Avocado: Nature’s Nurturing Butter

How do I love thee? How could I possibly count the ways???

I remember first trying avocado at school when I was seven. It was relatively new to the UK, and we were told we had to be very careful with this fruit because it was fatty, and high in cholesterol. Fast-forward to twenty years later in Spain, when the pediatric nurse asked me what Amelia’s favourite weaning foods were. “She loves avocado…” I began, only to pause at her horrified-but-trying-to-look-professional face. “Well you want to be careful with that…it’s VERY high in cholesterol” she cautioned.

Thankfully it is now well accepted that there are a glorious array of Good Things (including the fats) in avocados. A few facts.

  • The highest concentration of carotenoids are in the dark green flesh just under the skin.
  • Because of the oleic acid (also found richly in olives and their oil)avocado helps the absorption of the fat-soluble carotenoids lyocpene and beta-carotene from 200-400% !! . Add it to your salads, clearly.
  • High in fibre (about 8 grams per cup or medium avocado) Hello happy colon.
  • Has a spectacular array of natural anti-inflammatory phytochemicals.
  • High in Vitamin C, E, and has more potassium than bananas. Potassium is incredible for balancing sodium levels in our body and helps blood pressure in that regard.

Eat:

  • On salad in chunks
  • Whizzed up with fresh orange, lemon or lime juice as a dressing. Even whizz up the whole citrus fruit with the avocado for extra fibre, it works really well.
  • Spread on wholewheat toast or your choice of wholesome crackers
  • Home made guacamole from the very simple avocad0+fork, to any permutation of the following additions: salt, lime juice, lemon juice, chopped tomato, spring onion, garlic, chopped bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro.
  • Mash on wholewheat pasta. My kids beg for this like it’s some kind of delicacy (cute!) It is really delicious. Sprinkle with not-parmesan: Ground up nutritional yeast and salt. For more details see my cheezy popcorn post.
  • Chocolate frosting. I’m not kidding. This is scarily good. Avocado has a very neutral taste which works well in sweet or savoury (if you read Culinary Uses in the wikipedia article, it is so interesting to see the ways it is eaten around the world)  You need to balance the cocoa and sweetener exactly right, and then you would never guess! I will post a recipe sometime or you can search online.

Every time I open a bright green avocado I feel like I am looking at Gods edible emeralds, and such a beautiful and delicious fruit is also so amazing for our health. Good heavens! It’s a triple no-brainer. Eat more avocados!

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