Nov 5, 2014

More than Guacamole



Avocados are the star of the produce section. Of course they’re the go-to ingredient for guacamole and salads at parties but they're also turning up in everything from smoothies to brownies. So what, exactly, makes this pear-shaped fruit such a super food?

Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.

One-fifth of a medium avocado has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a nutrient-dense choice.  Avocados contain less than 1 gram of sugar per serving and 75% of the fat in avocados is unsaturated making them a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat.

The avocado’s smooth, creamy consistency makes it one of the first fresh foods a baby can enjoy. The fat in avocado is extremely to babies for normal growth and development of the central nervous system and brain.

Avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer. They contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer. In one study, people who added half to their lunch salad or sandwich were less interested in eating during the next three hours.

Adding avocados to your diet is easy if you try some of our recipes today!

Avocado Chummus


Serve with sliced vegetables or baby carrots

2 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt, or to taste
Dice half the avocado and set aside.

Mash remaining avocado, garbanzo beans, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt together until smooth.
Gently stir diced avocado into hummus mixture. Drizzle with additional olive oil if desired; serve.


For the salad:

2 cups cooked corn, fresh or frozen
1 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely diced red onion (about 1 medium)

Dressing:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion in a large glass bowl. Mix together the dressing ingredients in another bowl, pour over the salad, and gently toss to mix.


3 Haas avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, optional
1 clove garlic, crushed

In a large bowl toss the avocados and lemon juice to coat. Drain, and reserve the juice, after all of the avocados have been coated. Mash the avocado.  Then, fold in the onions, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic; season with salt. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved lemon juice. Serve with tortilla chips.


Don’t tell—they’ll never know!

4 eggs
1 cup sugar
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 tsp good sea salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 ripe avocados, mashed smooth in a food processor
1/2 cup almond meal or almond flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8” x 8” pan with parchment paper.
Using an electric mixer, whip the eggs and sugar until fluffy.
 
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Add the melted chocolate to the egg mixture.
Blend in the cocoa, almond meal, salt and vanilla extract.  Now fold in the avocados to the chocolate mix.

Pour into the pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Use a wooden toothpick to test the middle. When it comes out clean, they’re done.

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