An avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable. In fact, it’s technically a berry, and FULL of health benefits. It’s also used in our favorite ice cream flavor: Cocovado!
Avocados are a very versatile fruit. They are often used in dips and salads, more like vegetables. But surprisingly, they can also make great desserts, like super yummy coconut avocado ice cream.
And as a bonus, avocados are incredibly healthy and good for you!
Why Is Avocado a Fruit and not a Vegetable?
An avocado is dense, low in sugar, and high in fat. That’s the opposite of most fruits, which tend to be juicy and sweet.
So why is avocado a fruit?
Botanically, an avocado is a fruit because it comes from the ovary of the avocado tree’s flower. It’s technically a berry, because the entire ovary wall grows and ripens into a fleshy fruit. Unlike many berries, the avocado has only seed.
Of course, an avocado is quite unlike most berries and unlike most fruit. In culinary use, it’s more of a vegetable, much like a tomato — which is also a berry fruit!
Why Are Avocados So Healthy?
We (now) know that an avocado is an odd fruit that’s high in fat. Usually, we want to avoid foods that are high in fat. So why are avocados so healthy?
Luckily, the fat in an avocado is the heart-healthy monounsaturated kind of fat like that found in olive oil. So avocados are actually full of health benefits!
Unlike some fats, the healthy monounsaturated fat in avocados will help lower your risk of heart disease.
And avocados are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and folate. These nutrients help prevent heart disease and stroke, lower cholesterol and even regulate blood pressure.
Our Favorite Avocado Use: Christina’s Cocovado Ice Cream
Fruits used in desserts are typically sweet and high in sugar — that’s what we think of when we want dessert. But the rich, creamy texture of avocados make them perfect as the main ingredient in our favorite ice cream flavor: Cocovado.
We first tasted Cocovado at Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It was the brilliant invention of the owner’s daughter, who though it would be interesting to combine coconut and avocado. And she was right!
The richness of the avocado combined with the flavor of the coconut make an amazing combination. It’s by far our favorite ice cream.
(By the way, don’t be upset if they don’t have it when you visit Christina’s — it’s a specialty ice cream that they don’t always serve. But you won’t be disappointed because every flavor at Christina’s is incredible.)
Cocovado (Coconut Avocado) Ice Cream Recipe
If you can’t get to Christina’s, we’ve tracked down a very good Cocovado recipe for you to try at home. It’s not the real Christina’s recipe, so it’s not quite as good. But we’re sure you’ll still love it!
1 lb ripe medium avocados (about 2 avocados)
1 can (13.5 oz.) real coconut milk, chilled
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Remove the avocado pits and scoop the flesh into a blender or food processor.
- Add the sugar and lemon juice and blend until smooth.
- Add the condensed milk and the coconut milk and blend together
- Pour into an ice cream maker and finish the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Eat and enjoy.
Tip: This recipe works great with frozen avocados, which can save you a ton of money. See our article: How to Freeze Avocados: Quick and Easy!
Avocado: An Awesome Fruit
No matter how you prepare them, we love avocados. From guacamole to salads to ice cream, an avocado is a great fruit that’s also great for your health.
Do you like avocados? What’s your favorite way to eat them? Share your tips by leaving a comment below.