Seasonal Eating in April :: Avocados

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This is a repost from April 2012 with a new recipe because I live avocados so much!

avocado

Avocados are like tofu; You can season them to impart the taste of whatever you want and they are great substitutes in recipes. Avocados are one of the healthiest fats you can consume, particularly helpful for belly fat. One friend liked my guacamole so much during the summer of 2006, I got the nickname Yoli Guacamole.

Nutrients

High in vitamin b6, c, k (35% of daily needs), fiber, folte, potassium, cooper. Avocados are high in fat so don’t overdue it but luckily 70% of those fats are the healthy kind. Avos provide about 25% of daily potassium, that is more than a banana.

Benefits

Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, are in avocados and have been shown to lower cholesterol and provide protection against oral and breast cancer. Adding Avocados to a dish like a salad or a raw vegetable medley will increase your body’s ability to absorb carotenoids from other vegetables. Most carotenoids have antioxidant activity, boost your immune system, and supports unwanted inflammation. Avocados promote heart health, support regulating your blood sugar, and has anti-cancer properties.

Eating monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which are found in avocados has been proven to reduce belly fat and bloating.

How to Pick and Store Them

A good and ready ripe avocado should be slightly soft and with a little green color left, without blemishes such as really dark soft spots. I always test the base of the avocado to tell if it is ready; if the base is hard, it is not quite ready. I have had the occasional experience of getting bad avocados. If it is really soft, 1. smell the avocado; if it has a funky odor, say bye bye avo. and 2. depending on where you are shopping, I have asked an employee to open the avocado if it was questionable, even at my local bodega/fruit stand. Your buying it anyways if it is a keeper!

Do not store unripened avocados in the fridge. Store them on your counter top or if you want to ripen them quickly, store in a brown paper bag. Sometimes you can use fruits like bananas or apples to speed up the process. I am wary of using that sometimes because I have noticed sometimes the avocado will not ripen evenly. If you have left over avocados, please be aware they do oxidize (essentially the flesh starts to turn from green to dark brown)! For avocado pieces or even mashed, make sure to add lime or lemon juice as it slows down the oxidizing process. To extend the life of really ripe ones, store in the fridge to slow down the ripening.

Recipe :: Avocado Mayo

avocadosThis is a great replacement for your conventional mayonnaise. smooth, creamy, tasty, and great for your waistline.

2 ripe avocados
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil

Directions:
Puree all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Store for one week.