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Avocado—The Green Gem

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:

• Soluble fiber that feeds friendly gut bacteria in the intestineavacado main
• More potassium than bananas
• Vitamin B5 and B6
• Folate
• Vitamin K
• Vitamin E
• Small amounts of Magnesium, vitamin A, manganese, copper, zinc and iron
• Antioxidants

 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 Smoothieavo smoothie

2 cups coconut water
½ avocado
1 large green leaf such as kale, beet greens, spinach or collard greens

 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?

 2 ripe avocados

1 large ripe bananas
3 Tbsp. raw cocoa powder
2 Tbsp. cocoa nibs
½ vanilla bean
1 Tbsp. agave nectar or honey
2 tsp. gingerbread or pumpkin pie spice

 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 avocadosmango-guacamole

• A squirt of lemon or lime juice

• ¼ cup red onion, minced
• 2 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
• 1 roasted green jalapeno pepper, minced
• Salt to taste
• Chili pepper to taste
• ½ cup ripe mango, diced
• 2/3 cup cooked or canned beans (I used pinto beans.)

 First, roast the whole jalapeno pepper either in the oven or on top of 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.

About Green Mom

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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