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LUSCIOUS JOYS MARCH 2017

This may sound a little strange, but this winter I have become a bit of an avocado freak. I’ve had one or two in the past, normally in a salad or a sandwich, but never went out of my way to actually purchase one from the store. This winter that all changed and now I crave these rather funny looking bumpy green alligator fruit and they have become one of my favourite go-to snacks.

The good news about my new fetish is that avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. In a single serving, 3.5 ounces of this little beauty contains:

Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.

Folate: 20% of the RDA.

Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.

Potassium: 14% of the RDA.

Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.

Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.

Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.


It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin). No kidding! It’s a little green bumpy miracle. It has 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fibre so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food. Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat. Sounds like my kind of snack.


Now, having shared all that, we all know the most common use for our little healthy friend is to use it to make guacamole, but there are tons of other ways to eat this little powerhouse. One of my favourites is to slice it into my tomato or red-pepper soup; simply amazing. They make just about anything better, even your smoothies. Smear avocados onto toast, or top your morning eggs with a couple of slices. Just make sure they're perfectly ripe.


First, I am going to share MY favuorite guacamole recipe because I make it a little differently than most people because I cannot put tomato in mine (fresh tomatoes contain a naturally occurring glutamate, almost like monosodium glutamate and I am highly allergic to both) so this is how I make my favourite guacamole:


MY FAVOURITE GUACAMOLE RECIPE


Use two green onions (chopped), a couple of fresh garlic cloves mushed (using a garlic press), add the juice from a fresh lime, at least ½ cup fresh cilantro (less if you don’t like cilantro) and ½ tsp. salt or to taste. Mash the whole bunch together with a fork, leaving some lumps, or not, depending on your preference. You can add more lime depending on the flavour you desire. Fool around this with recipe until you get that perfect taste. Depending on my mood I might add a couple of shots of hot sauce or chili peppers. You could add pretty much anything that inspires you – just use your imagination.

They are making fries out of everything else these days why not avocados?!


CRISPY BAKED AVOCADO FRIES & CHIPOTLE DIPPING SAUCE


2 large avocados, sliced

Juice of ½ lime (optional)

Salt & pepper

¼ cup flour

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons oil


Pre-heat oven to 400°F. Pour 1 tablespoon oil in sheet tray or baking dish; set aside. Squeeze fresh lime juice on avocado slices to preserve their colour while baking (this step is optional). Season with salt, pepper. Dredge in flour, then dip in egg and coat in panko breadcrumbs. Be sure the avocado slices are coated very well in the panko. Place in a single layer on the greased sheet pan. Drizzle with the remaining oil or spray with cooking spray. This will help the avocado slices crisp in the oven.


Bake for 15 minutes or until the avocados are golden and crispy. If desired, more oil can be drizzled on while they are baking for additional crispness. Serve with ranch, ketchup, or your favourite dip!


These avocado fries will last in the fridge for up to 24 hours and are excellent when re-heated in the toaster oven.


This is the best idea ever!


AVOCADO EGG SALAD


All I do is make my hard-boiled eggs the normal way – just boil them in water for 15 minutes and then run cold water over them for a few minutes and let cool (secret: if you add a tbsp of vinegar to your water, they will not crack and I find they peel a little easier too)! I used 4 hard-boiled eggs and 1 mashed avocado. Add a couple chopped green onions, ¼ tsp yellow mustard, ¼ tsp paprika and salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes I add a chopped baby dill pickle. You can add a couple tbsp of mayo but you really don’t need to – whatever your preference is. Mash it all together and serve in a sandwich or with pita chips. You will keep coming back to this recipe again and again, it is really luscious.


This recipe I found on ohsheglows.com and I have never tried it but I know what’s for dinner this evening. You can make this recipe vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free and soy-free.

15-MINUTE CREAMY AVOCADO PASTA


9 ounces spiralized or julienned zucchini or on a bed of spaghetti squash or your favourite pasta of any sort.

1 to 2 cloves garlic, to taste

1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed

1 ripe medium avocado, pitted

1 tablespoon water

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Lemon zest, for serving


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package. For a lighter option, serve the avocado sauce with zucchini noodles. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce: In a food processor, combine the garlic and basil and pulse to mince. Add the lemon juice, oil, avocado, and 1 tablespoon water and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Add all the avocado sauce and stir until combined. You can gently rewarm the pasta if it has cooled slightly, or simply serve it at room temperature. Top with pepper, lemon zest, and fresh basil leaves, if desired. Tips: Because avocados oxidize quickly after you slice them, this sauce is best served immediately.

At the end of the day, avocados are an awesome food and lusciously healthy. What more could you ask for?


Submitted by: Kathryn Hartwell


authoritynutrition.com, gimmedelicious.com,