Its been a minute since we did a fun food post! The weather is getting warmer and the promise of back yard chips and guacamole is just around the corner. So, who better to feature than the Lean-Green-Healthy-Fat-Machine himself, Mr. Avocado! Or in science speak, the fruit of the Persea Americana tree.
The health benefits of avocado have been touted for generations. They are rich in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, oleic acid to be precise, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can lower your cholesterol. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals and contain more potassium than a banana. Avocados also contain the antioxidants carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin that are important for eye health. The high fiber content of an avocado makes it great for digestive health, keeps blood sugars from spiking and can even have weight loss benefits! What’s not to love?
Until the 1960’s they were an expensive, seasonal food, limited mostly to California, Florida and Hawaii where they were grown. A luxury item for the tan, rich and famous, beautiful people. Then Mexico started to export avocados to the United States and Montana housewives could enjoy them on their salads year round! (don’t get me started on the avocado wars in Mexico, its not pretty, so buy American grown if you can, but I digress) Sadly, their popularity didn’t really take off until the 2000’s, stunted by the “low-fat” diet craze of the 80s and 90s. Mr. Avocado – “but I’m healthy fat…” Now we know better and it feels soooo good! I don’t care if it makes me look like a hipster, I love Avocado toast and I’m not afraid to show it!
Avocado’s are a newfound love of mine. Growing up they weren’t a regular part of our diet, and it wasn’t until after medical school that I really started to enjoy them. I was introduced to the usual, safe, Avocado-food pairings, some slices on my cheese burger or salad, an avocado crème on my fish taco… Then, a friend made Chocolate Avocado Mousse at a dinner party and my world view exploded! What dark magic is this delicious, creamy, stone fruit from the gods?! And where has it been all my life? Who knew avocado could be dessert!? This is the recipe I like from the Food Network. Its really flexible, you can use whatever form of sweetener and chocolate you have on hand, and is dairy free. Best yet, who care’s if the avocado is bruised and brown? Its getting mixed with chocolate! https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chocolate-avocado-mousse-recipe-2110024 Find the chocolate mousse recipe here.
Next came smoothies, green smoothies to be more precise. I had often lobbed a banana into my Magic Bullet to give my smoothie that creamy texture I wanted, but had never thought to try avocado. Then I started paying more attention to my macro nutrients and needed creative ways to get more healthy fat, fiber and greens into my diet and less sugar. Avocado Green Smoothies for the Win! Big thank you to Kelly Leveque of “Be Well by Kelly” for teaching me how to make a great smoothie. Her Fab 4 method is awesome – Greens, Protein, Fiber and Fat – make sure you check all four boxes and you are good to go! I love adding chia seeds, “Collagen Fuel” protein powder and a handful of spinach to my almond milk and avocado over ice. Pro-tip, you can pre-slice and freeze avocado chunks for use in your smoothies later and get the same great texture and creaminess. https://kellyleveque.com/recent-posts/2015/7/9/the-bewell-smoothie
There are so many great avocado recipes out there, but my recent favorite is a simply lunch letting the green health food really shine! I take a half of an avocado and top it with simple tuna salad or canned chicken, prepared with a little mayo, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of good olive oil. I serve mine with mixed nuts, whole wheat crackers or a side salad. It’s simple and delicious! For a fun twist I mixed a teaspoon of buffalo wing sauce with my tuna salad today and it was dynamite!
So there you have it! Some of my favorite recipes and fun facts about the Awesome Avocado! Now get out there and get some of that tasty, health food! Yes this is an excuse to have a margarita with your guacamole, a doctor told you too 😉 jk
Remember, this blog is the opinion of its author, and i make no money off the products and recommendations i make, It is produced for the sole purpose of entertainment, and should not be used as medical advice. Instead, talk to your own family doctor about healthy diet and lifestyles.