Organic Avocado: The SUPERFOOD
Avocados were, at one time, avoided by weight and health conscious people because they are high in fat. Then we learned the differences in types of fats, and the avocado is now considered a superfood. It deserves its stellar reputation!
Organic avocados have at least 20 different vitamins and minerals and are full of antioxidant phytonutrients. They include not only Beta-carotene, but also Lutein and Zeaxanthin, both important for eye health. In addition to supplying these nutrients themselves, the fat in the avocado enables the body to absorb nutrients better from other foods that are eaten with them.
The fat in an avocado is monounsaturated, oleic acid, like that in olive oil. It helps reduce inflammation, the source of many diseases which plague people today. Organic Avocado, Superfood, it is indeed!
There are several types of Avocados, but the Haas, grown primarily in California and Mexico has the most fat and therefore the most nutrition. The ones we grow here in Florida have less fat, but are still a good source of fiber and nutrients.
Today’s blog is going to be filled with pictures to illustrate several ways I like to use organic avocados, creamy, nutty, luscious green goodness.
First of all, select a ripe avocado if you intend to use it right away. If you want it for guacamole, you can choose one that is a bit “squishy”, otherwise, select one with just a little give when gently pressed. If you remove the stem, it will be green inside. Hard ones will ripen in a day or 2.
Cut it in half and twist to separate.
Remove the pit by engaging it with a knife and twisting until it comes out.
At this point, you can scoop out the flesh with a spoon or knife. This is best, if you wish to stuff the avocado with salads, like Curried Chicken, Crab, Salmon, or Egg. The most nutrient dense part of the fruit, the dark part is near the skin, so scrape as closely to the skin as possible.
If you are cutting, slicing or mashing the avocado use the following method:
Cut the avocado in quarters and gently peel back the skin and you will get all its goodness.
Besides Guacamole, Salads are probably the most popular way to use an avocado. It helps your body absorb the nutrients from the greens, looks beautiful and adds a creamy note to dressings with lemon or vinegar.
Lemon Dressing or Vinaigrette for Avocado Salads
3 tablespoons lemon juice or red wine or other vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
Add 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard and a 1 minced garlic clove for French Dressing.
An added 2 teaspoons of honey is good with Balsamic or Sherry Vinegar.
I add avocado to Kale Salads, Quinoa Salads, even a Watermelon Salad with Radish, Cucumber and Sriracha!
For breakfast, I love to slice an avocado and put it on either plain toast or over toast with melted cheese and squeeze some lemon juice on top.
Here are some other breakfast ideas:
Hard boiled seasoned Egg with Spinach in an Avocado.
Poached Egg in an Avocado with or without crisped Ham.
Because avocados are creamy and fatty, they are now a popular ingredient in desserts. I have made Avocado Chocolate Truffles and the following Chocolate “Mousse” Recipe. It can be made into tarts, a pie or a frozen pie or dessert, and eaten like ice cream!!
AVOCADO CHOCOLATE “MOUSSE”
1 cup Ghiradelli dark chocolate chips
1 cup organic coconut milk
1/2-2/3 cup real organic maple syrup or coconut nectar
pinch of salt
2 ripe, large avocados
Melt chocolate and coconut oil in microwave or in a saucepan over low heat. Add coconut milk, sweetener, salt and heat slightly. Add vanilla after removing from heat.
Scoop the flesh of the avocados and blend in a food processor. Add the warm (not hot) chocolate mixture and blend thoroughly in processor until very smooth.
At this point you can spoon into tart shells (or mini phyllo cups) or a baked organic pie crust or simply chill in a bowl for several hours.
If you want a frozen mousse or pie, freeze until firm. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
Another alternative if you want dairy-free is to whip coconut milk. Remove the “cream” from the top of the can after it has chilled in the refrigerator for a few hours. Whip as you would for cream sweetening or flavoring as desired. Dairy is not a problem for me, so I have whipped cream into the coconut cream for a wonderful flavor!
Enjoy your avocados for your Health!!