At Nutso-Sweet, we celebrate the goodness of nature, plant-foods that provide not only essential nutrients for good health and well-being, but taste deliciously great on their own (as well as incorporated into low to no-sugar eats and treats.) This month we are celebrating the avocado and I was delighted to attend a wonderful webinar hosted by Kati Mora of Around the Plate and presented by Toby Amidor — both of whom are amazing dietitians and nutritional role models.
I already knew many of the health benefits of avocado — a good source of monounsaturated fats and a nutrient powerhouse. It contains potassium, folate, dietary fiber, vitamins C & E, B6 and B2. (See my avocado fact-sheet card below.) And I’ve been using 1 to 2 tablespoons as a low-calorie (yes, low-calorie) spread on my whole wheat bread in place of butter or cream cheese.
Avocado is such a great treat!! I even enjoy it right out of the peel with some lime juice (a sprinkle of salt doesn’t hurt, but not necessary). and of course in salads! It’s easy to simply cut in half, use a sharp knife to remove the seed and either scoop out with a spoon or cut horizontal and vertical slices and gently use a big spoon to remove perfectly diced avocado. To store, simply squeeze some fresh lemon or lime, keep pit inside and wrap tightly in clear plastic wrap; then place in the refrigerator. Mo has some wonderful smoothie recipes that incorporate the delicious and creamy avocado.
What I learned:
- Avocado is a fruit (There have been some friendly arguments whether it is a fruit or vegetable. lol!). It is virtually the only fruit that is a source of monounsaturated fats.
- To speed up ripening, place in a paper bag with an apple or banana to allow the release and entrapment of the plant hormone ethylene which helps ripen all the fruits inside.
- The color of the peel does not necessarily indicate ripeness (although it can be a good sign in some cases). A firmness to the touch is the best indicator.
- Avocado is delicious in a variety of dishes, including some I haven’t yet tried (but am anxious to prepare): avocado chocolate mousse, egg and avocado salad, avocado cheesecake…. and so much more. Visit Haas avocado site for some great mouth-watering recipes. And check out Toby’s delicious mango avocado recipe on youtube.
- Ripe avocado is best stored in refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Then you must enjoy – before it reaches the point of mush (and starts lacking flavor).