Avocados are actually fruits, also called alligator pears! They are truly a nutrient rich food that got a bad “rap” in the fat phobia mayhem. Yes, they are high in fat, but the healthy monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. This omega-9 fat that is also found in olives, macadamia nut oil and many other nuts is associated with heart health, lowering cholesterol, and reduced risk of cancer and diabetes. Many studies show that people who eat avocados and other monounsaturated fat rich food actually lose more weight than those who don’t. They are also full of antioxidants protecting the body from free radical damage and all that goes with it. They are also good for the eyes, skin, and brain health.
Avocados are a great source of potassium, 3 times as much as bananas, which helps regulate blood pressure. They are rich in vitamin E, B-vitamins, fiber, copper and vitamin K, and lutein. The antioxidant carotenoids are fat-soluble, therefore are great as an addition to a salad or salsa increased the absorption of carotenoids from the greens in the bloodstream, thus increasing the antioxidant activity.
Use avocados as a spread for sandwiches, sliced up in salads, added to salsas, or as a dip for vegetables. Store them in the refrigerator after they are ripe. If you wish to hasten the ripening of avocados put them in a paper bag so that it traps the ethylene gas produced by the avocados. Keep the paper bag in a dark cool place and adding a banana or apple to the bag will further increase the ripening process.
Now let's make some Guacamole!
2 ripe avocados
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 Tbsp. of fresh lime juice or lemon juice
2 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup of minced red onion or thinly sliced green onion
1-2 jalapeno chilies, stems and seeds removed, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
A dash of freshly grated black pepper
1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped