipes with avocado in this article to help you incorporate more avocados into your diet, but first we’ll answer the question,  is avocado a fruit or vegetable?

Several avocados sliced in half for avocado fruit or vegetable

What Is An Avocado?

Avocados (Persea Americana) are a member of the Lauraceae plant family, which also includes the cinnamon tree. It is believed that the avocado originated in Mexico and Central America, but today they are now grown all over the world. They’re a tropical fruit that is often considered a “vegetable” because of its unique flavor and the way that’s it is often served.

Are Avocados A Fruit Or Vegetable?

Is avocado fruit or vegetable? Botanically speaking, avocados are a fruit. They’re also technically classified as a berry, but they look more like a stone fruit containing one large seed in the center of the flesh like peach, plum and nectarine.

Some other common fruits that are mistaken for a vegetable are :

  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
  • Eggplant
  • Olives
  • Bell peppers

What’s The Difference Between Fruits And Vegetables?

Fruits are the seed bearing part of a flowering plant that requires pollination to grow. Vegetables are the edible stems, roots, leaves and bulbs of a plant. There are two types of classifications – botanical and culinary.Botanical classification is based on the function and structure of the plant, while culinary classification is based on flavor and how the plant is prepared for consumption. Culinary classification of fruits and vegetables are often based on flavor – fruit is often sweet, tart of tangy and used for smoothies, desserts, jams, etc. Vegetables are often bitter tasting and used for savory meals like soups, stews casseroles and salads.

What Does Avocado Taste Like?

Avocados have a rich and creamy texture with a mild and slightly nutty flavor.

Several large pieces of green fruit sliced in half for avocado fruit or vegetable

Types Of Avocados

Hass avocados are the most popular variety and found in most grocery stores. But there are actually around 500 different avocado varieties ranging in size and color, some with bright green skins and others having a blackish skin, some have smooth textured skins, while the skins of others are rough and bumpy. They have a creamy texture and a mild, almost nutty flavor.

  • Bacon – These are mild flavored and have a smooth, thin green skin with a yellow-green flesh.
  • Cocktail  – These are smaller fruit are called Fuerte avocados that are pickled when they’re about 2 to 3 inches long. They look similar to pickles and have a dark green skin.
  • Fuerte – These are pear shaped with a mild flavor and high water content. They have a thin smooth skin.
  • Gwen – These are similar to to Hass avocados in taste and texture, but they’re slightly larger with an oval shape, rough green skin and creamy flesh.
  • Hass – There are many varieties of avocado, but Hass is the most popular variety. This dark skinned , bumpy-textured California grown variety has more fat (the good kind) than the bright green smooth-skinned Florida-grown variety.
  • Lula – (also called Lulu) These are large fruit mostly grown in Texas.
  • Pinkerton – These have a creamy pale green flesh are easy to peel.
  • Zutano – These have a mild flavor with a shiny yellow-green skin.

How Do You Pick The Best Avocado?

Hold a few in your hands at the market and choose those that seem heavy for their size. Avoid fruit with bruising, gouges, mold spots and those that are very soft when gently squeezed.

How Can You Tell When An Avocado Is Ripe?

You can tell if an avocado is ripe by gently applying a little pressure to it with your finger tips. If the avocado yields slightly to gentle pressure, it is already ripe enough to eat. If pressing on the fruit leaves a small indent, the the fruit is too ripe, but might be good for mashing to make guacamole or to add to smoothies. Another way to check for ripeness is to flick off the stem of the avocado where you will see a little dimple. If the color of the dimple is brown, that means the avocado is overripe and may have bruising underneath the skin, but if the color of the dimple is a light yellowish-green, then the fruit should be a good choice. If the stem doesn’t come off easily, then the fruit isn’t ripe yet. 

How To Ripen Avocados

If you have avocados that need to be ripened, you can easily speed up the process by placing them in a paper bag with an apple or banana.  Fold the opening of the bag and leave it on your kitchen counter for a day or two. 

How Do You Cut An Avocado?

To pit an avocado, cut it lengthwise or crosswise all the way around the fruit and twist the two halves apart. You can either use a spoon to pry out the large seed or carefully strike the seed using the blade of a knife. The knife should be partially embedded in the seed so you can easily twist and remove the seed from the fruit. If the skin won’t peel easily, slice the avocado halves into three strips which should make it easier to remove the skin.

Should You Refrigerate Avocado?

Ripe avocados can be kept in the refrigerator where it will slow down the ripening process. To prevent a cut avocado from turning brown, you’ll want to remove the seed and spray the flesh with cooking spray or a squeeze of lemon juice, then wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator where it should last up to 3 days.

Can You Freeze Avocados?

Yes. Avocados can be frozen. Freezing avocados is a great way to make sure to always have them on hand. However, they can’t replace fresh avocado in every recipe.  Frozen avocados are best used in smoothies, on toast (avocado toast) and mashed into guacamole.

How To Freeze Them

Cut them in half or in slices and remove the seed and skin.  Squeeze lemon juice over the flesh and place the pieces in an airtight container and freeze. They should last up to 4 months in the freezer. To thaw them, remove them from the freezer and place the airtight container on the counter. Allow them 30 minutes or so to thaw at room temperature.

Several pieces of fruit sliced in half.

How to Add More Avocados to Your Diet (20 Recipes with Avocado)

Avocados are a natural addition to green salads, sandwiches, toast, tacos and as a garnish to Mexican soups, stews and casseroles. You can also used mashed avocado on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise and in baked potatoes instead of sour cream. You can also blend them with olive oil to make delicious salad dressings. Here are 20 easy recipes with avocado to help you incorporate more of this delicious fruit into your diet.

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