Aphrodisiac Day 8 for Valentine’s Day: Avocados

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Avocados

Avocados have long since been considered an aphrodisiac by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs. Avocados hang on trees in pairs, giving it the appearance of testicles and thus nicknamed by the Mayans and Aztecs ahuacuati, or “the testicle tree.” They are said to enhance sexual desirability when eaten and a cure for erectile dysfunction.

Avocados have many benefits for the body both internally and externally. People recommend avocados to moisturize skin and hair- many homemade facial masks and hair masks call for this fruit. Also, avocado has a nutrient called foliate, which helps reduce the chances for some heart diseases and strokes.  Avocados are also full of vitamin E (the sex vitamin!) and also the “good fat” that helps lower cholesterol. Lastly, avocados are high in beta-carotene, magnesium and also deliver more potassium than a raw banana. It even offers 2.4 grams of protein for every 1/2 cup of fruit!

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Avocados grow on trees but do not begin to ripen until picked. When selecting an avocado at the store, feel for heavy fruits with unbroken skin. Allow the fruit to ripen at room temperature and then store ripe fruit in the refrigerator. You can also ripen avocados in a bag of rice for a day or two. But check the avocado daily to make sure it does not over ripen or begin to decay in the rice.

Avocados are most often served raw. The fruit contains tannins, which can make it taste bitter when cooked.

Avocado Varieties

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Haas Avocado

Green skin when unripe, purplish-black skin when ripe

Oval shaped

Small to medium seed

Easy to peel

Nutty flavor

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Fuerte Avocado

Smooth green skin

Pear-shaped

Medium sized seed

Easy to peel

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Reed Avocado

Thick green skin

Round shape

Medium seed

Easy to peel

Today I will give you a couple great and easy recipes for this wonderful and complex flavored fruit!

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Classic Shrimp Ceviche

Serves 4

1-2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined

6-8 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered

1/2 red onion, small dice

1/2 bunch cilantro, slightly chopped

1 serrano pepper or 1 jalapeno, small dice

4-6 limes, squeezed

4-6 lemons, squeezed

1 large avocados, diced

1 large cucumbers, peeled and diced

1 medium mango, medium dice

Lay out shrimp in the bottom of glass baking dish. Pour lemon and lime juice over them and refrigerate for 3 hours. The juice will “cook” the shrimp. Toss with remaining ingredients and refrigerate for one more hour or longer. Serve in a martini glass or nice bowl and eat with tortilla chips or baked pita chips!

Tip

If you want to go crazy, you can add scallops or fish the same way you do the shrimp… yum cevicheeeee!

 

 

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Fruit cocktail

I used to live in Lebanon, and the have they most amazing fruit and fruit cocktail stands of anywhere else I have lived. Here is an easy recipe for a simple version of one, please enjoy!

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Avocado Milk

1 avocados, meat only

5 tbsp simple syrup

1/4 to 1/2 cup milk or soy milk (adjust as needed)

1 tbsp orange blossom water

In a blender, puré all ingredients to get a creamy semi-runny final product.  If too thick, add a splash of milk at a time. Set aside for assembly.

Mango Purée

1 mangos, flesh only

3 tbsp water

1 tbsp simple syrup

1 tbsp orange blossom water

Blend together to get a creamy semi-runny final product.  If too thick, adjust consistency with water. Set aside for assembly.

 Strawberry Juice

2 cups of strawberries

2-3 tbsp water

Purée in a blender, then pass through a sieve.  Depending on the sweetness of the strawberries, replace 1 tbsp with simple syrup.  Set aside for assembly.

 Assembly

Layer the serving glass with the juices in any order, but when you do be very, very gentle!

You should end up with 3 separate layers of delicious juice to enjoy!

Tip

Best to drink with a straw!

 

photos courtesy of Getty images

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