Love Avocado? Thank Los Aztecas

If you have ever had fresh-made guacamole or chicken tostadas with avocado, you will agree with me: The avocado is unique! This fruit's origin in central Mexico goes back thousands of years, when los Aztecas thought it had aphrodisiac properties. In 1518, during the Spanish conquest in Mexico, the avocado was first discovered by Europeans. From that point, avocado became known and consumed in many countries around the world.

In Mexico, avocado is used to make quesadillas, tostadas, caldos (broths) guacamole, ensaladas (salads), salsas (sauces), seafood cocktails and as side dish. Mexicans even use it to make ice cream and in desserts!

Besides its flavor, avocado it is one of the most nutritious fruits around.  It is rich in monounsaturated oils (healthy fats), protein, vitamin C, potassium and fiber. However, it is important to remember that avocado is a calorie-dense food, two tablespoons provides 45 calories.

You can get these green gems throughout the year, but avocados' peak season in Mexico goes from October until February. During these months in Mexico, you can find avocados very cheap—50 cents per pound! So now you know why we eat avocado with almost everything. However, sometimes its cost increases up to five times that amount.

Of the 85 known varieties of avocado, the Hass is the most common. It is mainly in Michoacán, a state in the central west area of Mexico, where the temperate climate is suitable for its harvest.
If you include avocado in your dishes you will enhance their flavor and assure the high quality of your diet. I want to share with you two recipes with avocado from Mexico.

Tip: You can keep your avocado from turning dark (oxidized) after cutting by adding some lemon drops to it.

Guacamole with Totopos

Recipe by Virginia Tijerina Walls, MS, NC

Makes 4 servings.

2 mashed avocados
½ cup diced onion
1 roma tomato, diced
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 lemon juice
½ teaspoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt


  1. In a medium bowl mix the avocado, onion, tomato and cilantro.
  2. Season with lemon juice, garlic and salt.

Tostadas Marineras

Recipe by Virginia Tijerina Walls, MS, NC

Makes 4 servings

4 tilapia fillets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 roma tomatoes chopped
½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
12 tostadas
1 sliced avocado


  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Brown the fillets with garlic and season to taste. Remove from heat and crumble.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and stir. Spread the mixture over the tostadas.
  3. Garnish with avocado.
Virginia Tijerina Walls
María Virginia Tijerina Walls, MS, NC, is a Mexican dietitian with 25 years of experience who has practiced in several areas including clinical nutrition, education, research, health promotion and nutrition communication. She is founder of Nutrien Nutricion y Salud, a Spanish-language online nutrition and health magazine.