Get your good fats with avocados
Avocados have a bad rep in some circles because of their high fat content and unfortunately, many people avoid them when trying to eat healthily. This is a shame as they are packed with nourishing good fats and anti-oxidants.
Avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fibre, potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins and folic acid. They also act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.
If you don’t like the taste of avocado, they are great in a smoothie – add 1/4 or a 1/2 avocado to your favourite smoothie, it will make it creamy but you won’t taste it and you still get all the benefits of the good fats and other nutrients…
An avocado is ripe when its skin turns from green to a dark brown-green color and “gives” slightly when it is gently squeezed. You can select the best, ripe and ready-to-eat avocado by looking for one that is slightly soft, without dark sunken spots or cracks.
If your avocados are not ripe:
Place them in a brown paper bag to ripen. This traps the ethylene gas they produce and helps them to ripen. A firm avocado placed in a paper bag will ripen at room temperature in about three to six days. As the fruit ripens, the skin color will darken.
So give your health a boost and eat one this week!
Best-ever chunky guacamole
Serves 8 – Prep time 10 mins
- •1 large ripe tomato
- •3 avocados , very ripe but not bruised
- •juice 1 large lime
- •handful coriander, leaves and stalks chopped, plus a few leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
- •1 small red onion , finely chopped
- •1 chilli , red or green, deseeded and finely chopped
tortilla chips , to serve
Use a large knife to pulverise the tomato to a pulp on a board, then tip into a bowl. Halve and stone the avocados (saving a stone) and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the tomato.
Tip all the other ingredients into the bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Use a whisk to roughly mash everything together. If not serving straight away, sit a stone in the guacamole (this helps to stop it going brown), cover with cling film and chill until needed. Scatter with the coriander, if using, then serve with tortilla chips or spicy wedges and sour cream.
Wrap finger-size slices of avocado in smoked salmon to serve as a canapé.