The Amazing Avocado

Time to eat a little greener

The Amazing Avocado

It’s time to jump on the avocado bandwagon. From pasta to soups to chocolate-laced desserts, this creamy delight can infuse your diet with great flavour and a nutrient payload. Eating healthy never tasted as good as it does in these five recipes.

While once considered an exotic oddity, avocado has become a staple ingredient in health-conscious kitchens. After all, what’s not to love about this fruit? (Yes, botanically speaking it’s a fruit!)

The most common type of avocado sold at markets is the Hass, and its flesh is blessed with a creamy, buttery texture and impressive nutritional resume. While once eschewed for its lofty fat numbers, we now know that avocado is fatty in a good way. Yet, few people use sliceable, diceable, mashable, and blendable avocado to its full potential. Under that bumpy skin is an ultra-versatile flesh that can play a starring role in a range of savoury and sweet dishes. So use these recipes as inspiration to think beyond the guacamole.

Banish browning

Leftover avocado halves can be kept in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Leaving in the seed doesn’t really do much to halt the browning process. Instead, try storing avocado alongside a wedge of sliced onion or rubbing the cut side of the avocado with a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. This can stave off browning for a day or so.

If brown spots develop, simply scrape them away to expose the green flesh underneath. The browning is harmless, but not very tasty.

Recipes

Ready yet?

Avocados won’t ripen fully on the vine, and so will only reach peak ripeness post-harvest. To determine if an avocado is recipe-ready, pull off the small stem at the top.

  • If you see green underneath, the fruit is at its creamy best.
  • Brown under the stem is a sign the fruit might be overripe.
  • If the stem resists removing or if the avocado does not give slightly when pressed gently, it needs to ripen further.

You can hasten ripening by placing the avocado in a tightly closed paper bag on the countertop with an ethylene gas-emitting item like a banana or apple.

Once ripe, an avocado that won’t be used immediately should be stored in the crisper of a refrigerator for a day or two to slow the ripening process.

Green Power

Here’s why you should feel good about luxuriating in avocado’s creamy goodness.

Improve diet quality

Research shows that people who regularly enjoy avocado tend to have better diet quality. This includes higher intakes of several nutrients, such as unsaturated fats, fibre, vitamins E and K, potassium, and magnesium.

Boost heart health

A 2015 study found that including a daily avocado in an overall healthy diet may further reduce levels of small low-density lipoprotein (LDL)—a type of cholesterol thought to be particularly harmful to your ticker. In addition, a Harvard study found that people who replaced some of the saturated fat in their diets with unsaturated fat like that in avocado had a lower risk of heart disease.

Stay full

Avocado may keep hunger pangs at bay. Researchers have found that study participants who added half of an avocado to their lunch experienced increased levels of satiety and, on average, a 40 percent decrease in their desire to eat three hours after the meal (compared to those who ate a midday meal without avocado). Of course, the avocado added calories to the meal (which may have increased satisfaction); however, other studies have found that avocado eaters typically have slimmer waistlines despite the calories in avocados.

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Cheers!