The much-loved and versatile avocado has secured a spot as one of the world’s healthiest superfoods and for good reason; it is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Avocados also provide a hearty dose of important vitamins and minerals, making it a true super fruit.
Health Benefits of Avocados
Avocados are full of healthy fats that help keep you full and satiated, by triggering an internal signal to turn off your appetite. Eating fat also slows the breakdown of carbohydrates. Avocados also provide high fibre intakes that are associated with significantly lower risks of developing heart problems, diabetes, obesity, and certain stomach diseases. It’s also really high in potassium (more than a banana), one of those good electrolytes that’s essential for our heart and muscles.
How to Enjoy Avocados
If you’re looking for nutritious and healthy ways to boost your calorie count, try incorporating avocados as delicious, low-carb snacks and warm hearty meals. Adding avocado can easily lighten up an otherwise heavy-feeling comfort food like mac and cheese, for instance. Soft avocados make great guacamole or dip, while firmer avocados are great for slicing and adding to a salad or a sandwich.
6 Most Delicious Ways to Eat Avocados
1. On toast
Ditch the butter and jam and jumpstart your day with a delicious avocado toast instead: mash an avocado with a little lemon juice, red onion, salt and pepper. Smear your toast with it and enjoy. The best part about this is that you can try topping it with anything you like – a slice of tomato, berries, or scrambled eggs.
Whisk an egg with chopped avocado and season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Then, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat before pouring in the egg mixture. A couple of minutes later, your avocado omelette will be set for an easy breakfast delight.
3. Pizza topping
This simple pizza topping includes avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, and cilantro along with tamarind-cashew dipping sauce but you can also top your pizza dough with your favourite items. Simply cook the pizza until the crust is golden brown before adding your avocado slices and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
4. As a substitute for sour cream
For a creamy salad dressing, put the ingredients of a basic vinaigrette, oil and vinegar, in a blender and add cubed avocado. Blend until creamy and finish with a bunch of fresh herbs as well. Additionally, you can easily reuse it the next day and use it as a dip for vegetables or use it as a spread for bread.
5. Avocado Spaghetti
Put your pasta on to cook in a large pan of boiling, salted water. Scoop out the flesh of your avocados and pop it into a blender with fresh lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and basil. Blend until smooth and set it aside until your pasta is ready & drained. Finally toss it together in a large bowl and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan before serving.
6. Avocado Mac and Cheese
Bring water to a boil for the pasta in a medium saucepan. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook pasta until al dente. When done, drain and set aside. While the pasta is cooking, you can get started on the avocado cream. Toss your avocado in a blender along with cream cheese, and milk and blend together until smooth.
Ways to Stop Avocados from Browning
Some fruits and vegetables (apples, potatoes, avocados, and more) contain phenolic compounds and enzymes that, when exposed to oxygen, trigger a pigment production and therefore turn dark when cut open or peeled.
Here’s a few tips to help prevent browning and preserve avocados.
1. Lemon or Lime Juice
Simply squeeze a small amount of fresh citrus juice over your avocado to keep the avocado from browning for at least a day. Citric acid in lemon and lime juice is a strong antioxidant that dramatically slows the browning process. You can also add it to mashed avocados before freezing, for extended storage.
Since oil is an excellent barrier to oxygen, brushing a thin layer of olive oil onto the surface of a cut avocado will prevent browning and enhance the taste. However, this method works best for whole fruits - it is not recommended for mashed fruits or guacamole since the surface is uneven and difficult to brush.
3. Plastic Wrap
Plastic wrap is often used in food preparation and storage to prevent oxygen exposure. To protect an avocado that has been cut open, simply wrap the avocado as tightly as possible, making sure the exposed surface is fully wrapped, leaving no air gaps.
4. Red Onions
Simply cut a red onion into large chunks and place it in the same container or sprinkle it over your guacamole during storage. The gasses released from the red onion (the same gasses that make your eyes burn) prevent oxidation and thus, stop the fruit from browning.