All About Avocado
Aaaah avocado, there’s really nothing quite like it. No really, there are very few foods like avocado when it comes to flavour, health benefits and even looks. Adding even a few slices of this magical fruit to any starter, snack or main course can earn you some serious points for presentation and make you look like a culinary wizard.
More often than not, this smooth, green fruit – and yes, it is a fruit – plays a supporting role as part of a dip or spread. It adds that extra bit of amazing to almost any dish and it’s amazing for you too.
There are many antioxidants (all hard to pronounce), fibers and fats found in avocados are an essential part of your diet. They are great for overall heart health, improving blood sugar regulation, and even preventing cancer. So the question is, why is this superfood almost always a sidekick when it could be the hero in your next snack, meal or even dessert?
Here are three delicious ways to shift avocado into the spotlight. Some may be familiar – others maybe not so much.
Tip: To get the most from your avocado. Cut it in half from top to bottom, remove the pit, cut those halves into quarters and peel like a banana. This “nick and peel” method ensures you don’t miss out on the antioxidant rich outermost flesh.
Avocado and Cucumber Salad:
Avocados make for a great salad, even for the not-so-salad lover. Here’s a tangy toss-up that anyone will love.
You will need:
- 2 medium cucumbers (cubed)
- 2 avocados (cubed)
- 4 tbsp. of chopped cilantro
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. of salt
- Black pepper
- ¼ lemon
- 1 lime.
Combine cubed cucumbers and avocados in a large bowl. Chop the cilantro and mix it in. Stir in garlic, salt, and the pepper (as much as you like). Squeeze the lemon and lime over the top of the mix and toss it up. Cover and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
Creamy Avocado Soup
Think avocado is a fruit that’s best served cold or at room temperature? Think again. Give this hot number a try next time you feel like warming up.
You will need:
- 1 tbsp. of butter
- 1/2 cup of finely chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and mashed
- 1 tsp. of lime juice
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp. of ground cumin
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, chopped.
Heat up the butter in a medium sized pot on medium heat. Add chopped onion, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, lime juice and mashed avocados. Bring the pot to a boil and cook for about 7 minutes.
Transfer the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Return it to the pot and add the heavy cream, cumin, salt and pepper. Cook at a medium temperature for 5 minutes, then add fresh cilantro. Serve it hot and enjoy.
Avocado for dessert? Yes please! After all, avocado is a fruit. Think outside of the savoury box and whip up this smooth and buttery dessert… sans butter.
You will need:
- 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
- ½ cup of milk
- ¼ cup of white sugar
- ½ tsp. of vanilla extract.
Mash avocado with an electric mixer or food processor. Blend in the milk, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Chill for about 20 minutes before serving. Dessert is served!
Grab your ingredients fresh at Fresh St. and give these sweet and savoury options a go. And don’t be afraid to mix it up… literally.
For more detailed information on the health benefits of Avocadoes check out this link.