Earlier this year, a friend was surprised to find out that I didn’t know to eat avocado pits or even that such a thing was possible. Since I love learning new ways to use kitchen scraps, I jumped at the chance to find out more about this. Do you eat avocado pits? Turns out they’re very good for you and useful around the house, too!
Health Benefits of Eating Avocado Pits
Most of us know avocados are the basis for that delicious Mexican condiment, guacamole, but few people realize avocados actually date back to 10,000 BCE where they’ve been traced to the state of Puebla, Mexico. Avocados grow well in tropical and Mediterranean climates, so it’s not surprising to find them used in cuisines throughout the world. What is surprising is how versatile these delicious fruits are.
Although treated primarily as an addition to savory foods in the Americas, avocados have sweeter uses elsewhere in the world. In Southeast Asia, avocados are enjoyed in milkshakes, ice cream and other desserts. Moroccans and Ethiopians blend avocado with milk and sugars for a sweet beverage, while in Brazil they’re often eaten mashed with lime and sugar.
In the United States, Persea americana (the avocado), is so frequently associated with California that “California-style” means that avocado has been added. Want to see the price of your cheese omelet double? Ask for it “California-style”. The same goes for burgers, Eggs benedict, grilled cheese sandwiches… and then there’s the California sushi roll which allows people who don’t like raw fish to enjoy sushi.
With avocados being eaten all over the world in a variety of cuisines, it’s not surprising that scientists have started looking into the properties of their seeds. What they’ve found is that extracts from avocado pits are anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. They’re also full of antioxidants and soluble fiber that lowers cholesterol.
In other words, that slimy brown avocado seed we’ve all been throwing out is actually a nutritional powerhouse if you know how to make use of it.
How To Eat Avocado Pits
1. Chop it up: If you’ve ever eaten an avocado then you know you can’t just bite into the pit. If you want to use the pit straight from the fruit you’ll need a blender or food processor. You don’t want to put the whole pit in, though: unless you have a Vitamix the pit is so tough that it will likely damage your blender’s blades. Instead, carefully cut it into quarters with a sharp kitchen knife then blend or process it until it’s pulverized.
2. Or dry and powder it: Wash the pits and pat them dry, then either put them on a sunny window sill to sit for several days or slice them and bake the slices on a cookie sheet at 180°F/83°C until they’re fully dried out. Transfer the dried pits to a thick plastic bag and crush them into smaller pieces with a hammer or rolling pin, then process them in a blender or food processor to fully powder them.
3. Sprinkle or stir them into:
- Salads and salad dressings
- Baked goods
- Soups, sauces, and stews
- Oatmeal, quinoa and grain dishes
- Avocado pit tea
How To Use Avocado Pits
Even if you don’t want to eat avocado pits there are plenty of ways to use them around the house.
1. Grow your own tree by poking four toothpicks into the widest part of the seed and using these to suspend it over a glass of water. Make sure the pit’s fat end is immersed at least 1 inch in water and refill it as needed. In 3 weeks or so it will start to sprout.
2. Make a wind chime by screwing an eye hook in the fat end of a dried seed. Repeat with several seeds and hang them from the edges of an embroidery circle suspended from a larger hook. The seeds will make an interesting wood block sound when they tap each other.
3. Use them to exfoliate rough skin by pulverizing the seed into granules and mixing these with olive or coconut oil. Apply in the shower, rubbing in a circular motion, then rinse. Or add them to a homemade hand scrub.
4. Keep guacamole green by popping the pit into the top of the dip before storage.
5. Make jewelry, which is a particularly fun craft for kids.
6. Use it for a natural dye which, believe it or not, comes out a lovely shade of pink.
7. Make a face mask by mashing together half of the avocado, 2 tablespoons of honey, and the pulverized avocado pit. Apply to face and let sit for 10 minutes, then scrub with warm water to exfoliate before rinsing.
Who knew you could not only eat avocado pits but use them in such a variety of ways?