Avocado: The Good Kind of Fat
Avocados have been eaten as far back as 10,000 years and have had a few different names, including Fertility Fruit, Alligator Pear, and Butter fruit (for its creamy, mild texture and taste). The Aztecs believed the avocado to bring strength to those that consumed it while the people of ancient Mesoamerica felt that it possessed mythological powers. These thoughts probably held some truth since the avocado has such amazing nutrient density, providing 20 vitamins and minerals.
Just 1/3 of a medium avocado has:
- 6 grams of healthy fats
- 3 grams of fiber
- 250mg of potassium
- B vitamins to convert food into energy
- Calcium & magnesium to reduce muscle cramps
Avocados contain healthy fats to aid in reducing risk for cardiovascular disease. The healthy fats they provide help the body to transport fats soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) throughout the body so they can do their job. Of these fat-soluble vitamins, an avocado also provides two of them: vitamins E and K.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant protecting the body against physical and environmental stressors while Vitamin K helps maintain strong bones.
The phytosterols (plant nutrients) found in avocados are compounds that have been linked with decreased absorption of cholesterol, thereby helping to keep cholesterol levels low for some people.
Pop Quiz: Name 2 foods that boost red blood cell production. If you said leafy greens and red meat, congratulations, you know what everybody else knows. But if you want to perform like a true athlete it’s time to know more than everybody else. So the next time the topic comes up, impress your friends with this:
The folate found in avocados creates modifications within our DNA for proper cell division. When folate isn’t available in adequate amounts for this cell division to occur it can result in megaloblastic anemia. Since the red blood cells aren’t able to divide they remain too large to exit the bone marrow and enter the bloodstream. This inability for the red blood cells to enter the bloodstream means less oxygen transport to the muscles. And since the body isn’t able to store large amounts of folate, routine healthy sources within the diet are key.
Ripen it fast: Place your avocado in a paper bag along with a banana (check daily).
Slow it down: Store it in the fridge.
Keep it green: To avoid browning due to the oxidation process, lightly coat in lemon or olive oil and wrap air-tight.
Simple Avocado Recipes
Avocado Dip: Video
Avocado Cauliflower Rice
- 3 cups cooked cauliflower rice, drained
- 1 ripe avocado, mashed
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 lime, juiced
- Steam cauliflower until soft, about 5 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, add all ingredients together and mash to desired consistency.
Lean Green Bean Spread
- 1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium, ripe Avocado
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
- 1 tsp cilantro
- Himalayan Pink Sea Salt and pepper to taste
- Mash cannellini beans and avocado with a potato masher
- Stir in lemon remaining ingredients
Try it served on the side of scrambled eggs and your favorite sautéed greens
Roasted Avocado Bites
- 1 medium avocado
- Lime juice
- Your favorite spices (suggest garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and parsley)
- Preheat over to 425 degrees F
- Cut avocado into ½ inch chunks of similar size and place on a plate
- Sprinkle with lemon juice and gently toss to coat, drain excess juice from plate
- Place avocado and spices in a Ziploc bag and gently toss to coat
- Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, remove and gently stir. Bake 10-15 more minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before eating.
Great on their own, served with eggs, or great added to a salad
Frozen Avocado Pops
- 2 ripe Avocados
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 2-3 Tbsp honey
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 Tbsp shredded coconut or crushed pineapple or cherries. optional
- Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Adding any of the optional ingredients? If so, add now
- Spoon mixture into popsicle molds. Insert popsicle sticks and place in the freezer
- Freeze for at least 6 hours
Tip: To remove popsicle from molds, run under hot water momentarily to release.
Flourless Avocado Pancakes
- 1 medium avocado, ripe
- 1 medium banana, overripe
- 1 large egg, beaten
- ¼ cup quick oats
- ¼ cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp Coconut oil, divided (optional)
- Heat a non stick pan over medium heat (add a dab of coconut oil if you choose)
- Mix all ingredients in a blender
- If using coconut oil, place a small amount in pan to coat (save some for each pancake)
- Pour ¼ of the batter into the pan and cook 3-4 minutes each side. Repeat steps 3 & 4 until batter is gone. Top with your favorite berries, nut butter, or honey and enjoy!
Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato
- 1 Avocado, Ripe
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 cup salsa
- ½ cup black beans (If using canned: drain and rinse)
- 4 Tbsp plain greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up.
- Rinse sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Brush face of potato with olive oil and place face down on foil. Bake for ~45 minutes.
- In the meantime, dice avocado and mix in a bowl with salsa and black beans. Keep yogurt aside.
- When potatoes are done (when they are fork tender), place on a plate face side up, cut in half lengthwise. Divide salsa topping amongst potatoes and top with a dollop of greek yogurt (if desired).