Contributor: Andrea de la Chapelle
Photographer: Sarah Shreves
Avocados have grown increasingly popular over the past few years. This creamy delicious fruit is now considered by many to be a “super food”. It is highly rich in vitamins and minerals. Avocados contain 26% of your recommended daily value (RDA) of vitamin K and 20% of the RDA of folate (important for women of child bearing age). Don’t let the high fat content of avocados scare you away. This fruit contains no cholesterol, is low in saturated fat, and contains vital unsaturated fat that has been linked to lower triglyceride levels as well as lowering the risk of heart disease and cancer. Avocados are also loaded with fiber which can help to limit spikes in your blood sugar and improve digestive health.
On top of being remarkably nutritious and delicious, avocados are also versatile. Whoever created the phrase “variety is the spice of life” must have been thinking about avocados. While many of you have tried avocado in sushi, guacamole, or sliced and diced on salads and tacos, here are some unique ways to incorporate this tasty green super food into your diet:
1. Mayo replacement
Use mashed avocado instead of mayo when making chicken, egg, or tuna salad. This will reduce the amount of saturated fat and increase the amount of unsaturated fat in your yummy sandwich.
2. Salad dressing
Blending avocado, lime juice, and your choice of spices results in a creamy dressing to top your fresh summer salads. The fats found in avocados can also help to increase the amount of nutrients absorbed from the vegetables in your salad!
3. Vegan desserts
Avocado, lemon or lime juice, coconut milk, and rice syrup (or maple or agave syrup) can be whipped together to create a refreshing vegan ice cream. Also, experiment with avocado to create frostings, cheese-less cheesecake, and pudding.
4. Avocado oil
Avocado oil is very similar in its healthy qualities to olive oil. However, the fats in avocado oil are more resistant to heat and are less likely to be broken down while cooking. All those healthy fats survive the cooking process and can be enjoyed by you.