From improving eye health to regulating blood pressure, avocados are known to be beneficial in several ways. This powerhouse of antioxidants and a host of nutrients comes as a popular fruit consumed as it is and for preparation of desserts. The real problem is to understand which part of the fruit to consume and which part to discard. Well, if you are like me, then you probably have this confusion not just with avocado but with most other fruits. This doubt comes from the fact that the pit and peel of some delicious fruits are poisonous while the pulp stays harmless. So can you eat avocado skin?
The Problem with Persin
The notorious component in the skin of avocado and also the leaves and pit that brings this commotion about the edibility of the peel is persin. This is a fungicidal element that is toxic to some animals.
For common household pets like dogs and cats, this could be toxic when consumed in large amounts. In other cases, it could cause indigestion or an upset stomach. However, these extreme reactions do not happen in human beings. Persin can cause allergic reactions in some people. It is not a toxic ingredient to worry about.
So, if you do have pets at home, be extra careful when you peel the fruit with your pet around. You never know when your furry friend might sneak a bit from the peel that you leave on the counter.
Why Do People Avoid the Skin?
The primary reason why we leave the skin of avocado alone is that it is not a very pleasant one, both in texture and taste. If you have noticed in most avocado varieties commonly available in the market, the skin is rough. Some of the avocado types have skin that tastes slightly bitter. People who do not have the time pit the fruit and add it as a whole to the blender with sweeteners or other fruits to mask the flavors of the peel.
Contracting an Infection?
One of the main problems with eating the skin would be the risk of contracting an infection. An FDA report from 2018 talks about the presence of a bacterium called Listeria in the peel of some avocados. Infection from this bacterium is imminent if you consume the peel as it is. Even if you remove the peel, the chances of the bacterium leaching into the fruit or a portion of the peel going into your dessert is unavoidable. So, it would be a good idea to thoroughly wash the avocado even when you plan to peel it before consuming it.
Infections like the one mentioned above, are possible not just with avocados but also with a variety of other fruits, especially ones that are hard. Before you cut open an avocado, scrub the fruit well and then rinse it multiple times under running water. Slice and pit the fruit as you usually would after this washing routine. When consumed after cleaning, the pulp doesn’t contain harmful bacteria like listeria.
Most Popular Varieties of Avocado
With minor variations like the taste and color of the pulp and skin, there are hundreds of varieties of avocados from around the world. The place of cultivation and the soil all have a role to play in the final taste. The following are the avocado variants known around the world.
There might also be variations in the type of pollination that happens, which can lead to differences in the stone size. Colors vary, and so does the texture of the outer skin. In Haas, which is a standard variety, the skin is particularly bitter and can spoil the taste of the fruit if you bite into it.
Varieties You Can Eat Guilt-Free
Considering the texture and taste of the skin, there are a few avocado types that do come with pleasant-tasting skin.
These varieties are like plums and peaches where the skin doesn’t significantly hamper the taste of the fruit itself. Therefore you would not have any unpleasant aftertaste in your mouth on consuming the skin.
How to Eat Avocado?
Not many would be willing to try the skin after knowing about all the controversies surrounding it and the many myths they might hear. Some might keep it away for the unpleasant taste it has. Others might not have the patience to hunt for the varieties that have pleasant tasting skin. Whatever be your excuse, knowing how to eat the avocado can put an end to your never-ending struggle.
It would be best if you did not miss out on the endless health benefits that this fruit has to offer. If you are avoiding this fruit simply because you feel lazy actually to peel it, then here is a tool that I recommend. With this 3-in-1 tool, you can split, pit, and slice an avocado in seconds. It is highly indispensable if you are an avocado fan. The ease of peeling and slicing the fruit with this tool can convert even a skeptic into an avocado fan!
If you wish to skip the skin, then one standard option that you might already know, without using any tool, is to scoop the pulp with a spoon. When you do this, do not ignore the dark green portion that is directly in contact with the skin. This is another nutrient-dense part of the avocado. Even in the most commonly available Haas avocado, this portion is often something that you might toss out ignorantly.
The next time you accidentally take a bite into a piece of the avocado skin, do not worry. The skin is not palatable. So, should you be eating the skin? Why go for the bland and sometimes pungent tasting skin when you have the whole buttery pulp inside to relish? Unintentionally consuming the skin is alright, but it is better to be on the safer side and also to avoid the unpleasant part of the fruit. So, here is how you eat an avocado to tap into the potential of it.