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14 Jun 2008

Super Fruit - Avocado

I couldn't imagine life without my avocado a day. Apart from being delicious, they are very nutritious and give me many of my daily requirements.

Avocados are native to Central and South America and have been cultivated in these regions since 8,000 B.C. The avocado is also known as the Alligator Pear, due to its shape and the leather-like appearance of its skin. Avocado is derived from the Aztec word "ahuacatl."

Nutrition wise they are a good source of vitamin K, vitamin B3 and B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, copper, beta-carotene, phosphorus, iron, dietary fiber, and contain far more potassium than a medium banana. They are also lower in sugar than most other fruit.

Often avocados are avoided by dieters due to their high oil content, these oils contain oleic and linoleic acids that are effective in lowering the LDL cholesterol and increasing the healthy HDL cholesterol, so the extra calories/kilojoules are worth ignoring. Oleic acid also offers significant protection against breast cancer.

Their high folate content make them excellent for pregnant women by ensuring healthy fetal cell and tissue development. The vitamin B6 in avocados helps relieve morning sickness as well. Regular consumption of avocados strengthens the body's immune system due to their high anti-oxidant levels and lutein content. Add an avocado a day to your diet and enjoy all it's health benefits.

Avocados are also an excellent beauty aid and a simple avocado face mask can soften and hydrate dry skin.

Note: People who are allergic to latex type fruits like bananas should avoid avocados.

A ripe, ready to eat avocado is slightly soft. Unripe avocados can be easily ripened by putting them into a paper bag and storing them in a cupboard for a few days. There are many varieties of avocado but the most popular are the Hass which has pebbled dark green or black skin, and the Fuerte which has a smooth, bright green skin. Once ripe they can be stored whole in the refrigerator. Note that once cut they will turn black after a while from exposure to the air so either eat right away or dip in vinegar or lemon juice.

They are wonderful in dips, salads, smoothies, cold soups and sandwiches.

For information on Avocado Oil see my other blog entries Avocado Oil (with Beauty Recipes) and Awesome Avocado Oil (with Food Recipes).

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Cucumber-Avocado Salad Dressing
From AllRecipes
Submitted by: roasteroven
"This fresh and tasty salad dressing is quick to make - it works as a dip too!"

1/3 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 avocados, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 large cucumber, peeled,
seeded and cut into chunks
1/4 cup lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Puree the olive oil and garlic in a blender until smooth. Add the cilantro, avocado, cucumber, and lemon juice. Puree again until smooth, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields: 32 servings.


Avocado and Chili Soup
By Jolinda Hackett, as Vegetarian, About.com

2 ripe avocados
3 cups soy milk
14 oz/400gm can of green chilies
1/2 onion, chopped
dash salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsps lime juice
2 tbsps dry sherry
2 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro (coriander)

In a food processor or blender, process together all ingredients except cilantro until smooth. Stir in the cilantro and serve chilled.


Avocado and Asparagus Salad
From AvocadoRecipes

2 lb/1 kilo of asparagus.
2 medium avocados.
juice and zest of 1 lemon.
2 tbsps of olive oil.
2 tbsps fresh parsley.
1 tbsp of fresh coriander.
1 tbsp of white wine vinegar.
½ tbsp balsamic vinegar.
1 tsp of castor sugar.
1 tsp fresh mint.
salt and pepper, to taste.

Trim off the tough ends of the asparagus, then steam until just tender and bright green. Plunge the asparagus into cold water to halt the cooking time and drain well. Set aside. Peel the avocados then dice the flesh. Toss with the lemon juice and lemon zest, then add to the asparagus. For the dressing, whisk the white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, castor sugar, mint and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste, then pour over the asparagus. Toss lightly, then spoon into bowl. Refrigerate, then serve.


How to Make Avocado Fudge
by eHow Food & Drink Editor
Many people wouldn't think of the combination of avocados and chocolate. But the rich creamy texture of an avocado lends itself nicely to desserts like fudge. Not only are the brownies healthier, but your mouth won't even miss the oil it replaces.

1 large ripened avocado
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 1/2 tsps vanilla
1 1/4 cups cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar

Melt the margarine in your saucepan over a medium flame. Peel and puree the avocado mixture in your food processor until the consistency of the avocado is smooth. Combine the avocado, vanilla, cocoa and powdered sugar into your saucepan with your melted margarine. Slowly stir in these ingredients until the mixture is thick. Pour the mixture into a baking pan and place in the fridge overnight so the fudge can harden. Remove the fudge from the fridge and cut into one inch squares and serve.
Tips & Warnings
Use non-stick spray on the baking pan so that the fudge does not stick to the bottom while hardening. Chop walnuts and sprinkle them on top of the fudge mixture after pouring it into the baking pan. This is a great source of Omega 3.

Enjoy !


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26 comments:

Chessmaster said...

I love avocados, we eat them almost every week with my brothers.Thanks for the nice recipes, I will be looking into these
Thanks!

Steven and Aisha said...

Hi! I like your blog a lot because I can learn many healthy tips. :) Would like to add you to my blogroll.

Name : Reina said...

Hello !
Nice to meet you.
KO-N-NI-CHI-WA (^_^)v
I am Japanese.
I saw your wonderful site.

Could you link to my site ?
I introduce Banana Fruit Diet in my site.

http://food-diet-recipe.blogspot.com/

Ruthie said...

I had no idea how much I would like avocados, until I tried something similar to your recipe. I love it!

I guess I was still reverting back to my childish mentally of, "Yucky, I'm not eating that, it's green!!"

Reina said...

Thank you for visiting my site.
I'm very happy !

jan said...

It took me a while to learn to like avocados and now I can't get enough of them, even though I found out that they are the "twinkies" of the vegetable world. I will give up other foods to eat them. Good recipes on this post.

Ruthie said...

Hey! Thanks for stopping by! I just reread your post and missed the recipe for the avocado fudge. That sounds yummy! And I just stumbled you too!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

At first, I was going to skip over the soup recipe, because it's hot here, so I'm not really craving soup... but then I saw that it was "chilled" soup, so now I know I'll be trying it!

Wally Banners said...

Jackie based on your recipes I must declare you must have a sexy body!!

Kimmie Miles said...

I love avocados too! Only I like them plain mashed or pureed with sweetened condense milk. Too bad I can only eat avocados when they're in season. 'Cause I live in Asia. In fact, I have some avocados in the fridge just this minute! ^_^ I'm gonna eat them this evening.

Rural Vegan said...

Avocados are one of my top 3 favorite foods. Having all of these factoids on how healthy they are only makes me love them more!

Linda said...

I just love avocados... especially with cucumbers, tomatoes and some salt and pepper! Just yummy!

Jen said...

I just gave my 9 month old some avocado for the first time today. It is a great food for babies. She loved it. I knew it was healthy but didn't know exactly why. Thanks for the useful information. It think the whole family will be enjoying avocados tomorrow.

hoodia gordonii said...

Avocados are really tasty and for long time I thought that they only could be used in typical Guacamole but your recipes show us off the great variety of dishes we can fix.

Irish Mom said...

I love love love avocados!! I slice them & put them on turkey burgers. My favorite!!

Marion said...

Avocados...it's the one thing I'll still buy that isn't local. I love them, and can't wait to try the asparagus and avocado salad! Thanks, Jackie.

The Voracious Vegan said...

Avocados really are the perfect food, aren't they? I eat them every which way I can; raw, guacomole, sliced on a black bean burger, but my favorite way is so simple. Sliced onto a piece of butter toast with a few dashes of hot sauce. Mmmm......

Your blog is great, so informative. Thank you!

Urban Vegan said...

Now we're talking. These are my absolute favorites. If they weren't so fattening, I would eat 10 a day. I often use them in place of butter/margarine on toast. Delicious.

They are the food that's highest in lignans--cancer-fighting phytochemicals. I love it that my favorite food is so good for me.

skinny hopes said...

Avacados are so good. I usually have them as a starter since I they tend to fill me up and then I eat less of the other food. They are just great!

REYAH said...

nice recipes, will try this, i really love avocado.

dreamy said...

I love avacados, when I fruit fast for 2 days, both days I had it because it made me fill full :)

Sheila said...

Oh my. I never would have thought to make avocado fudge. Interesting as always.

Maggie said...

I'm dying to try both the soup and fudge recipes.

Joy0z said...

I love avocado with brown sugar yum yum! Avocado is good as hair conditioner. Have you tried it Ms Jackie? Makes your hair more black and thick too. It also increases libido hahaha.. I have read it before.

Evan said...

Nothing like a perfectly ripe avocado... And avocado fudge - I've got to try that!

I have my own vegetarian website I'd love your to check out sometime - swing by whenever!

Vegetarian Food

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