Wednesday, 27 April 2011


If avocado were a person, she'd be a superbabe. Avocado is such an amazing fruit. When at its freshest, it's arguably one of the most delicious additions to any meal (I say), plus it packs great benefits for your health.

Here are some basic Q&A regarding avocado, some essential tips, what makes it a superfood, and why we should be eating more of it:

What's the best way to store avocadoes?
Avocadoes are perishable and will brown fairly quickly after being exposed to air and undergoing oxidation. Thus, it's best to use the entire avocado. Otherwise, for unused avocado, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate it immediately.

Does avocado have greater health benefits when consumed with other foods or on its own?
Recent research has shown that the absorption of two key carotenoid antioxidants--lycopene and beta-carotene--increases significantly when paired with fresh avocado. So, add avocado to that salad of yours to reap the benefits of all those healthy nutrients found in your veggies!

What's the best way to peel an avocado?
The method you use to peel an avocado can make a difference to your health. Research has shown that the greatest concentration of carotenoids in avocado occurs in the dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin. You don't want to slice into the dark green portion any more than necessary when you are peeling an avocado--thus, the best method is what the California Avocado Commission calls the "nick and peel", where you actually end up peeling the avocado with your hands in the same way that you would peel a banana.

What are other health benefits for eating avocado?
An avocado is packed full of carotenoids--what most people tend to think as most concentrated in bright orange or red vegetables like carrots or tomatoes--giving it anti-inflammatory properties.

Are avocadoes going to make me fat?
While avocadoes have sometimes been criticized for being too high in fat, and while it is true--about 85% of its calories come from fat--the fat contained in avocado is good fat. First, phytosterols that account for a major portion of avocado fats, are key supporters for our inflammatory system and help to keep inflammation under control. The anti-inflammatory benefits of these fats are particularly well-documented with problems involving arthritis. Second, the polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs) also provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits. Finally, avocadoes have an unusually high amount of a fatty acid called oleic acid. Over half of the total fat in avocado is provided in the form of oleic acid. Oleic acid helps our digestive tract to form transport molecules for fat that can increase our absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, such as carotenoids. Also, as a monounsaturated fatty acid, it has also been shown to lower the risk of heart disease.


I like to add avocado to pasta or quinoa salads, rice bowls, and of course, sandwiches. I also like to use it on toast in place of butter. Don't get me wrong, I love butter (the real stuff), but avocado makes for a much healthier, heart-friendly alternative.

My favourite way to enjoy avocado, though--and probably the most obvious--is in a fresh guacamole. Here's my recipe, enjoyed most with my basa tacos on Ezekiel corn tortillas:

2 avocadoes, peeled and diced
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
a handful chopped cilantro
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. finely chopped jalapeno pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon or 2 small limes
salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a bowl, combine avocado, onion, cilantro, garlic, and jalapeno. Using a fork, mix all ingredients together, slightly mashing avocado--I like my guacamole to be slightly chunky, so my rule of thumb is to mash about half of the avocado.

2. Add lemon or lime juice. Season with salt and pepper according to taste, and mix well.

3. Cover guacamole with plastic wrap and let chill in the refrigerate for up to two hours.
4. Serve with homemade tortilla chips, crudités, or tacos--my personal favourite.

Try This: if you’re worried about your guacamole oxidizing and turning brown while in the refrigerator, add extra lemon juice to the mix. The acidity in lemons will help to slow the oxidation process. Right before serving, season the guacamole so that it's not so tart (unless you like it that way, of course). 

Your guacamole shouldn’t brown before you eat it, though--if it does, try not making it so far in advance. Make it fresh!
information provided by world's healthiest foods

images via google

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