Definitely one of our ‘eat often’ foods. They have an infuriatingly narrow window of ripeness but catch them at the right time and the perfect avocado is manna from heaven. Tip: To find out if one is ripe look under the dry spot where the stem would be, if its green then its perfect and ready to eat.
Avocados comprise predominantly of monounsaturated fats (or omega-9 as they are also known) which are heart healthy and can decrease the risk of some cancers. They also help maintain stable blood sugar levels, insulin control and satiety. Half an avocado contains 3.4 grams of fiber, soluble and insoluble, both of which your body needs to keep the digestive system running smoothly. Vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin E are just some of the nutrients avocados are bursting with.
As a fruit it is quite unique in its fat content as most fruits are predominantly carbohydrates. It also helps absorbs wonderful fat soluble vitamins from the plant foods it is consumed with. Studies have also shown that eating avocado with vegetables can dramatically increase the amount of antioxidants taken in. Avocados contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin both especially important for eye health and lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
The monounsaturated fats in avocado are also beneficial for improving your skin tone. They are vital for maintaining good moisture levels in the epidermal layer of your skin that make it look and feel soft and healthy. The vitamin E in avocados assists in preventing free radical damage that lead to aging skin. They make a brilliant first foods for babies and their thick skin may protect them from pesticides so they are one of the fruits you can consider buying non-organic.
Take 1 ripe avocado, 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, 1 heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder and a glug of honey, maple, or date syrup. Blend it all up; you might need a dash of water to loosen it. Spoon into dishes and let it set in the fridge for a couple of hours
A classic – Guacamole
Take 4 ripe avocados, 2 medium tomatoes, deseeded and chopped roughly, 2 Jalapeno chillies, seeded and chopped finely, ½ small onion, finely chopped, juice of 2 limes and some salt. Cut the avocados in half, scoop out the stone with a spoon, then scoop out the flesh and put in a bowl. Mash the flesh with a fork, add the tomatoes, chillies, onions, lime juice and salt.
Avocado and crab
Stolen from the Paleo Mom, absolutely delicious. Take 4 large stuffing mushrooms, 200g of crab meat, 1 diced avocado, 1 finely chopped onion, generous squeeze of lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of salt, ¼ cup fresh parsley, 1 clove of crushed garlic. Combine all ingredients except the mushrooms and mash together in a bowl. Spoon into the mushrooms and bake for around 20 minutes.
Creamy avocado dressing
1 avocado, 1 clove garlic, 1 generous squeeze of lemon juice, glug of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Whizz all the ingredients apart from the olive oil in a food processor. Add the olive oil slowly and thin out with some water to achieve desired consistency.
Take 1 head of cauliflower, some butter for frying and 1 avocado. You also need – juice of ½ a lemon, 1 cup of coriander, a good glug of olive oil, salt and pepper. ‘Rice’ your cauliflower in a food processor and cook gently in butter in a large pan. Then puree the avocado, lemon , olive oil and coriander together. Add to the cooked cauliflower and season well before serving. Flake some wild salmon over it with chopped cucumber and tomato.
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