By Fredrica Syren:
After living in Sweden for 3 years, we just moved to sunny San Diego; and the very first thing I did when I arrived was … eat an avocado! Yes, for 3 years I have endured not only a colder climate but also bad avocados (at least that’s my opinion). Avocado is one of the purest foods ever and can be eaten as is, on toast with red pepper flakes (my favorite), as a pesto, or in adessert. The possibilities with avocados are endless. As a matter of fact, avocado was my three kids’ first solid food.
Avocado is not only really good tasting but also it’s also good for you. Actually not a vegetable, rather a fruit that grows on the avocado tree called Persea Americana Avocado, it is well known for being nutrient dense. Itmight be one of the fattiest foods out there, but it’s all good because avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, which actually may help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Other nutrients found in avocadoes are listed below:
So, the big question is how to pick a good avocado. A ripe avocado yields to gentle pressure when held in the palm of the hand and squeezed. It should be neither very firm nor very soft. A quick trick to tell if an avocado is ripe is to pull off the little “button” on the stem end. If the inside the hole is green, it’s not ripe. If it’s dark brown or black inside, it’s overripe. But if it’s a pale yellowish color, eat that avocado now!
A fully ripe avocado should be stored in the fridge for best results and a cut-up avocado should be wrapped up tightly with a beeswax wrap or plastic wrap. Have too many ripe avocadoes? Freeze them. I have found that if I slice and then freeze them, I can use them for desserts and smoothies.
Here are some of my favorite avocado recipes. Enjoy!
Green Avocado Smoothie
Place in a blender and puree for at least a minute to break down all the leafy fibers. This is sweet and creamy, and perfect for the morning.
Gingerbread Chocolate Mousse — This is a “raw” recipe for an amazing and guilt free dessert that happens to be my kids’ favorite. How can you not love feeding your kids a chocolate treat and a green fruit at the same time?
o 2 ripe avocados
Split vanilla bean in half and scrape out seeds, and place in a food processor along with everything else. Process until you have a smooth puree. Chill in fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Bean and mango guacamole — Who does not like guacamole? Here is a fun spin on a traditional one.
• 3 ripe avocados
• A squirt of lemon or lime juice
First, roast the whole jalapeno pepper either in the oven or on top of a gas burner until the pepper’s skin gets slightly black and blistered. Slice pepper in half and remove seeds. Mince the pepper. Mash the avocado with the lemon juice. Stir in red onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, salt, chili pepper, mango and beans.