Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Food 101: Avocado

I thought that since we are coming into the Avocado season in New Zealand, I thought that I would put the spotlight on this nutrient dense fruit. I would definitely say that I am one of those people who go through avocado phases. Sometimes I just can't get enough of them and other times they will sit there go soft and mushy (even if this happens I never throw them out!).

So what is so great about avocados?

  1. The are a great source of heart-healthy fats
  2. This sort of good fat is great for helping you feel satiated and keeping you fuller for longer
  3. They are so versatile! They can be used in a huge range of both savoury and sweet dishes (scroll down for some ideas on how to use them).
  4. As with other fruits and vegetables, they are high in fibre while also providing a whole host of vitamins and minerals, including B and E vitamins.
  5. These vitamins, along with the antioxidants in Avocados are great for your skin. Basically they help to nourish your skin from the inside-out.
  6. They have phytochemicals in them that may help to prevent certain types of cancer.
Pretty much they are just awesome!

Avocado on its own doesn't have a huge amount of flavour, which makes it so easy to add to lots of different dishes. Here are some ways that I love to use avocado.

  1. Throw an avocado into a smoothie. It gives the smoothie a lovely, creamy texture while upping the fibre and nutrients in it. Try this great smoothie from Healthful Pursuit
  2. Mash it up with some lemon juice and spices to put on toast or crackers. I love using some cumin and smoked paprika.
  3. Mash it with marmite, top with cheese and grill for 5-10 minutes to make delicious cheese on toast.
  4. Whiz it in a blender to make a heart healthy chocolate mousse shown here
  5. Cut an avocado in half, scoop out a little more of the centre, crack an egg into the hole and then bake for around 20 minutes at 180 degrees C. Top with some lemon juice and salt and pepper.
And there are heaps more great ways of using avocado.

What is your favourite use for avocado? Let me know in the comments below

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